Israeli-Palestinian peace – one family at a time
The New York Times carried a moving story today about two hospitalized children – an Israeli boy severely wounded by a Hamas rocket, and a Palestinian girl paralyzed by an Israeli missile. I’m glad the editors gave the story the front-page display it deserves.
The children have befriended each other in an Israeli hospital; so have their families. “I have never felt there was a difference among people — Jews, Muslims, Christians — we are all human beings,” the Palestinian girl’s father told Ethan Bronner, the reporter. “I worked in Israel for years and so did my father. We know that it is not about what you are but who you are. And that is what I have taught my children.”
The Israeli boy’s father was quoted as saying: “I was raised as a complete Zionist rightist. The Arabs, we were told, were out to kill us. But I was living in some fantasy. Here in the hospital, all my friends are Arabs.” And the boy’s mother gets the story’s last word: “Do we need to suffer in order to learn that there is no difference between Jews and Arabs?”
For me, these are the quotes of the day. The story says that reconciliation begins when people can see their supposed enemy’s humanity.