By John Vibes,
In the mainstream media, stories about life and conflict in the Middle East are always crafted to create division and instigate hatred between opposing sides. Recently, there has been a wave of bloodshed in and around Israel where innocent people on both sides of the conflict have lost their lives. Unfortunately, hate and division continues to be promoted in the mainstream dialogue, but that isn’t actually an accurate representation of what is happening in many cases.
While it is true that there is a great deal of violence and division in the Middle East, there is also a growing consciousness about the need for peace.
This week,The families of murdered Israeli teen Naftali Fraenkel and murdered Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir met with one another to celebrate the lives of their loved ones and give one another comfort in their time of loss. The meeting was initiated after the uncle of Naftali Fraenkel told reporters during an interview that “the life of an Arab is equally precious to that of a Jew. Blood is blood, and murder is murder, whether that murder is Jewish or Arab.”
It was suggested that the families meet with one another because they both had a similar perspective about the equal value of life that transcends political and religious boundaries. The families got along very well and had multiple meetings. At the second meeting, many other members of the community came along to witness the moment of peace.
“Things will only get better when we learn to cope with each other’s pain and stop getting angry at each other. Our task is to give strength to the family and also to take a step toward my nation’s liberation. We believe that the way to our liberation is through the hearts of Jews,” one young Palestinian guest said.
The people of Israel have a nationalistic militant government that doesn’t represent their will, while on the other end the people of Palestine also have a nationalistic militant government that doesn’t represent their will. Like in any major war it is the common people of each nation who are the biggest victims and the elite of those same nations who reap all the benefits and use the lives of their citizens as bargaining chips behind closed doors. This way of doing things is coming to an end though, and slowly but surely people all over the world are beginning to see that peace is the only path that will take us into the future.