I grew up in a liberal American Jewish household where it was just part of life to support Israel all the way. As I got older, I learned that it was a lot more complicated than reflexively standing with Israel. "Supporting" Israel today requires a lot of thought and careful reflection. While I support the importance of a strong military, it is equally important in my opinion that Israel pursue stable relations with neighbors. I am a political activist who has spent time studying the conflict. I've also studied nonviolence and conflict resolution as a means of advancing political objectives. I want to contribute to advancing a cause that is critical to all the people in the region and many others around the world. We need more understanding and less violence. The fires are getting hotter. We are called on to act as individuals because the well intentioned governments, diplomats, etc need our support. They currently do not have enough strength to secure the necessary commitments. We the people must step up and assert our demand that power be used to affirm life rather than death.
Why I want peace:
We aspire to work for justice. All sides to the conflict should be able to enjoy life in the type of society they want to live in. Co-existence will yield phenomenal benefits in terms of tourism and in other areas. As an American, peace will make it easy for us to visit Israel and Palestine. The potential for all the countries in the region is staggering.
Interests and activities:
politics, reading, hiking, movies, listening to music (especially from 60s forward)
Something you didn't know about me:
I have a good sense of humor.
How I found mepeace.org:
Alliance for Middle East Peace Summit
What I want to achieve here:
Community among Jews and Palestinians. Build our movement.
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A True Story By Faisal Al-kateep
I am a Palestinian Arab from Hizmeh, a village between Jerusalem and Ramallah. When I was 15 years old I fought against the Israeli Occupation in search of freedom. At that time I thought every Jewish person, whether soldier or citizen, man or woman, young or old, should be killed. I rejected the right for any Jew to live and every Jew was a target. I was just a kid, believe me, and I didn’t understand anything about politics or the Arab-Israeli conflict. I was arrested and sat in jail for 12 years. This was during the first intifada from 1987. At that time nobody talked about peace but only of violence. I matured during my time in jail. I started studying and reading books on politics, literature, poetry, and about the Madrid Conference.
It gave me hope to live in peace and dignity. I learned that violence only breeds violence and that peace is the only solution for the two nations, the only way for both to have a respectful and beautiful future. We live on the same land. We are neighbors. We drink the same water and both pray to a monotheistic God. We must live in peace on the basis of religion for God and land for everyone.