Campaign to help Palestinian member of Knesset exposes problems facing peace

I knew I would open up a hornets nest with this one: I am organizing a benefit to support Nadia Hilou, a Palestinian Israeli Christian Woman member of the Knesset in her re-election bid ... with a comedy show featuring the Infidels of Comedy, the Christian Arab Comedy group I organized to help promote an awareness of Arab Christians in the United States.

And of course, I am getting calls from some Palestinians who say I am a "traitor" for supporting the Labor Party.

They always know what they hate and oppose, and they know what they want. They can do everything to achieve what they hate and oppose but they can'tr do anything to achieve what they want.

I'm going to do things differently and proactively do something to achieve peace and compromise in a way that Palestinians have never really tried, advocating mutual respect, equality and NORMALIZATION -- the bad word of the Palestinian fanatics.

I also think the fact that she is a Christian woman -- and I am a Christian Palestinian (married to a Jew) also has something to do with the hatred and angery calls I am getting.

Now, their hatred is not much different from the hatred I get from Israelis and Jews, who also want me to embrace everything they believe and drop any questions and challenges I have to Israeli government policies.

But to me this is exactly what the problem is. Both sides are exactly the same, except one has more power than the other so the one with less power uses more violence and resistance and the one with power uses violence and retaliation as punitive punishment.

Stil, unwaivering as I am, I won't change now or ever.It's about principle, not race or religion or politics. You kill an innocent person, Palestinian or Israeli and you are wrong. And I won't be silent on one or the other because of my views and others should not be silent either. And that principle applies all the way down the ladder from that extreme of violence to issues of political debate.

Ray Hanania

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Comment by Neri Bar-On on December 4, 2008 at 10:08am
Dear Ray,

I am Israeli and I think Nadia Hilou is doing a great work as presenting Arab in the Israeli society. As Israeli who think of it as citizenship identity I wish greater Arab presence in Israel as I know how important it is that my fellow citizens from any background will experience home, ownership and responsibility for the future in the state the live in.

This Israel election can be a turn in the conflict, the agreements and maps are there, but we are still missing the spirit of change toward working together to manifest a bright-join future of all of us. Labor Party may not be the best vehicle to bring Nadia Hilou to the Knesset and this is why this is so important that she will get the best position.

So now count one how support your voice and actions and I am sure I am not the only one who think that.


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