is that the right term, co-existense? i found it in the dictionary 2 days ago. is that the common term to describe the situation of integration between different sectors (is that the proper term?:) that tries to live together?
the 1st time i tried to do something in the name of co - existence was several years ago, when me & my wife joined a group that was formed in our region that tried to get arabs & jews to initiate business enterprises together. my wife did found someone to work with, altough it never developed as far as actually making a business, but i haven't. nevertheless - a short time after i joined an ensemble that involves pieces of the three monotheist religions in the iberia of the early renaisance performed by players of the three religions. that means 1 christian singer, 1 moslem percusionist, & the rest of us are jews. i can argue a bit of how much the whole thing is integrated equally, but the fact is that the program, as well as the ensemble, are a mix of cultures, sectors, etc.
at that point i must stop & say that of course i see people as individuals, but minding that it is still hard to ignore the fact that before that i haven't know any arab or moslem in person. more on this mater still to come...

anyhow - in the last months i figured out that i need some more income. the easiest & most logical way for me in order to achieve that additional income is to go to some public or private institude of playing learning (is that the proper term?:) & offer myself as an instructor. i've done it before, & stoped cause it drove me crasy. anyhow - i choosed to posponed the verdict a bit & to try & get some position in a place where i would feel that i'm contributing to making piece. it could be a teaching position in an arab settlement near by, or it could be even something else that has nothing to do with music at one of the piece organisation around - which by the way - i had never before been in personal touch with any of them either.
so - i started making contacts with them by the internet, offering them these ideas, & asking for their help. nothing came out of these tries, altough one day i decided to physically go to peace now branch in tel aviv, where i did met eyal raviv who gave me his card that led me here.
in additional to this i used some contacts that i had from the enterprises i described in the 1st phrase, but nothing come out of these so far as well.
today i picked up the phone & set myself an interview in a jewish music institude.... at least the chances are that i'll make more money of this...

i don't know many arabs. my life simply haven't crossed me with arabs. still, when i meet an arab in person, it's very natural. as it should be. therefor one must ask the qestion "why am i making a fuss about it to start with?"
the answer is because i want piece, because i want to shattered the images & stereotipes (how does this one should be spelled?) that both sides have from distance, cause i wanna do something good, etc.
as far as for this last bit of doing something good through knowing & maybe help or contribute something for the arabs in my region, i see it also as a morale obligatory, as a representor of the preferred sector... a kind of redress...

in the army i had no contacts with palestinians. i was a 'jobnic' (a more detailed discussion about me/the army can be the subject of another (at least) post. a jobnic however, for those of you that aren't familiar with slang meening a soldier that doesn't fight. i wonder if there is a parallal term (should be) in english speaking armies). on the other hand - i never made contact with that population also as a piece wanter (i'm not sure i'm entitled yet to the honor of being called piece *maker*). on the other hand - this week i participated in the sulha festival.
i didn't liked so much the religious emphyasize that was there - more of my sentiment towards religion is yet another topic for a post:) anyhow - i liked the music i heard, & was happy that there is a nice festival that is bringing together arabs & jews. i did wonder a bit of how successful or important it was, but i was there only few hours, & only saw music performances, so i can't really have an opinion on the mater, & anyhow - that brings me back to the question if any of my activities has any significant? & what about this site for instance? does it have any significant? does it help? does our efforts worth something?
i think they does. we make things. we integrate, & meet, & help & have fun, & being human, & making direct human contacts. that must have some good influence. i hope we are on the right way to diminish the conflict, & i hope the world will eventually be better.

well - i think that was enough of a mess for one post...:)
to be continued...

p.s - it's unbelievable how much work is not only to write these posts is but also to try to make some proper proof-reading on them. actually - i thing the proof-reading part is the main time & effort consuming...
i hope it's worth it. at least for my english;)
i'm exhausted...

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Comment by adi silberberg on September 2, 2008 at 11:38am
hi mary.
i appreciate the volunteering work you do. as i said - i do plan a voluntary work myself - in a different field. of course - we'll see what i'll find - things are open - it might as well occur that i'll volunteer in that field at the end. however - i think there is no argue between us:)

as for the arab israelis - the term is used while referring to the arabs that are israeli civilians - not the arabs that are part of the palestinian authority in the gaza strip & the west bank. there is a question if in case that the final agreement would be two states for the two nationalities the arabs within israel territory should stay in it, or become part of the palestinian state. it's a difficult nut to crack cause while it's very logical that they'll become part of the palestinian state, since they are after all, as you mentioned, belonging with them, on the other hand it is still wrong to disproof civilianship from someone on the background of race. there is also a mater of geography of the settlements - it's hard to separate... anyhow - the most interesting thing about the issue is that it seems that most (or at least many) of the israelis arabs will prefer to be in the future civilians of israel - not the palestinian state
Comment by adi silberberg on September 2, 2008 at 11:06am
hi neri - it's not possible for me to use audio on my internet computer, so it'll take some time till i'll get to it. anyway - 10x
Comment by Neri Bar-On on September 2, 2008 at 10:54am
Hi Adi,

Thank you for the effort to put all this here,

I want to comment on the Co-existence term which I find problematic since we can call a situation where one side have privileges and the other is constrained a co-existance where I think we should see more bonding relationship as we all going to exist in the future we need to create it together and it needs more dynamic idiom as confluence as our histories and background is joined into one stream of middle east future

Comment by Corey Gil-Shuster on September 1, 2008 at 7:49pm
Hi Adi,

I appreciate your attempts. I lived minutes away from Palestinian Israelis and Bedouin for many years and came into contact with Palestinians workers from the territories (before 2000) and always wanted to reach out in some way but everything seemed forced. A lot of people use the term “hummus and tahina” peace where they think if we just met each other and interacted (over hummus and tahina) we would find co-existence. I don’t think this type meeting can hurt and it can be very valuable to conflict prevention (it is harder to hate someone you have shared an experience with even a shallow experience).

I think for real co-existence within Israel and with Palestinians in the territories, a more collective form of dialogue has to occur. Because we can meet a group of Palestinians and have a great time but the daily violence that occurs on both sides will make us think with our collective side and we will see the other collective as out for our destruction. Again, those encounters we may have with individuals will stop us from deepening our hatred but I am not sure if on individual levels they can create true co-existence. True co-existence to me is each side understanding the needs (psychological, cultural, security, etc.) of the other side and working to make that a reality because it benefits our own group as well as the other.
Comment by adi silberberg on September 1, 2008 at 7:32pm
hi mary.
10x for the compliments & encouragement.
10x also for sharing your thoughts, opinions & observations.
a few of mine to react on some of them:

i hope it was clear from my text that i do treat individuals as individuals...
that doesn't contradict the fact that the group the individual comes from has a meaning & an impact, & hence also the wish to know individuals also as representors & as a mean of building a bridge between groups

as for the definition subject...
i'm not sure how many of the palestinians are arabs - my guess is that not 100%. as well as not all israelis are jews... actually - if i recall correctly - only 79% of them. most of the remaining percents are arabs, & when i used the terms arabs in my post, i referred mostly for them, although also for the palestinians sometimes.
how many of the israelis arabs sees themselves as palestinians is another intricate subject that worth discussion, but i want to mention, that self definition is also sometimes individual...:)

about the voluntary aspects of contribution to society:
i would prefer a world without money. however - since a man should earn his living, i thing it's worth to try & combine the two - i think to work in something you believe is contributing is the ideal.
having said that - i do plan the find a voluntary position, but in another field. why? cause i do appreciate work that is done not for money. why in another field? well - as i said - i do need to make a living, & if i will do everything free of charge i won't make it... so - some has to be with money - now choose...


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