I just saw your mepeace post about Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron's Hanukkah/Eid El Fitr meeting in December 2000. So naturally I had to immediately come here to learn more about you. I can't tell you how glad I am, how much hope it gives me, to find people like you on mepeace. Thank you.
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.
Shalom, salaam to you, Yara. Thank you for writing. I am happy to hear from you. I try to help Jews and Arabs / Muslims know, understand and appreciate each other. My work, of course, is to help more of us Jews have better understanding of our Arab and Muslim cousins.
I visited Egypt 8 years ago with my wife Michal and our three children. We were living in Israel for one year on a sabbatical. We went to Eilat and took a taxi from Taba to Cairo. It was fascinating. I loved it very much and would very much like to go there again. But -- I have no plan to do that now. InshaAllah, in the future I will come to Cairo again. Please stay in touch. If you ever can come to Vancouver, I would be honoured to host you and introduce you to our beautiful piece of God's creation.