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A True Story By Faisal Al-katib
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.
Thanks for your friendship Ron. I relate to your soul's purpose. We must first be peace before we can be effective. I have found that is the only way I can live in a world that is sometimes chaotic and violent. That and a lot of deep breating. :)
Love and light to you,
See below something i have written to RC (Reevaluation Counseling):
I spent this Saturday, doing two things that contradicted
some of my hopelessness and helplessness.
Most of the day I spent in Ilabun, an Arab village in
HaGalil (not far from Tiberya). A group of 20 people, Jews
and Arabs, met together for the first meeting of a series of
planned meetings, to plan and organize the next
Memorial-Day-Independence-Day-Nakba-Day workshop, due at the
end of April.
I came there with my wife, Yael, and my married daughter
Tali (the three of us have participated in the previous
workshop on Israel Day of Independence (in Hebrew "Yom
Ha-Atzma'ut") last year.
The meeting took place in a large living room at the house
of one of the Arab leaders of this group. The room has huge
windows facing a beautiful pastoral mountain landscape (you
could also see the city of Zefat). This is just, may be,
three hours drive from Gaza.
In the group of 20 people, we were 3 active RCers, plus my
wife and daughter who are not active in the community at the
I must tell you that it's far from being taken for granted
here to enter an Arab village these days, because of the
demonstrations there, some of which are quite violent.
The meeting started with activities that are very similar to
what we do in RC. We worked on feelings such as hurts,
denial, revenge, hatred, guilt feelings, blame and then
towards more rational thinking, hope and activism. There was
plenty of discharge.
Then we started to do the "real thing". We decided to divide
into teams (each responsible for things like fundraising,
logistics, media, contents etc.)
We decided that the entire group will meet monthly until the
end of April (The memorial day and the Day of Independence)
when the workshop is planned, and each team will meet as
needed and communicate thru emails and telephone.
I joined the contents team, especially focus on support
groups. (I think about leading a "healing from war, working
for peace" mini-workshop, like the ones we did in the World
Peace Forum, in Vancouver, 2006.) Any volunteers?
The meeting was very useful and we got much closer with each
>From there I drove straight to Tel Aviv, about two hours
drive, to join the evening anti-war demonstration. There
were thousands of people, Jews and Arabs, parading from
Kikar Rabin (Rabin square) to the cinemateque. I met several
RCers there and I know that there were others too. Hadar Lew
described some of what he had done there in his posting
earlier today (well-done, KOL HA-Kavod Hadar!). I must admit
that I didn't have the attention required to listen to the
right-wing demonstrators who were carrying huge flags of
Israel and were quite violent. I had good conversations with
friends and RCers.
I went home exhausted. Had a short skype chat with a close
RCer who expressed some less than enthusiastic feelings and
preferred to go to her bed.
I'd like to thank my good allies from abroad who offered to
share time with me. Tonight I discharged heavily with Ruth S
from England. Tomorrow morning I will have a session with
My distresses are almost completely over. I only need the
I am trying to limit the dose of media tonight. Too hard to
watch what's going on there.
Good night and thanks for listening, especially to those of
you who have reached this point.