Him, in Gaza: How is the weather ?
Me, in Israel: Pretty but cold – it’ll rain soon. What about there?
Him: The same…..
Me: See? We aren’t that far apart.
Him: We are in the same weather and land… we just need to be united.
Me: Can I quote you on this?
Him: You want someone to kill me?
He’s joking – but not really. How much he risks being friends with me.
And that’s why I’ll never tell you his name, or “like” his pictures or comment on his posts…
But he knows I’m reading him. And I know he’s reading me.
And how special it is that we can have these conversations… during times of quiet, and during rocket and air strikes, too.
Especially then, because we both care enough to message each other to check in.
“Are you OK?”
“For now. Are you?”
And that’s where it starts. Not peace exactly — because “peace” is too broad. My version of peace, and his version of peace, and Bibi’s version, and Haniyeh’s version, and Herzog’s, and Abbas’, and Obama’s, and Cameron’s, and the barista with the dirty laugh’s, and the guy who sells oranges near Damascus Gate’s, and my son’s preschool teacher’s, and my daughter’s best friend’s mother’s sister’s dog’s fveterinarian’s, and the car mechanic in Ramallah’s, and the woman who rides the bus to her start-up’s, and the sheikh at the Mount of Olive’s, and the head rabbi at the Har Nof synagogue’s, and YOUR version of peace, too, is probably so, so, SO different.
Because peace is a vague concept — intangible like rainbows and unicorns, or the flicker of a dream… Peace, so broad, so universal in theory, is really so deeply personal, and doesn’t always involve the other side. And sometimes — let’s be real — for some, “peace” involves the annihilation of the other side.
It’s oh so quiet…. It’s oh so peaceful.
So, no, not peace… but friendship, and mutual respect and conversation over coffee. From easy questions, like “how’s the weather,” to the more challenging issues of identity and reality. That’s where it starts, in a seed of compassion nurtured by two people who care enough to ask “are you OK?”