My personal experience is that average Jewish and Arab Israelis are far better informed and more compassionate about the reality in Gaza than are others. It’s bizarre to live in Israel and observe reality, then read the pontifications of those who live elsewhere but who’ve gulped down the propaganda-laced Kool Aid. Most of those speakers have not even visited the Mideast. They don’t know the history. They don’t take action re: the millions murdered by, say, ISIS or Boko Haram or Arab governments. They take no meaningful action to provide genuine reparations for their own nation’s indigenous populations, no matter how horrifically that population was treated.
So here’s the dream of someone who lives in Israel, but who’s also done conflict resolution in classrooms in ravaged parts of the USA. These are my beliefs, but others share them. As John Lennon wrote in “Imagine,” You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I want ALL the wrongs to be righted, everywhere. I believe in GENUINE nonviolent protest. My wish is for Gazans to have the right to democratically elect their own leadership (a right removed by Hamas after they came into power) and for a Gazan government that’s responsible, compassionate and ethical. Gazans who aren’t millionaires/billionaires…. and who are, instead, human shields for weaponry, constantly exploited and used as pawns…. they’re suffering. But screaming slogans and refusing to buy products made by Gazans and Israelis working cooperatively, and fanning the flames of intolerance and hate is NOT going to help those who are suffering.
I have a dream that someday those living in the cradle of rock and sea known as Israel will be free of the oppression of anti-Semitism. I have a dream that someday all the children of Abraham (and other religions) will judge each other not by the differences in their theological fine print, but by their ability to live in peace with their neighbors. I have a dream that people worldwide — from every spiritual and religious tradition, or none — will join in good will and cooperation to solve the urgent problems threatening human survival such as climate chaos; increasing pollution in our air, water and land; and devastating inequities in access to drinkable water and food.
We could create heaven on earth if we quashed the hell-fires of hate. Those who govern us could demonstrate their leadership with reverence for the diversity of experience and with their respect for all life. And then, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed from his ideological mountaintop, we would be free, all of us, at last.
This is my dream.