To my Palestinian neighbors

No, I do not hate you.

We have to share

What we are still fighting over.

We are not children

To blame “Who started it.”

I see part of myself

In your struggle to be you.

And even if you are led

To hate me, for now

I do not hate you.


And I will not let your leaders

Make me hate you.

Even as they slaughter 

My brothers and sisters

And blood and tears are everywhere.

This is not in your name

But done to your name.

I hate such a name

And perhaps you will too

In time. But for now

It is not you I hate.


Nor will I let my leaders

Make me hate you.

From blunder to thunder

They “prove” who you are,

Only to prove who they are.

My army, my children and brothers

Will have to fight your leaders

And you will also suffer,

But it is not with hatred for you

That I send them to battle.


To paraphrase the Buddha

I will not drink poison hatred

And believe it will kill you.

Not the poison dealt by your leaders,

Nor the poison offered by mine.

With every tear of anguish

I say quietly

 In no microphone

And before 

No sensational camera

To myself and to the few who may listen

I will not hate


About the Author
Alan Flashman was born in Foxborough, MA, and gained his BA from Columbia, MD from NYU, Pediatrics, Adult and Child Psychiatry specialties at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, The Bronx, NY. He has practiced in Beer Sheba since 1983, and taught mental health at Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University and Ben Gurion University. Alan has edited readers on Therapeutic Communication with Children (2002) and Adolescents (2005) in Hebrew, translated Buber's I and Thou anew into Hebrew, and authored Losing It, an autobiography, and From Protection to Passover. He recently published two summary works of his clinical experience (both 2022) Family Therapies for the 21st Century and Mental Health in Pediatrics.
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