I’m writing you from the safe room we have in our house. Concrete and metal help to shield my consciousness. When I’m in the safe room, I don’t have to be updated, I don’t have to hear the news, or watch any kind of images that will disturb the inner peace I’m trying to cultivate.
Like me, almost everybody in Israel these days is finding it hard to stay peaceful. It is hard to even let go of the survival mode we entered on October 7th. And when the whole region is in survival mode, thinking about peace is almost impossible. In fact, talking about peace can be dangerous, as reactions can be fierce. Rage has risen to a stage where most people seek revenge, while the others sink to despair.
Many of the people that truly believed in peace are now doubting themselves. We are looking at the circle of violence and trauma and don’t know how to get out of this loop, devastated by the horrifying blow our collective spirit has taken. Some of the more delicate souls that once shared this land with us have departed, most recently due to the war; in the last year, since our government became even more fanatic; and in the last decade, as our society become more forceful and hopeless. While many of my peace-loving friends have already left this scorched piece of earth, others have come to terms with the mass conviction the using more force will help us feel safe. The minority, that keeps talking about peace, are now under attack. We are being called naive, detached, fools.
The help we really need from you is not your military might nor even your generous financial aid. We need your hearts, the ones that can still stay open and soft. We need you to see what we have become and stay with us. We need you to understand our trauma-infected consciousness, witness the events that, generation after generation, have made our hearts too hard. We need your genuine empathy along with the moral guidelines – only one of them is not enough. And yes, I know that the request for empathy after all that we have done to the Palestinians is hard for you. I know that watching us becoming so aggressive has diminished your ability to have a warm place for us in your hearts. There is no excuse for what we have done in Gaza now, and not in the past 56 years. As the time to shift the course of events is getting shorter by the day, all of us must rise above ourselves. We are being asked to forgive and move on; can you do the same with us? No one is right in the endless conflict, but we must still end it. Before ammunition and money, we are running out of hope, and with it the only chance for a better future in this part of the world.