Four teenagers have died. One of them Palestinian. The other three Israelis. All belonging to the same generation, in the dawn of their lives. We know their faces. Thousands are no longer there, in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Vietnam, Algeria, Rwanda, Poland, Germany and Liberia. Faces gone without a trace. However, we carry all of them in our memory; and many others in so many other places without a name.
Who will you blame for such crimes? The one who pulled the trigger? The one who manufactured the bullet and sold the gun? The one who inflamed the blood with a speech, or sowed conflict? Tell me, please, to whom you point your accusing finger. To those who impassive in their palace weave, miserable in their wealth, the cobwebs of pain for others? Those who invent stories to rob another, who care for nobody but themselves?
Blaming without stating the context in which the atrocity is possible not only reveals short-sightedness, but makes one an accomplice of future sins by obscuring the roots of the conflict. Whoever demands punishment does not call for justice but seeks revenge. Does it repair the useless sacrifice of the victim? Does it mitigate the pain of the afflicted? Does it return the beloved to life? Does it prevent a future genocide? Or rather, does it feed it?
This is a serious matter. I will not be complicit in this complicity with death. I shall scream loudly denouncing the real conflict.
This is not a conflict between Palestinians and Jews or between Shiites and Sunnis, or between red or yellow shirts. The real conflict is between the people and those powers who want to manipulate them, oppress them, confront them.
Is it not obvious that every time peace seems to approach the hidden faces send it away with murder, with an attack? Who is hiding behind those hidden faces? Who pays and sends these thugs to break the possibility of achieving the dream of coexistence?
The people must unite and understand the futility of continuing the confrontation.
The real conflict is between remaining hostages of opposing factions, in the discourse, but united in the destructive action, or rebel, refusing to support any of these factions. It is between those who believe that self-interest or one’s own worldview is sufficient justification to impose on others, and on many of us who cherish human freedom and diversity of life. It is between those who profit from war, those who want to maintain their power and possessions against the needs of the world’s dispossessed, those majorities in daily struggle to build a dignified existence.
It is also a conflict in one’s consciousness, between the Yes and the No, between being resigned to live an empty life or make improvements to the world, between the inner contradictions that generates violence or the act of unity that expands from the love for what is human in each one.
Israelis, Palestinians, Thai, Ukrainian, Syrian, or Iraqi Kurds do not want more death, or more pain. They are victims of extortion by being involved in heartbreaking scenarios. They are also responsible for ensuring that this does not continue happening. The key is to arouse the humanism alive in each one, lean on it, give it strength and a joint voice, going beyond appearances.
We are all responsible for seeking and finding reconciliation with those who have hurt us and to repair our own mistakes. If instead, we wield justifications to continue endorsing the inexcusable, we are cooperating only with the growing spiral of violence, just drawing away the possibility of a different future, locking ourselves between the walls of prehistory.
Being of Jewish origins, I make my own the Hebrew thirst for freedom and knowledge. With Semitic traits, I admire in my Arab brothers their nobility and dedication. Humanist by choice, I love in all the peoples of the Earth that identical human soul that spreads everywhere. I love the different colours that adorn it, the beautiful clothes that dress it, the brilliant works emanating from it, its similar passionate loves.
While I imagine this moving landscape it begins to give me some relief from such stark news, I listen to the greeting of several cheerful beings, who, coming from the horizon in a rhythmic language say, “Peace be with you.” I answer to them, grateful, “And with you.”