By Aaron Elberg, from Jerusalem
At some point, the fire will cease. Maybe in a couple of days, maybe a couple of weeks, but at some point the uproar of the cannons and the missiles will quiet. Until that time comes, many deaths will sum up to the scene on one faction, many tens of injured people will be added on the other faction, each side trying to inflict more damage to the other until the last moment, trying to gain the “image of the victory”.
And when the fire ceases, things will slowly get back to their apparent normality. The birds of prey and other scavenger animals will search for other regions and other conflicts to poke around human misery and sow hate and dissension. The disinformation media, each in accordance to their own interests, will take their cameras and their inveigling filters of persuasion, some very grotesque and some highly sophisticated, somewhere else. Likewise, those who contaminate the social networks and email lists will keep doing what they do, either by admonishing the imminent breakthrough of the Islamic fundamentalism, as if every Muslim was a Jihad soldier, or by warning about a new Zionist conspiracy, as if every Jew or Israeli was a murderer thirsty of blood.
And when the fire ceases, and things slowly get back to their apparent normality, there will still remain here families mourning their dead, many of hundreds on the Palestinian side, many tens on the Israeli side, all of them bereaved by the loss of their loved ones in the hands of a sterile war that will not change at all the situation. And there will still be those who have lost their goods and homes, nomad refugees for the first, second or third time…
And when the fire ceases, the open sores of hate and resentment will still remain here now even more widely opened. Thousands of Palestinian children suffering the horror of the bombs without a safe place where to shelter, thousands of Israeli children suffering the horror of the bombs which not even the shelters manage to dissipate. Both sides, so close but so far, feeding a future vengeance in the nights of fear.
And when the fire ceases, there will still remain here the same lords of war. Each will justify the sacrifices (alien to them) saying that they were in the name of the safety and welfare of their people, while filling back again their arks with legitimate funds from their own people, getting ready for the next strife within a couple more years. And there will also remain here the always postponed demands for a fairer society. Israel will still spend unspeakable fortunes on the illegal settlements in the occupied territories and in its military strength, while its fierce capitalism destroys the working classes and cuts off the possibilities of development of the youth. At the same time, Hamas will rebuild their offensive militia, and keep squandering the support received from the Arab countries and the taxes of the impoverished Palestinian people, in missiles instead of decent housing, hospitals and schools; in tunnels as well as in underground bunkers instead of a proper sewer system for the most densely populated area on the planet.
In this context, it´s laudable the position of Mahmud Abas, President of the Palestine Authority, who in a constant and persistent way clamours for a non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation. He has declared many times, and acted accordingly, that the armed resistance has just brought the Palestinian people more damage and suffering since it serves as an excuse to perpetuate the Israeli occupation.
And when the fire ceases, there will also leave from here the genuine askings for well-being, the heartfelt wishes and petitions for peace. And even though the immediate consequences of the conflict will still remain on the affected ones, these will disappear from the conscious presence of the non-affected. And then, the requests will be reoriented to those who are in a more urgent need in each moment in time, which is humanly reasonable … How can you cope with so much suffering at the same time?
And then, what do we do? Do we keep on going on our path, either happily or sadly, until we find ourselves in exactly the same situation within 2 or 3 more years?
To wait for those in power to do something to change this situation is naïve, because any change is opposed to their interests, either for one or the other side.
For this reason, the declarations, signatures collections, manifestations and any other repudiations to war have a value inasmuch as the assertion of a posture that does not tolerate violence, but will not change the position of the ones in power.
And then, what do we do? There is no other mean but this: arouse the faith that the conversion of the inverted life is possible.
There are so many well-being askings, clamours, demands and calls of the humanists in every latitude for the resolution of this conflict, that the most coherent thing for me to do is to appeal to the whole humanist people, to everyone who wishes to and has the vocation, to come to this land, both fascinating and terrible, that has seen the awakening of the best in humanity and at the same time witnessed its worst moments… to bring here a renewed Message of peace and humanism.
Not in vain did Silo mention Israel and Palestine, between others, as a place of special interest.
Some time ago a friend was asking: “would it be that we the humanist people are too advanced in declaring human life sacred? If that´s so, well, let it be expressed in this place.
The change we long for will not happen on its own. So many people, the youth, the adults, seem to be so disoriented. The path of reconciliation, instead of that of resentment and revenge, is not clear. Guides are needed to show the path. Let us be those guides.
Aaron (Alejandro) Elberg,
Israel, July ´14
Translation: Efrain Algasi