I have written a couple of times about living in Israel and my difficulties – those related to being in Israel and those related to being in a foreign country generally.
Today I met a mum at the park who is originally from Kuwait. She has been living in Israel for 10 years after she married an Arab Israeli. She has two beautiful children. And I am so very sorry that I did not get her number.
We spoke in English, and my DS was so friendly with her, taking her hand and playing with her, while her older children played on the round about.
I asked her if she goes back to visit her family in Kuwait and she was talking about meeting them in Jordan, and then hurried off when her husband came out of the bank.
I felt so happy talking to another woman who has moved to this country to be with her husband and who also feels the stress of living in Israeli society – but who does not feel bound to the land as her national heritage. I admit too that I would love to find a way to be friends with an Arab family – as much for myself, as for my DS. I do have a political agenda as such. But mostly, it was just so reassuring to talk to someone not born in Israel who spoke about being here for her husband, not for an an ideology. I do not fit in with Immigrants in general in the Israeli society. I find it hard to idenitify with a rhetoric that inherently denies the right of a nation to exist.
I did not even get this mums name, only the names of her children. I really do hope I meet you again at the park and that just maybe we will sit to coffee one day.
My mind is swirling. There is so much going on and I just do not have the time or energy to keep up with it all.
I have been looking into some of the foundations of Epidemiology and the assumptions that have been made. I have not got all my ideas into a coherent structure yet – it is fascinating to see how certain assumptions are made. Modern Medicine has by no means thrown off the shackles of assumption and belief.
And of course there is the pressing situation in Gaza right now as I write. This has my head swirling in a BIG way. I do not think “Hamas bad – need to kill them” but neither do I think “Israel bad – need to kill them”. I just find that I do not know enough.
For me it is enough that there are mothers and children who are being used as pawns and who suffer. On both sides of the border. It breaks my heart that *any* child has to listen to war planes bombing.
And yet the context is so much broader than that. But I do not feel I have the tools to understand that context.
One the one hand you have rockets being fired into a civilian population for 8 years almost every day. Not many people have been killed or injured (relatively) – but that is 8 years of mothers and children suffering – whole families suffering.
And then you have a whole population deprived of basic commodities and now being bombed with civilian casualties. This population shares a land border with Israel and Egypt and has a coast line. I do not see much pressure on Egypt to assist. Why are women and children not being smuggled out? I do not have all the history and facts at my fingertips… but I am sure the answer is not an easy one as to why Egypt is keeping the border firmly closed.
And Hamas itself. I do not profess to understand Hamas. I am struck by the extreme position with regard to never making peace with Israel and driving the Jewish People out of Palestine in it’s entirety. This is not feasible or realistic. Does each person living in Gaza wish for the destruction of Israel? After the last 40 years I am sure there are many who do. But at the expense of their own lives? I can understand very religious people and people of strong conviction perhaps making this case – but what about the mother wanting to feed her family and protect her children? Does this mother dream of the destruction of Israel or a peace that she can live in and enjoy with her family?
I know I am not highly committed to the destruction of Hamas. I want a peaceful country to raise my family. But I guess that is not enough. If the Israeli politicians are right, I will never have that peace until Hamas changes their approach to Israel and accepts that Israel is here to stay. And likewise I guess the mother living in Gaza would probably tell me that until Israel allows her country to be autonomous, there will never be peace.
Now we just need the Nelson Mandela of the Middle East.