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War and Peace
Mona Ali Khalil
Saudi ArabiaGALLERYCONVERSATION
I heard them speak of co-existence. I heard them recognize each other’s children’s right to live in peace and security.
In reality, I saw two peacemakers one in military attire another turned commander-in-chief hurling identically virulent blame at each other. I saw rocks and bullets. I saw dead corpses and mangled bodies. I saw burning tires and armored tanks. I saw flags smeared with blood and buildings destroyed with bombs. And all the while, they were declaring “we want peace”.
I washed my face trying to wash away the ugly images, to recapture my natural optimism. I turned on the television a small voice inside praying, “Oh, please God, maybe it’s over”. I heard intelligent men and women condemning the violence of stones with the same moral outrage as the violence of exploding bullets.
I have no doubt that they believe they are acting in self-defense, that they fear that their country and people are facing a real threat.
Palestinians and Israelis, Muslims, Christians and Jews it is time to pray for the city of prayer. If peaceful coexistence is our only chance, then the vast majority of Palestinians and Israelis that have supported the peace process have more in common with each other than with the extremists in their own camp. It shows strength not weakness to put down those stones. It shows strength not weakness to pull back your soldiers and tanks.
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