One should . . . be able to see things as hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald
I often wonder about the people who have been oppressed throughout the duration of the well over four decade (for some well over six) Israeli Palestinian conflict. These people who have lost their homes, their land, their families and left without a shred of dignity. I wonder how one can go on without hope? What makes them continue on, year after year, knowing that the manifestation of their hope grows dimmer and dimmer with every passing year.
In the span of one week, four Palestinian young men have been killed by the IDF. The IDF portrays these young men as threats to the existence of the State of Israel, but let’s be honest, when are a handful of rocks a threat against the most technologically advanced weaponry.
Mustafa Abu Jarad shot (deceased), Samir Awad shot (deceased), Yazan,; aged 12 or 13, shot and one unnamed Gazan farmer, shot (deceased) all in the span of one week. Even if the IDF reports are correct, when is it acceptable to extinguish the life of a human being over stone throwing, or coming to close to a barrier which sits on the victims land, not the land of the oppressor. I think of the grief of the mothers, the fathers, the siblings, understanding the enormity of their loss, the magnitude of their pain and wonder how can they possibly hold onto hope.
These unnecessary deaths of these four Palesitnians prompted thoughts about the trials of Dr. Izzeidin Abuelaish. During the massacre on Gaza in 2008, I remember Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish who lost three daughters and a niece when his house was shelled. During Operation Cast Lead, Dr. Abuelaish was regularly updating the on ground operation in Gaza and moments after the attack were broadcast on live television. Dr. Abudelaish, who has led his whole life to bring peace wrote a book, “I Shall Not Hate” after the death of his family.
I guess that basic human nature is what makes us carry on when it seems that we have nothing to carry on for. I think though it is our choice to decide whether we want to make things better or not. “Hope springs eternal” comes to mind when I think of the courage, the love and the strength of human spirit this man possesses. The book concludes with Martin Luther King’s “”Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends” and this much I know is true.