That comes as a surprise to us. Doesn’t it? - That we have to struggle to maintain our humanity. Think of Jewish and Arab Israelis lathering their bodies in sulfurous mud and bathing, separately, not talking to each other - especially during the violent times - yet side by side in the healing waters of the Dead Sea, a body of water so salty you can lie on top of it and read the paper. And people do, read the paper on the Dead Sea. Or, think of Arabs and Jews shopping for spices and fresh fruit, still not really talking yet side by side, in the open-air market-stalls and the malls , or standing with small children, cousins, aunts, their picnic baskets and their sandwiches at look-out posts around the country marveling at its beauty, as Israelis so much love to do. Think of the wounded and dying – both Arabs and Jews - being treated side by side in hospital wards, at times the perpetrator of violence actually lying by the side of his victim. Envision an ambulance, sirens screaming through the battle-strewn streets of Ramallah, rushing a little boy with a severe illness to his doctor at the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem. Know that the following day that same doctor and his own little girl are murdered by a bomb in a Jerusalem coffee house.
A friend of mine slipped as she was crossing the road to the hospital in the north of the country. A strong female hand helped her up, “come,” a voice told her, ‘I’ll help you to the door.” My friend was looking into the dark eyes and covered face of an Arab woman. “Thank you” my friend said. “No problem,” said the woman, “we’re all of us human, aren’t we? -Humans just trying to get by.”
Think about all of this while bombs are being ignited around the country, at any time of the day or night, by faceless fundamentalists and their agendas.