Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Issue in a Nutshell

Dear Friend,
Dr. Sabella is a Palestinian who teaches at Bethlehem University and expresses THE ISSUE succinctly.
It is first of all a human problem.
Then it is a socio-political, military matter where forces conspire to build up WALLS that isolate people; or break them down to bring people together.
JRK (with thanks to Pauline Coffman of I/PMN).

The Other Day: A Palestinian Feel

Dr. Bernard Sabella

July 15, 2010

The other day

I met my Jewish neighbor just across the street and his face looked just exactly like my face

I saw him play with his children just exactly as I would play with my children

I heard him speak tenderly to his wife just exactly as I would speak tenderly to my wife

I witnessed as he opened with reverence his Holy Book just exactly as I would open my Holy Book

I noticed how he takes care of his home just exactly as I would take care of my home

I observed as he communicated warmly with his neighbors as I would with mine



And yet

My Jewish neighbor does not see me nor does he think

That I play with my children the way he does with his

That I speak tenderly to my wife as he does

That I open my Holy Book with reverence as he does his Holy Book

That I care about my home the way he does about his

That I communicate warmly with my neighbors as he does with his



And More

My Jewish neighbor does not know my pain

When I am denied entry to my city through checkpoints and Separation Wall

When the identity cards of my children are taken away from them

When I cannot be with my wife because she is from the West Bank and I am from Jerusalem

When my home is demolished because I cannot get a building permit

When my neighbors are evicted from their homes and they have no place to go



My Jewish neighbor and I live so close to each other yet worlds apart

His world is one with a semblance of normalcy

Mine is one with threatening transition from one status to another

He feels filled with the dreams of his forefathers

I feel inspired by the dreams of my forefathers

He won't let go

I won't let go



My Jewish neighbor and I share the geographic space

Can we be like each other in our hopes and dreams?

Can he recognize my face which is exactly like his face?

Can he touch my pain?

Can we share the future with the dignity of people whose faces are so much like each other?