Wednesday, January 18, 2006

So Near But Yet So Far

I've been "living on" the Internet since the early 80's. Definitely you can find my "fingerprint" on websites and discussion forums throughout "cyberspace", and despite dire warnings to be careful, my personal policy has always been to use my own identity. It certainly was not surprising to find 'fan' mail in my inbox from anti-Semites and self-hating Leftist Jews, and the occasional righteous Arab. What was surprising was to receive a polite straight forward message from an Arab who lives less than 2 kilometers away from where I live.

We exchanged a couple of innocent messages from time to time and I have to admit, the idea of this being some kind of ploy either to lure me into becoming a hostage or to divulge information (readily available elsewhere) that might weaken the security of my community was always in my mind. Yet I did not want to walk away from an opportunity to use this small opening to learn more and share ideas. At some point I realized the answer was staring me in the face. Daily I invest hours updating several personal and many professional blogs! Why not create a blog - co-authored by myself and my Arab neighbor to share our exchange of messages so others can read them and discover together with us the two worlds that appear to be in inevitable conflict.

So I invite my Arab correspondent and you to share what I hope will be a fascinating exploration of two worlds in collision. Maybe through our efforts we can find a way to contribute in some small way to finding a way to coexist.

Yoel Ben-Avraham
Shilo, Benyamin


To protect my Arab correspondent I set up a dummy email address so messages to and from him (or her?) cannot reveal his/her real identity. There are forces in the Palestinian world that might see such an open public exchange as treason-to-the-cause for which the Palestinians have only one answer - kangaroo courts and a lynching.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to both of you. What you are both doing, in the face of very much anger on both sides, is important work. Keep the dialogue going and maybe others will be inspired to do the same. Thank you both.