Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Clash of Cultures

As a resident of Shilo who sees Turmos Ayya spread out in the valley beneath my home, or drives by the western border of the village when I drive to or from Jerusalem, there is a great deal of curiosity about who lives there, what they believe etc. One of the "rumors" that I've heard is that a sizeable number of the families who live there have strong "connections" with the United States. The simplest form of "connection" would be a family member who lives and works there, much like the Italian and other European communities sent "representatives" to America at the turn of the 20th century.

I bring this up in the context of trying to understand where our neighbor's "heads" are at; what they believe; to what extent are they capable of the concept of co-existence! Ideally I'd like to believe that this "American Connection" would have a positive influence, opening my neighbor's to the possibilities of coexistence and mutual tolerance.

What caused me to revisit my wishful thinking was a very heart-felt article by an American Arab in the New York Post today. Read "One Arab's Apology" by Emilio Karim Dabul, then ask yourself. If a man who lives in the heartland of freedom and tolerance is afraid to publicly voice self-doubt and criticism of his faith and ethnic group, what can I expect from an Arab who lives in the Middle East?

7 comments:

westbankmama said...

Before 1993 and the Oslo Accords things were better.

yaser said...

being an arab i tottaly agree with what mr. Emilio had to say .
i've posted his op-ed in my blog ,because i believe his views are very valid
http://roneceve.blogspot.com/2006/09/fighting-back-terrorism.html

Anonymous said...

i'm a man from Turmos Ayya the village u r talking about,i just want to tell u one thing,we r in this land before u and u came and steel our land,my grandfather have land in shilo and we still have the papers that prove that,i wish u will have the courge to publish this comment and don't delet it

Anonymous said...

As a Turmos Ayya resident living in the US I would like to say that it is always good to listen to the others openions, especially to poeple from Shilo. I was amazed by the level of dialog between Turmos Ayya resident and Avraham. I wounder why Turmos Ayya resident is not writing any more. please keep talking, pease to all. SA

JIHAD, TURMOSAYYA RESIDENT TOO said...

WELL PALESTINE IS FOR PALESTINANS, AND ITS PROMISED TO U GUYS BUY GREAT BRITAIN
THEY PROMISED THAT BECAUSE THEY WANTED AN APOLOGY FROM U GUYS FOR WHAT HAPPENED TO JEWS IN THE NAZI DEAD CAMPS
ONE DAY AS WE ALL WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR OUR LAND BACK, WE WILL RETAIN IT SOONER OR LATER, INSHALLAH (ALLAH WILLING) IT WILL BE ARAB'S OWNED AGAIN
ONE LAST THING
ITS A GREAT THING TO TALK ABOUT AND HEAR FROM BOTH SIDES
I LIVED IN TURMOSAYYA FOR ALMOST 10 YEARS, LOK FROM MY HOUSE, TWO SIDES AND I SEE SHILO, I WONDER HOW YOU GUYS SEE US FROM THAT SIDE? I WOULD LIKE TO SEE SOME PICS OF TURMOSAYYA TAKEN FROM SHILO'S SIDE.

Anonymous said...

In order to have a dialogue, both parties have to agree to find a solution. However, no one is more capable of more hate , extremism, and anger than the settlers. Almost weekly, I hear horror stories about how they came into the village, asked why a person has a two-bedroom house when there’s only one person residing there. Other stories include how the settlers stole their neighbors' olives during the olive-picking season or chopped down the olive trees altogether, a horrible thing to do considering that olives and olive oil are extremely important staples for the Palestinian farmer. Do the settlers desire peace or total annihilation of the Palestinians? There are countless examples. What do the settlers have to be angry about? They strategically occupy the most beautiful hills that had been so lovingly tended by people they usurped it from. A ready-made house!!! WOW! I wish I could have that much luck! Like Moses coming down the mountain with the Ten Commandments, they feel entitled to lay down the law for people outside their faith and domain. Why do the hard-working people of Turmosayya, having built beautiful homes from the sweat of their brows after years upon years of exile be in constant fear of the destruction of their homes? And why should they be in constant fear that the settlers can and will come down, provoke many, injure or maim anyone who so much as looks at them or any Israeli soldier in a non-subservient way? Who are these settlers? Masters of slaves trying to get back at Pharaoh's obduracy to let the Hebrews go! Palestinians are very proud and hard-working people who should not have to be punished just to ease up the memories of Jewish pain.
Still and all,I wish to hear of a permanent peace that can only be achieved through dialogue and the willingness to co-exist.

Yoel.Ben-Avraham said...

no one is more capable of more hate , extremism, and anger than the settlers
It never ceases to amaze me. People invariably believe what they want to believe. Also, when people fabricate lies, those lies more often than not, project what they themselves are capable of (or desire to do) than what is actually happening.

I am the last one to deny that when Arabs (and anarchists or activists of the radical Israeli Left) initiative provocations by trying to work land that has been under Jewish control for years, violence can happen. For the most part I know that most Jews would try to avoid that, but it can happen.

That not withstanding, please come and visit. No where in Shilo will you hear hatred. It isn't taught to our children in their schools, it isn't broadcast over speakers from our synagogues, and rarely is a hate filled comment heard over the dinner table in a home in Shilo. And this despite the loss of children and other loved ones to Arab terror attacks. This is something I know can not be said about my neighbors. I listen to their sermons of venom from my back porch!

True, residents like myself do not want Arabs working in our community. Individuals like myself studiously avoid purchasing products or services I know were manufactured by Arabs ... at least for the duration of hostilities. But once true co-existence should come, something I'm afraid Arab Muslims are not capable of but we can always hope, I will be the first to enter a joint venture to build an economy of peace and cooperation with my neighbors in the Shilo valley.

Until that time I live according to the wisdom of an old Arab aphorism: Respect them but suspect them.