Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The following email was written by my son and forwarded to me:

Mon., 17 Apr 2006 17:23:09 -0700 (PDT)
<> wrote: --------------------------------- Dear Abass, For the last three nights I have had no other desire but to watch the PBS special Auschwitz: Inside theNazi State. And each night afterwards, as I attempted to sleep, I imagined the horror of what took place and I was there. I saw myself standing in the line at the train station of Auschwitz with my family. I imagined that I would have been selected as a slave laborer, though my days would have been numbered. Suada, Ihope, would have been sent to the area known as Canada, where she would pick through the prisoners belongings searching for valuables for the Nazis to steal. I would pray that she would survive and that later she would not be raped and murdered by the Soviet troops who came to "liberate" the camp. What would become of my son, Adam? Without a doubt, he would have been herded into that dark underground room,which would have quickly been made airtight. In the total blackness of the room he would have been very scared, calling for Mama, but this time she could not come running to comfort him as she always does. And then there would be quiet. These last few days I have felt such pain, I am in pain now. How could such cruelty be committed or allowed to go on for so long. However, I also have a feeling of sadness. That sadness is brought about bythe fact that many American Jews who attend the Mid East Peace Discussion (MEPD) can not empathize with the pain of the plight of the Palestinians. A couple of Sundays ago, when Abu Rizik spoke of thehorror of what took place in Palestine in 1948, some of those American Jews who were attending for the first time tried to shout him down or told him that was ancient history. What really hurt me was that several of our American Jewish friends who have been coming to the MEPD for many years and I consider as good friends, sat there and said nothing. They knowAbu Rizik and they know his heart is in the right place. Believe me, if someone came to the MEPD and began belittling or questioning the horrors of theholocaust, I or any of the regulars from thePalestinian-American camp would respond without hesitation. As I think about what took place that Sunday, I am not as upset by the lady taking photos of the participants of the MEPD or the actions of the first timers as I am that none of our American Jewish friends spokeout in Abu Rizik’s defense. Nor did they make any effort to explain to these newcomers how the MEPD should be conducted. After all this time, we should be further in our understanding of one another. I have been coming to the MEPD for about five years, as have many of the American Jews I still see there and it seems they have learned nothing from us about the other in the Israel-Palestine conflict. For example, after the Peace Cafe in question, Edward Levy who has been coming as long as I can remember came up to me afterwards and lectured me on my "conspiracy theories" of how Israel is handling the Palestinians in the occupied terrorities. In her book Israeli and Palestinian Voices, CathySultan has a passage that I firmly believe, "Peacebetween Israelis and Palestinians does not require them to agree on the events which comprise their respective histories. Instead, it necessitates a mutual acknowledgement of the injustices each has suffered." Her words could also apply to us at MEPD. The way in which we try to understand and feel each peoples’ pain and suffering is key if the MEPD is to move forward in a positive way. Rashid


Post a Comment

<< Home