This article was awarded honorable mention in the annual awards of Common Ground News.
Dr. Mohamed Mosaad
When the dust of the current Middle Eastern War settles down, the Israelis as well as the Palestinians will discover that they have always been together and alone! They, both of them, suffered, killed and were killed, and they, both of them, were exiled, persecuted, humiliated and sold lots of promises, condemnations and declarations. They are sharing the same past, whatever their role in this past was. And they are still sharing the same present, the same land, the same Holy Land, and the same future as well. The last point, sharing the same future, is unfortunately the most denied fact by both the Palestinians and the Israelis. Instead of facing this simple fact, that scientists could probably even prove genetically, they both prefer to overturn every stone in the our corners of the globe searching for an ally. While Palestinian and Israeli victims are falling every hour, Shaath and Peres tour Europe to convince the Europeans to line-up with their respective sides. Sharon, on the other hand, tried the US. Before his detention, Arafat also tried different countries ranging from the US to Vietnam! The Israelis and the Palestinians thus share, unfortunately, the same myopia.
Israel and Palestine are indeed alone. Neither the Israel-backing US nor the Palestine-supporting Europe is paying in flesh and blood. Doing its best, the Arab World presented the Saudi initiative, the content of which was already signed in Oslo nine years ago and declared in the Arab summit even one year earlier. For their part, the Arab masses offered one-week demonstrations plus some good enthusiastic national songs. Will wailing Europe invest its money, again, in the Palestinian lands? Certainly not! Will the US pay some attention to the Arab rage or the Israeli interests before hitting Iraq? Certainly no! Did not Tora Bora occupy the first pages, pushing Nethanya and Bethlehem to the back of the journals once before? Of course, the time will come when Baghdad seizes the limelight, and nobody will care about Israel and Palestine any more.
In addition, Palestinians and the Israelis share the same psychological complexes. They both think the US, only the US, can solve their problems. They both have the same fears of each other. They have similar paranoid ideas and beliefs about each other. They have the same persecutory delusions: "they want to destroy us, they don’t believe we should exist, they will throw us in the sea/Sinai…etc". In an industrial and capitalist world, leave alone an information world, they both are still measuring their success by the yardstick of how many square meters each one can take from the other. Moreover, they both suffer from the same egocentric thinking. Both of them believe the world, our world, will be gravely imperiled if the 100 year-old Middle East conflict is not immediately solved. They have maintained the same delusion for decades. Amazingly, they even believe that the entire world will hold its breath and will not move until they reach a solution!
The Israeli and Palestinian leaders have the same strategy. Yes, they have one! It is very clear for both of them. Their wise strategy says, “They lose; we win.” Mr. Sharon is calculating his victory according to the destruction he made in the Palestinian lands. How many Palestinians did he kill? How many homes did he demolish? How many trees did he uproot? How many young men did he arrest… etc. For his part, Arafat is carefully calculating how many suicide bombers he sent. How many civilians did he blow up? How much is the Israeli economy suffering? How much is Israeli tourism suffering?…. Sharon declared that his Defensive Shield operation was successful. He does not think of the moral, political and economic disaster he brought on his people. Arafat said the Palestinians won the battle; he refuses to look around and see first hand the fruits of his "victory."
The Palestinians and the Israelis have one future, which they can build only together. In this future they can find no better ally than each other. The simple fact is that they can lose together or win together, live together or die together; there are no other choices!
Secure Israel means secure Palestine. Prosperous Palestine means prosperous Israel. The other alternative has already been tried. When both Israel and Palestine are doing well, we can then think of a better Middle East and a better world. However, as long as they are struggling, they will have to suffer alone. They should hurry up and make the correct choice, before the already bored “audience” starts to switch channels to watch the upcoming CNN show of “Iraq Under US Attack”!
Dr. Mohamed Mosaad
We must be the change we wish to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi
Dr Mosaad is an Egyptian psychiatrist, sociologist, peace activist and coordinator of the Abrahamic Forum an International Interfaith dialog.
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