Comments: Does Israel Need A National Program of Healing and Reconciliation?

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Jonathan , Brunswick ME   12/09/05
moving on?
here's a comment I received from an Israeli mediator colleague: Hi Jonathan! Glad to see you're still coming here and haven't given up on us Israelis, and also that you're "alive and well" (after all you went through). I receive mediate.com email and read your article about healing and reconciliation. What is interesting is that you left and remained with the sense of trauma while we moved on. It's like "we got over that", which of course, is not true, but we like to believe it, just as we live with the horrors of the terrorist attacks and wake up the next day, look at the names of the victims, feel terrible for their families, and then go about our routine lives (carry on....). Now we're in the midst of the political games, charades, antagonisms and personal vandettas - that's the news of the day (who said what about whom?) and the subject of the surveys predicting the elections....Who has time for "healing and reconciliation"? And we all know, in spite of all the internal divisions, that we share a common "enemy" and threat. More serious than the internal strife is the Arab population within Israel - the lack of equality, trust, etc. I believe that if Israeli Arabs felt good here (in all respects), they would be active and successful in convincing their relatives on the other side of the fence that living with Jews in the holy land is feasible and even worthwhile. Yes, Israeli Jews seem to feel that one day of "soul searching" (Yom Kippur) per year is enough. They fast, "atone"? and then go back to their ususal way of living, hurting others, cheating, survival skills par excellence. And it doesn't matter if one has a kipa on his head or not - human nature comes in many varieties, with it's good and it's bad.