FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

We Refuse to be Enemies

I have just returned from a concert by Gabriel Meyer Halevy, an Argentine-Israeli musician. He is the son of Marshall Meyer, an American rabbi who lived in Argentina during that country’s “Dirty War” in which thousands of people became “desaparecidos.” Marshall Meyer’s work helped save the lives of dozens of people who were persecuted by the Argentine military. His son Gabriel carries his father’s same concern for peace and human rights.

During the concert, Gabriel started by singing one of the most beautiful songs for peace, “I only ask of God,” a song known all over the world. The song was written by Leon Gieco, an Argentine musician, and its lyrics still resonate as I leave the concert.

I only ask of God

Not to let me be indifferent to the wars

It is a big monster that treads hard

On the poor innocence of the people

Gabriel, who lives in Israel, told the audience how, during the last Israeli offensive on Gaza he joined with several Arab friends and, in the middle of the conflict surrounding them -like staying in the eye of a storm, he said- lived for several days in total community of working and praying for peace. Their action was part of a growing movement called We refuse to be enemies.

The movement has the participation of Arabs, Israelis and Israeli Arabs united in their longing for peace. The We refuse to be enemies slogan has now turned into an international social media campaign against the unnecessary deaths in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and on the need for peace in the region.

During the time Gabriel was with his Palestinian friends, living without any of the modern conveniences of the age -no Wi-Fi, no cellular phones, no computers- they only learned of the war raging around them through one of the members of the group. She lived nearby, and twice a day returned to her home to learn what was happening and convey the news to the rest of the group.

“Totally isolated from our surroundings,” said Gabriel, “we cared for the animals in the farm, a donkey, a few chickens, rabbits, and planted some trees, trees that represented a counterpoint to the lives that were being destroyed at the time.”

Although a small movement at the moment, We Refuse to be Enemies can become an important source of activities where both Palestinian and Israelis who want to know each other better join in a necessary step towards peace. In this regard, I remember an old Israeli professor who lives in Jerusalem who told me that, aside from his gardener, he had never spoken to a Palestinian person. How can there be peace among people who don’t know each other?

Ignorance breeds hate and hate breeds violence. By getting to know each other better, both Israelis and Palestinians create the necessary conditions for peace. As Israeli poet and composer Amir Paiss stated, “When we choose Love over Fear, we re-educate ourselves and educate our children to seeing one another as partners for Peace rather than rivals for war.”

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award and a national journalism award from Argentina.

More articles by:

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of the 1979 Overseas Press Club of America award for the article “Missing or Disappeared in Argentina: The Desperate Search for Thousands of Abducted Victims.”

November 20, 2018
John Davis
Geographies of Violence in Southern California
Anthony Pahnke
Abolishing ICE Means Defunding it
Maximilian Werner
Why (Mostly) Men Trophy Hunt: a Biocultural Explanation
Masturah Alatas
Undercutting Female Circumcision
Jack Rasmus
Global Oil Price Deflation 2018 and Beyond
Geoff Dutton
Why High Technology’s Double-Edged Sword is So Hard to Swallow
Binoy Kampmark
Charges Under Seal: US Prosecutors Get Busy With Julian Assange
Rev. William Alberts
America Fiddles While California Burns
Forrest Hylton, Aaron Tauss and Juan Felipe Duque Agudelo
Remaking the Common Good: the Crisis of Public Higher Education in Colombia
Patrick Cockburn
What Can We Learn From a Headmaster Who Refused to Allow His Students to Celebrate Armistice Day?
Clark T. Scott
Our Most Stalwart Company
Tom H. Hastings
Look to the Right for Corruption
Edward Hunt
With Nearly 400,000 Dead in South Sudan, Will the US Finally Change Its Policy?
Thomas Knapp
Hypocrisy Alert: Republicans Agreed with Ocasio-Cortez Until About One Minute Ago
November 19, 2018
David Rosen
Amazon Deal: New York Taxpayers Fund World Biggest Sex-Toy Retailer
Sheldon Richman
Art of the Smear: the Israel Lobby Busted
Chad Hanson
Why Trump is Wrong About the California Wildfires
Dean Baker
Will Progressives Ever Think About How We Structure Markets, Instead of Accepting them as Given?
Robert Fisk
We Remember the Great War, While Palestinians Live It
Dave Lindorff
Pelosi’s Deceptive Plan: Blocking any Tax Rise Could Rule Out Medicare-for-All and Bolstering Social Security
Rick Baum
What Can We Expect From the Democrat “Alternative” Given Their Record in California?
Thomas Scott Tucker
Trump, World War I and the Lessons of Poetry
John W. Whitehead
Red Flag Gun Laws
Newton Finn
On Earth, as in Heaven: the Utopianism of Edward Bellamy
Robert Fantina
Shithole Countries: Made in the USA
René Voss
Have Your Say about Ranching in Our Point Reyes National Seashore
Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail