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.”

Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
Ted Rall
Why Christine Ford vs. Brett Kavanaugh is a Train Wreck You Can’t Look Away From
Lauren Regan
The Day the Valves Turned: Defending the Pipeline Protesters
Ralph Nader
Questions, Questions Where are the Answers?
Binoy Kampmark
Deplatforming Germaine Greer
Raouf Halaby
It Should Not Be A He Said She Said Verdict
Robert Koehler
The Accusation That Wouldn’t Go Away
Jim Hightower
Amazon is Making Workers Tweet About How Great It is to Work There
Robby Sherwin
Rabbi, Rabbi, Where For Art Thou Rabbi?
Vern Loomis
Has Something Evil This Way Come?
Steve Baggarly
Disarm Trident Walk Ends in Georgia
Graham Peebles
Priorities of the Time: Peace
Michael Doliner
The Department of Demonization
David Yearsley
Bollocks to Brexit: the Plumber Sings
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail