FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

We Refuse to be Enemies

by

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.”

February 21, 2018
Cecil Bothwell
Billy Graham and the Gospel of Fear
Ajamu Baraka
Venezuela: Revenge of the Mad-Dog Empire
Edward Hunt
Treating North Korea Rough
Binoy Kampmark
Meddling for Empire: the CIA Comes Clean
Ron Jacobs
Stamping Out Hunger
Ammar Kourany – Martha Myers
So, You Think You Are My Partner? International NGOs and National NGOs, Costs of Asymmetrical Relationships
Michael Welton
1980s: From Star Wars to the End of the Cold War
Judith Deutsch
Finkelstein on Gaza: Who or What Has a Right to Exist? 
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
War Preparations on Venezuela as Election Nears
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Military Realities
Steve Early
Refinery Safety Campaign Frays Blue-Green Alliance
Ali Mohsin
Muslims Face Increasing Discrimination, State Surveillance Under Trump
Julian Vigo
UK Mass Digital Surveillance Regime Ruled Illegal
Peter Crowley
Revisiting ‘Make America Great Again’
Andrew Stewart
Black Panther: Afrofuturism Gets a Superb Film, Marvel Grows Up and I Don’t Know How to Review It
CounterPunch News Service
A Call to Celebrate 2018 as the Year of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois by the Saturday Free School
February 20, 2018
Nick Pemberton
The Gun Violence the Media Shows Us and the State Violence They Don’t
John Eskow
Sympathy for the Drivel: On the Vocabulary of President Nitwit
John Steppling
Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk Into a Bar…
John W. Whitehead
America’s Cult of Violence Turns Deadly
Ishmael Reed
Charles F. Harris: He Popularized Black History
Will Podmore
Paying the Price: the TUC and Brexit
George Burchett
Plumpes Denken: Crude thinking
Binoy Kampmark
The Caring Profession: Peacekeeping, Blue Helmets and Sexual Abuse
Lawrence Wittner
The Trump Administration’s War on Workers
David Swanson
The Question of Sanctions: South Africa and Palestine
Walter Clemens
Murderers in High Places
Dean Baker
How Does the Washington Post Know that Trump’s Plan Really “Aims” to Pump $1.5 Trillion Into Infrastructure Projects?
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Taking on the Pentagon
Patrick Cockburn
People Care More About the OXFAM Scandal Than the Cholera Epidemic
Ted Rall
On Gun Violence and Control, a Political Gordian Knot
Binoy Kampmark
Making Mugs of Voters: Mueller’s Russia Indictments
Dave Lindorff
Mass Killers Abetted by Nutjobs
Myles Hoenig
A Response to David Axelrod
Colin Todhunter
The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector
Cesar Chelala
A Student’s Message to Politicians about the Florida Massacre
Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail