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Honouring Nakba 66 years on: The story of Palestine

The story of 1948 Nakba is a tapestry of thousands of Palestinian stories linked together by a thin thread made of hope (Amal) and resilience (Sumud).

The story of Nakba is my grand parents stories. As a young child I used to sit next to my grand mothers and listen to their stories about the Nakba. For them it was hard losing everything they had. Telling the story day in day out to their grand children was their way to "let it out". We were their "de facto psycotherapists". But their stories stayed within my soul.

I used to think about this a lot (why us? why did Nakba happen? you know philosophical questions that keep going on in the minds of those who can't live with injustice!). My life experience and my meeting with Batsheva - an Israeli woman living in Sydney - helped me understand that everything happens for a reason, everything has its place in the scheme of history, nothing is permanent, nothing is certain and things don't stay the same and that we can change our fate if we wake up one day and decide to change the course of our life's journey.

Most importantly I learnt that transmuting our pain to others creates more misery and pursuing an ideology to further one's own interests no matter the nobility of the cause excluding others in the equation is not the answer. Herzl thought he was right. But 200 years later he helped his people become strong at the expense of another - the Palestinians. For me that's not a noble ideology. It might sound good for those it's intended to help but it's not noble. Nobility is when one thinks of everyone not only oneself. The idea that man is a self interested animal is flawed. Its consequences are brutal for both oppressed and oppressor.

I prefer Rabbi Abraham Joshua Hescel's philosophy: “...morally speaking, there is no limit to the concern one must feel for the suffering of human beings, that indifference to evil is worse than evil itself, that in a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible.”

My conclusion to a life of enquiry for a solution to Palestine (it has been on my mind for over 30 years!) is to find inclusive and spiritual solutions that benefit all parties involved NOT one party at the expense of another. It takes profound wisdom to accept that we are all human no matter the ethnicity no matter the religion born of the spirit, then we all deserve to be treated with dignity and we all deserve to live peacefully in our homes and on our land. It's an illusion that we are different and that some of us deserve to be treated differently... It's an illusion born in the mind of men of the flesh and not the spirit.

Be hopeful my friends for hope and resilience stem from the spirit not the flesh


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