Saar Szekely: Israeli Contestant on Big Brother Talks About Occupation of Palestine

Saar Szekely has guts. Lots of them. Being a left-wing Israeli, apparently the only reason he went into Big Brother was to talk about the occupation of Palestine.

Sitting by a pool, contestants in the Israeli version of Big Brother start discussing politics. One of the female contestants boasts about how proud she feels when IDF people salute their flag on independence day and how moved she is by the memory of Israeli fallen soldiers.

Saar Szekely then replies to her that the IDF haven’t defended anything in a long time and that it doesn’t take 100 soldiers to guard 3 children with no facial hair on a hill that was stolen from the Palestinians. You can check out the rest of the heated conversation here.

“You need to wake up and realize that the only way to save this country is to remove it from this conflict and the only way to remove it from this conflict is to stop coveting more and more land, more and more power, and to realize that real power means stopping the fighting not prolonging it indefinitely.”

This is an Israeli man criticizing his country, the lands being stolen, the people being killed. To a non-Israeli point of view, this man is a pioneer – taking his point of view for his whole country to hear. And you know it will resonate with many who are watching. He has apparently reached the finals, against all odds. To many Israelis, on the other hand, he’s a traitor of everything they’ve done so far.

What’s fascinating, at least to me, is that a similar discussion can take place in Lebanon today, with a few minor adjustments and it would still resonate true. Saar Szekely is accused of calling the IDF murderers and of turning on “his own people.” If we, as Lebanese, had had a conversation about similar themes on national television, wouldn’t some deem others as traitors?

If we, as Lebanese, truly want to see change in Israel, we need to hope for more people like him to get to power and not to wipe the country off the face of the Earth. And I hope such a man can be the stepping stone into lessening the blinded hate towards Jews in Lebanon.

31 thoughts on “Saar Szekely: Israeli Contestant on Big Brother Talks About Occupation of Palestine

  1. There are many people in Israel who think like this person, many who think totally the opposite way and even more are in between.

    When I was in Haifa, there were Jews who did not know about what settlers are doing in Hebron. At college an Arab student refused to believe Muslims were allowed to pray in Israel. Another simply refused to believe Arabs still even lived in Israel, because the Jews killed them all.

    The Israeli soldiers in Hebron either seemed to hate their job or direct their frustration towards the Arab civilians. In Hebron itself some Arabs praise martyrs who did nothing more than blowing up a few little Jewish children and got killed in the process. In turn, the settlers try to throw carbage and rocks on the Arab market, which was quite shocking.

    Ignorance is a very good weapon. Jewish Politicians on the Israeli side who dream of a Greater Israel without Arabs – and Arab politicians who think the Palestinians will ever magically take back all of Palestine are both actually interested in the status quo: any real changes to improve life on both sides will prove them to be incompetent. So they shout something that is not possible ( without genocide anyway) to keep the ignorant calm: and the cycle continues…

    Incidentally, I told my girlfriend about the cucumber fatwa. I enjoy reading your blog.

    Reply
    • Of course there are – as is the case in almost any other country in the world. But those who think like this man are very few, I believe, compared to the other mentalities: when you feel threatened, you become self-protective.
      Very interesting info you’ve given there. I didn’t know this was the case. You’d think being in a war-zone, more or less, means you need to be more aware.
      But I totally agree – politicians, especially in such circumstances, thrive off ignorance. If more people had been educated and aware, on both sides, the conflict might have been resolved way back when.

      And thank you for reading! Carrots are the next “big” thing – no pun intended :P

      Reply
      • Well Elie, the thing is that if you are Israeli and you live in the big cities on the coast, it is actually quite easy to forget about the war-zone. I have the impression that in the case of conflict in Lebanon, Beirut usually gets to feel the brunt. This is not the case for Tel Aviv and Haifa. The suicide bombing stopped after they put up that wall through the west bank. All that really happens in the cities is the occasional stabbing of soldiers and minor incidents.

        As an Israeli you don’t have to set one foot in the Westbank your whole life unless you are there for army reasons. So if you live in Tel Aviv you can simply ignore the conflict and you will not notice it. The militant settler youth are a million light years away in lifestyle when compared to the youth in Tel Aviv. The real way you notice it is because of the high prices of everything to keep the army going. And maybe one day Hezbollah can shoot Tel Aviv, then the story will be different of course.
        And even if you live in a big settlement, you usually take your car to work in the big cities anyway. And the roads to the big settlements are well-protected so at most you will get one infiltration or stone-throwing action and that’s it.

        The bizarre thing is, the Israeli bus from Jerusalem to Hebron is the cleanest I ever saw there. But people just don’t go there. In many ways these settlers just live in another universe, but they have very powerful friends to make their life possible, and that of others miserable.

        Downtown Haifa is very mixed and if you just look at appearances it seems like a perfect coexistence. You hear Arab and Hebrew on the streets all the time and they visit each other’s shops and go to each other’s restaurants. Of course if you look further you have to admit that less money is going to keep the roads and houses in the Arab neighborhoods looking nice. But even then you don’t notice anything war-like at all.

        Excuse me for all the rambling, but my main point is that Israelis can isolate themselves from whatever is going on in the Westbank. Because unlike Tel Aviv business districts and the sea of Galilee they don’t really need the Westbank to survive as a wealthy country, and quite cynically for some the occupation of the Westbank just makes it easy to get to the dead sea.

        Nevertheless even without the “war feeling” you have to be really ignorant not to see the social injustice in every day life. Because not enough money is going to the Arab sector of the population. Then again, the tension is not always Palestinian versus Jews. In Nazareth the Muslims put up a huge banner in front of the Annunciation Church in Nazareth:
        http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tMijjqDhJOw/TauxHpWBtyI/AAAAAAAAEFA/Z6n0Mk0xkbk/s1600/kinneret2.jpg (it was still there in 2011)
        Furthermore, an academic study showed the Maronites of Haifa – who live in the Arab districts – feel even less Palestinian/Arab than they feel Israeli. Naturally there’s friction there.

        And my conclusion is again, all this social injustice could be replaced for the benefit of many, but not for the benefit of many politicians who thrive on the situation which exists.

        Reply
        • I didn’t know that was the case. You’d think that despite the peace state some Israelis live in that they’d still be aware that not everywhere is the same.
          In the case of conflicts with Lebanon, Beirut, the city, doesn’t get hit. At least that was the case in 2006. But the whole country would be aware of what’s happening and take caution. I assumed that would be the case elsewhere, especially that Israel/Palestine are in a state of perpetual war, unlike Lebanon.

          All the stuff you’re telling me about how Israeli society functions is new to me. There’s no way for me to know, obviously. But for the rest of the world, what goes on in the West Bank and Gaza reflect on the country as a whole. We, as Lebanese, tend to forget that Palestine/Israel is twice the area of Lebanon and that things are as different there to us as the way we live here is proposed to the world. We have a pretty open lifestyle, as I think you know.

          But I have to agree – there’s no way in a land that’s as divided and troubled that you don’t notice the injustice, the war, the killings. Unless you want to turn a blind eye. And thank you for sharing the picture with me. Didn’t know this. Would write a blog post about it if I had more information.

          Thank you for your comment Daniel, it was a fascinating read. And I definitely agree with your last point.

  2. Nice post.
    I’m an Israeli.I’m religious-and really love Saar.
    I also think that we need more ppl like him.
    He’s not a traitor.he doesnt want Israel to perish from the earth…he just seeks for justice-and want a Palestinian state besides Israel.-just like many other israelis want.(including me)
    We-jews and Israelis need to teach tolerance,and to encourage our ppl that the Palestinians deserve to get their own state.
    You-muslims,palestinians and pro-palestinians,need to teach tolerance and to encourage your ppl that the jews also deserve a state,and that a Palestinian state should exist beside Israel-not instead of it.

    we both should realize that the both ppl are here to stay-and that if we prefer life to death,and peace to troubles-we should find the way to live together.
    The sooner the better.

    Reply
    • To be honest I have no idea if I’m allowed by law to reply to this or not.
      I’m with the two-state solution. I’m not Muslim, nor am I Palestinian or pro-Palestinian. But the two-state solution is much more complex than it seems. To start: which border? Who gets the bigger share? Could a Palestine state have two segregated parts that do not have land to connect them?

      People need to get over their prejudices on both sides. But it’s very difficult with everything going on.

      Reply
      • This conflict cannot be solved in one moment,that’s for sure.
        But 2 state is the required start.
        Without 2 states 4 2 ppl-we cannot even dream of peace and normal relationship with each other.
        (I’m talking about Israelis and jews-with the Palis)
        Israel should return to 67′ borders (ofc with exchange of agreed territories )- that gives the palis a state that includes gaza ,east jerusalem and the west bank.
        As I said-this is a must be start,but both of the ppl have job to do..-starting by teaching to love-not to hate,to hope-not to fear.
        Stoping the Incitement..
        We should make peace-but also stop fighting..

        I dont have a lot of knowledge-but from what I have this is how I c the things.

        Btw-What do you mean that you may not be allowed to reply to my comment..?By which law??

        Reply
        • I agree with your proposition – at least this is what it’s the acceptable one nowadays: the 1967 borders.
          Anything other than that (going back) would be delusional for the Palestinians.

          Regarding the last sentence, I’m not sure if Lebanese law allows me to reply. But I figured I don’t care.

        • Palis also should forget about the “right of return”,and Israelis should forget of a “united Jerusalem”..
          Those who are not willing to compromise-dont want any agreement and peace..and they’ll never b satisfied..

          I think that peace with ppl-without interested party politicians from both sides..would be much easier..0:

          Anyways-Thx,appreciate your comments .
          Let’s hope for the best (and as I said-spread tolerance ..:)

        • As a Lebanese, I refuse to nationalize the Palestinians in my country. When they have their country, they can go back so the “right to return” is eventually their right if they have a country.

        • The “right of return” which they demand-is not into the Palestinian country,but into Israel.-besides the right demand for a Palestinian country.

          That means there will be a whole state for Palestinians,and another state that has a Palestinians as moaority,and jews +others as minority.

          We cannot afford it.It’ll be easier to say-ok,we give up,take the keys…

          As exact as you dont want all the palis in your country-even if they r nice and friendly..you want a lebanease county-where palis are allowed in-we want the same.

          We want 2 states for 2 ppl,not 2 states for 1 ppl (palis)

          Sure if Palestinians want to retue\rn to THEIR country-the Palestinian county-we dont have any “say” on this..it’s their full right,and this is the purpose of the Palestinian state.

        • The right to return is to Israel. But if they had two countries, it would be to their own. Lebanese have been fighting for years to prevent the nationalization of Palestinians.
          If the two-state solution were to be applied, the Palestinians would return to their part, I would presume.

        • Elie,The right to return that is being speaking of nowadays-is into Israel,besides establishing a Palestinian state.
          Israel will never allow it,cause as I said-once we do,we dont need also a Palestinian state-it’ll be *instead* of Israel.
          As Daniel said- someone in the Arab world should get the guts to tell the Palis that they are going to *their* state-not into the Israeli one.

          I believe that the Palestinian leadership is well aware to this fact,and “demands” this return just as a bargaining chip in the negotiations..

          Concerning your claim that all the Palis actions are “reaction” because they have been killed the most,I’m sorry but I have to disagree with you.
          I do think that Daniel had it right-even if Israel is the one to blame for starting this conflict (smth I dont believe.
          I think that both sides made lots of mistakes..Israel by building in the areas it occupied in 67,and by a the wrong treatment for the Palis..etc..
          Palestine mainly by rejecting the UN Partition Plan..and by directing violent actions towards civilians-instead of military forces for ex..)
          In addition-you cannot claim 1 side is right because it has been killed the most..
          You can just say that he didnt got a lot of luck…0:
          As you probably know,hundreds of hunreds of rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza on civilians…the fact that they didnt kill a lot doesnt make it right.

          Both sides are guilty.

          I also believe that history doesnt have to play a role here…yeah,I’ve mentioned history mistakes..but I think that we need to ignore them and to look at the facts-both sides are here to stay..
          so as you said-“Both countries should be facts for both sides”
          Plus,in my eyes, “Dont be right,be smart” is the moto in this conflict (and in general)

        • I don’t think both sides are convinced that the other will exist regardless of what happens. So the whole right to return goes along those lines.
          We will never agree on the “action vs reaction” idea. The way I see it, Israel’s reactions are way out of proportion with the action against which they retaliate that they become action in themselves. I am not being pro someone or against someone. I’m against rockets firing (I think it’s useless). And I’m against Palestinian politicians – I think they are all useless.
          But Israel does benefit from having superpowers on its side so it tends to get away with more things had another country done them.

          Yes, both sides have made mistakes. As to the idea of “peace,” sadly I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

        • Well,if they destory us..they dont need the “right of return”,if we destroy them-they also dont need it..
          The only q is when both sides are alive..0:
          And the only solution will take place in the Palestinian state.

          On the action-reaction issue.. + the proportion..-let’s agree on disagreement..(maybe we could reach an agreement..) but let’s keep it open ..:)

          You may be right concerning the “peace”

          Yeshayahu Leibowitz called to the gov to make a withdrawal from the occupied territories even without peace,
          and I agree with him.
          With “peace” and dialogue both sides will be more benefited,but either way,Israel should go back to 67′ lines,and to support a Pali state.
          The hamas will cont fighting?we’ll fight back..idk..but we gotta do what we gotta do.

        • Withdrawing from the occupied territories without peace is a very bold move. I salute Leibowitz (hadn’t heard of him before) for suggesting it.

      • It’s true that Palestinian politicians demand the right to return into Israel, it just proves how out of touch with reality they are. Or perhaps – as I believe – they know that such demands will give them infinite support among many Palestinians.

        I understand what Elie is saying about disproportional response from the Israeli side. On the other hand I must stress that no nation can allow certain actions against its civilians to go unpunished. Which brings us back to the action-reaction (who started it?) My action-reaction remark was meant to summarize this whole conflict, there are so many old wounds, it gets really hard to find a solution. Both sides will have a million reasons why they do not trust negotiations with the other side, meanwhile, hopes for a new generation to live in peace are dashed.

        I worked on a kibbutz which – I later discovered – is built on top of a former village (story of the Levant if you ask me, all civilizations built on top of each other). It was a shiite village which the French gave to the British in 1923. When Lebanon declared war, Israel captured and destroyed the village. All that I found left of this time is an abanoned mosque just outside the place, there also ruins from Phoenician times.
        Anyway, it’s just an example out of many. Some say Israel won fair and square, and it was stupid of Lebanon to attack in the first place (I think the Arabs would have attacked Lebanon if it stayed neutral, but that’s just me). Some say the area is a strategic asset, which is very true beyond doubt. Hassan Nasrallah still finds them yet another reason to keep on fighting, even though they are outside the Lebanese-Israeli blue line. Technically it never belonged to modern Lebanon (blame the colonial powers for that). Given south Lebanon’s history of infiltrations into Israel, I don’t think Israel would even consider giving up such a place.

        Back on track, I think there are hundreds if not thousands of examples like these and depending on your perspective one side is wrong and you cannot argue with the wrong side. Painful concessions will be needed.

        I have looked into Lebanon very often and thought, the Lebanese and Israelis are crazy not to make peace, the area is simply too beautiful. But many will rather see the region turn into the sand desert us Westerners believe it to be, before they think of peace. At least water won’t discriminate, if it’s not there everyone will go thirsty :(

        Reply
        • Palestinian politicians barely have a clue what they’re doing. I tend to dismiss anything that has to do with them. The only correct thing that they did lately was the speech Abbas gave at the UN.
          Nations shouldn’t allow actions against its civilians to go unpunished. But in 2006 when Hezbollah kidnapped 3 soldiers, Israel retaliated by bombing the whole country – a little extreme if you ask me. And mind you, they lost that war apparently. There are many wounds, action-reactions, but sometimes when the action is too insignificant, an overblown reaction becomes an action in itself.

          If you’re referring to the Shebaa Farms in your comment about the attacks and whatnot, it’s a big mess – one that can be solved with Syria, not Israel. In their current state, the Shebaa Farms are part of Syria (according to the UN), so UN resolution 425 doesn’t apply to them. But the land is Lebanese. Once Syria sends the required documents that prove it, Israel will be forced to retreat.

          I am not against peace. But I am definitely in a minority in the country. The problem is that many Lebanese see Israel as our only enemy state just because the Israelis don’t “belong” there. Whether they do or not is besides the point. I think Syria has had a worse occupation of Lebanon and can be considered a worse enemy (check this out if you’re interested: http://stateofmind13.com/2011/11/16/lebanons-syrian-occupation-a-persistent-matter-that-should-never-be-forgotten/ – a little long but I think you’d be interested).

          And yeah, Lebanon is a beautiful country. I have plenty of picture posts that I’d share :P

    • Ruth, Lebanon cannot absorb the Palestinians. It will only create demographic tensions and it would be a big fuck you (pardon my French) to all those Lebanese who fought preventing the Palestinians from turning Lebanon into “Palestine 2″. Besides, it is not really the job of host countries to naturalize war refugees, it’s not really Lebanons fault that they are (still) there.

      Someone in the Arab world will need to have the guts to tell the Palestinian refugees that they will go back to Westbank and Gaza and not modern Israel. If you don’t tell them that you are either lying or using them for political purposes.

      I used to support the settlements but right now I think it is simply not feasible to keep them. There is also an ethical issue with the fact that two million Palestinians aren’t exactly having a fun time living there. Although I’d blame their leadership for much of that, especially the terrorist Arafat and his delusional ideals. The settlers are only a minority of the population, and the ones who are there for political reasons are even a smaller group: most are there because of the housing benefits.
      I just don’t see how all settlements will appear, while some are mere villages or even containers, some are full-blown towns with huge malls, supermarkets and swimming pools.

      As for a land connection with Gaza and the Westbank: the Palestinians will never get this as long as they cannot guarantee Israel they will not use it for infiltration tactics. It’s a very problematic situation.
      I rode over highways which are not accesible for Palestinians (note: Israeli Arabs CAN go there), I passed tens of Palestinian cars at a checkpoint. And somewhere it feels wrong. But then the next morning one reads they opened up the road for Palestinians because the Supreme Court of Israel told them and within a week the Palestinians manage to kill an Israeli family and chase after cars. Israel’s obsession with security is not fully unjustified. If anything, at this point in the conflict it is extremely difficult to say what is an action, and what is a reaction. Egg or chicken?

      I am neither Israeli nor Lebanese nor Muslim nor Jewish. So I think everyone can legally speak to me without being arrested :-)

      Reply
      • Regarding Lebanon, fully agreed – obviously. There’s no way Palestinians will be nationalized. We have fought against it and we won’t let it. The major hurdle towards changing our citizenship law to allow Lebanese women to pass nationality to their children is the Palestinian refugee issue. They have no claim to our land and we shouldn’t give it to them.

        Leaders in the arab world are happy with the status quo. The gulf has money, everywhere else the Islamists are happy shouting and not doing anything. Things are good to them the way they are. It all boils down to what my little country can do – and everything goes back to us.

        I am against the settlements. The more settlements, the harder it will be for a peace deal to be struck. And I fully agree with your point regarding Palestinian leadership. I spoke about it before: http://stateofmind13.com/2011/05/14/the-nakba/ if they had better leadership, they wouldn’t be where they are today – US support to Israel and all.

        For the land connection between Gaza and the West Bank, I think it’s the most difficult point to fathom. How could you have a country that’s separated in half? The solution would be perhaps to have a neutral zone that belongs to neither. Regarding your last point, I think it’s a reaction. Because, honestly, in this whole thing the people that have been killed the most are the Palestinians. Many of them have had their homes taken from them.

        And yeah, we’re safe :p

        Reply
      • http://www.mako.co.il/news-military/israel/Article-0516a178476e631018.htm&sCh=3d385dd2dd5d4110&pId=1575680455

        Here Netanyahu says that the Palestinian state wont be like a swiss cheese.
        He says that it’ll be מדינה רציפה
        I cant find the word for רציפה:(
        But the meaning is that it’ll be smth big and not seperated in 100 places due to Israeli settlements or smth..
        There wont b holes ..

        I dont think that he talks here concerning Gaza..idk..cause he didnt go into details
        But at least he made it clear that palis wont have Israeli settlements that stuck in their state
        Theyll have their own ,whole state.

        Not that I trust this coward that much…but since he told it to the CNN,,it’ll be very hard for him to break his words.

        (maybe it was clear for you,btw,that this is what things will be like-but it wasn’t that clear,the Palestinian leadership was kinda worry about this issue)

        Reply
    • Thanks for the link to your article Elie! The area I was talking about is not the Shebaa farms. I have never been there. I did almost get to the village of Ghajar which is half in Lebanon, but the IDF told me not to enter the village due to the international dispute. The area is roughly here: http://maps.google.nl/?ll=33.134101,35.560513&spn=0.039028,0.084543

      It was in the French Mandate before 1923, but given to the British. It was defended by local militias and the Lebanese Army in 1948 but eventually lost to Israel. It is no longer claimed by your government but I believe Hassan Nasrallah claims it, maybe he wants to live on an Israeli kibbutz :)

      As for 2006, what can I say, the civilian loss was a tragedy. The bombs on Christian area were beyond insane, needless to say every civilian loss is equally bad. Nevertheless the stronger Hezbollah gets the stronger Israel will threaten to respond. Hezbollah turned from a nuisance to Israel in the 80s, to its most deadly enemy.

      I understand your countrymen’s feelings. I believe Israel has not been sincere in its dealings with Lebanon. On the other hand I must say that Lebanon’s inability to declare neutrality in 1948 means it signed to become the battleground for Israelis and Arabs. Although if I would have been Arab or Lebanese in 1948, I would have laughed at the partition plan of Palestine as well. Whether Israelis belong there, well, perhaps the question one should ask “can we get rid of them without genocide on their side and also on our side?”. If the dream is to get rid of Israel, then I am afraid one will wake up in a nightmare of destruction. I’d urge Lebanon and the Arab world to “defeat” Israel in terms of technological innovations, to “defeat” Israel by providing the average Arab with better health care and education than the average Israeli. This may not end the occupation of the West bank, but it is not like war against Israel has given any Palestinian more freedom.

      Many Israelis think that peace with Arabs is impossible because when Israel does “concessions” e.i retreating from South Lebanon, Sinai, and Gaza strip, all they get is more terrorism. Obviously it is a simplified and biased argument, but it is a widely shared perception. It’s an obsession with security, I believe all humans have this when someone threatens them.

      I really really just hope for a peaceful and democratic Levant, peace for Jerusalem, and an ugly highway from Tel Aviv to Beirut with a million falafel stands. Preferably before Easter celebrations.

      Reply
      • I have never heard of the area before :p But I actually have a friend from Blida. She wrote this in remembrance of the July 2006 war last year: http://stateofmind13.com/2011/07/20/the-july-2006-lebanonisrael-war-my-story/
        I think with the Ghajar village, the town is Lebanese. More drama, I guess. But the biggest deal is with the Shebaa farms. However, I don’t see Hezbollah ending after the farms have been freed – their agenda spans more than just Lebanon.

        In 2006, the Israelis bombed my area – I live in North Lebanon. We have nothing to do with the conflict, in a way. And yet they destroyed bridges and an airport that’s not even used. And yes, Hezbollah is probably the only entity in the world that can actually manage to retaliate to Israel effectively. This never bodes well for both sides.

        I totally agree with you on the other point. Arab countries (Lebanon-excluded) are hell-bent on their “eradicate Israel” mentality that they’re not really doing anything for their people – they have high poverty and illiteracy rates. Women rights are nowhere existant. Extremism is on the rise, etc… In Lebanon, the official stance of the government is not “eradicate Israel” but it’s that Israel is our enemy state. My problem is that they think it’s our only enemy state. Israel has done atrocities in Lebanon – but others have done worse.
        What’s sad is that we have the means, the brains, the manpower to build the factories and get somewhere. Apple has bought an Israeli company lately. Why not Lebanese? Because we don’t focus on economy as we do on rhetoric. The fact that we have the best universities in the region and our people are almost all bilingual or trilingual cannot but be considered as riches.

        I see where Israelis come from. Many in Lebanon feel the same way – and in a way, thinking that way is just normal. But as Ruth said, serious work on mentalities needs to happen. Saar’s conversation is one of those steps on the right direction to maybe change mentalities and hope that not everyone in Israel, or every Jewish, is a zionist who wants to bring destruction to the country.

        And we share the same hope on that last point – maybe not falafel :p but I would love to be able to visit Christian sites someday in Jerusalem and Bethlehem without having to procure a second passport and nationality.

        Reply
      • Yeah Ghajar is half in Lebanon, half in what-used-to-be-Syria-now-Israel. That was a sad story, I don’t think I ever saw Blida, it was on the other side of a hill if I am correct. I did see other villages. Unfortunately, similar stories exist on the other side of the fence. I know a guy whose mother was in the house when a rocket hit it. I believe there is a never-ending list of sad stories on both sides, and the last think I want to do is “measure” or balancing the suffering.

        I also believe Lebanon has a lot of potential, and – I dare say – coupled with Israeli ingenuity it could be a Levantine powerhouse. I shall stop the fantasy talk. Yet I wonder what a German and French guy in 1940s would have answered if someone told them about “European cooperation”…

        I believe I have nothing of substance to add to this conversation anymore. I do wish to add that I learn a lot from Lebanon by reading Lebanese blogs, including yours. As for visiting the Holy Land, unfortunately I do not give my nice neutral European passport to strangers… On the other hand I could send you some pictures of the Maronite church compounds in Haifa and Jerusalem, only if you are interested of course. I visited those places last summer.

        I wish you all the best for Easter.

        Reply
        • Haha I didn’t ask for your passport :p I was saying any Lebanese that needs to visit Israel/Palestine needs to get a second nationality which is sad. I, as a Lebanese Christian, cannot visit my Holy sites because of political reasons.
          I’d appreciate the pictures! It would be awesome. A friend just showed me gifts that she got from friends who visited Jerusalem before we couldn’t go anymore. I’m fascinated.

          And if you don’t mind, I want to contact you for an idea of a post that I got.

          Thank you for reading my blog. You are among the most interesting readers who have commented. Happy Easter to you and your family.

  3. Pingback: The Different Classes of Lebanese – Israel “Traitors”: The Fayez Karams VS Everyone Else « A Separate State of Mind | A Lebanese Blog

  4. “Someone in the Arab world will need to have the guts to tell the Palestinian refugees that they will go back to Westbank and Gaza and not modern Israel”
    The sooner the better..

    The “big” settlements are supposed to stay under Israeli control-by territories exchange..

    When Palis get a state Israel cannot prevent the connection between Gaza and the WB.
    This is their country..If we control them -then we did nothing..
    Though,You are right that it is a bit problematic.

    I dont hold the golden solution..but again-establishing a Palestinian state is a must be step,and someone is Israel should get the guts to tell the Israelis that a Palestinian state is a FACT,so they’d better help but fight.

    Reply
    • Precisely. 1967 borders and a neutral region between Gaza and the West Bank. Both countries should be facts, for both sides. The Arabs that cling to their pride of “fighting till the last centimeter” need to take a chill pill. And the Israelis that refuse to concede need to know that unless they do, they will never live in peace.

      All in all, interesting conversation the three of us are having here.

      Reply
  5. Ruth ,we arent equal in this conflict ,so Israelis arent compromising anything by allowing a Palestinian state to exist beside them ,you stole whats not yours because of fairytales ,you came from different countries ,terrorized the indigenous population and took over their properties which they have the right to claim back ,whether you like it or not ,now maybe it isnt gonna happen tomorrow but sooner or later it will,so its either you cooperate with us and accept the return of the indigenous population that your leaders and soldiers expelled or deal with the consequences of your crimes and 64-year old terrorism.So Ruth We will return to Yafa and Haifa ,believe me we will .

    Reply

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