Monday, June 18, 2007

OD'ing on Politics and a little story

I have been spending way too much time lately on political boards and email groups... sigh, about to take a break, I think, or hope, before I seriously OD on it all.

It is soooo frustrating too. I feel like I'm this sort of bridge between people from both sides of the fence, and it's not a nice feeling, it sometimes includes feeling stepped over ;) I come back to IsraeliDad and other Israelis here, recounting things I hear on the boards from Arab fellow posters. I get bombarded with accusations to the other sides... I go to the boards, and get bombarded back with accusations about Israel... Here's the interesting bit, the people I talk to here, and the people I "talk" to online, are the pro-peace ones, on both sides. The moderates. Very upsetting, I mean, if we can't get the moderates to see eye to eye, then how on earth are we going to get to a stable agreement that will somehow put the extremists at bay?

As far as I can see, there is just so much mistrust on both sides. So many mis-perceptions, based on some fact and plenty of interpretations (derived from the initial mistrust). Here's a story I sometimes read to my kids here. The short, very short version of it, it is beautifully written in Hebrew by a well-known Israeli author here, Ephraim Sidon. The story is called "Uzo and Muzo from the village of Kakaruzo".

Uzo and Muzo were two loving brothers that grew up together in their peaceful village. One day they fight over some silly thing. First words, then some punches, and they solemnly declare they will never speak to each other again. What's more, they build a wall, right in the middle of the house. They no longer see each other ever since. When they bring their brides home, they are asked about the wall and reply saying a terribly person lives on the other side, and to never ever as much as look over the wall. Same tale is told to their sons, who in their turn tell it to their own sons and so on. As generations pass, the tale gets darker. The person is gradually transformed to a horrible man eating monster that lives on the other side of the wall. Nobody dare take a look, it's too risky.

Then one day, a young child from one of the sides gets really curious. His mom goes out for a while, and he can no longer resist temptation. He desperately wants to take just a quick look at the horrible monster. He pulls up a ladder and climbs up to take a look at the other side of the wall. Lo and behold! On the other side he sees a little girl! He calls out to her, anxious, telling her to hurry up, climb over back to the right side of the wall! The monster could come back and get her any minute! The little girl is just as shocked to see him, telling him to stop playing around and hurry down to her side - doesn't he know there's a terrible man eating monster on the side of the wall from where he just showed up?

After some frantic calls, they finally realize the amazing truth. There is no monster! On both sides there are only people! Amazed at the revelation, the little boy goes down on the girl's side and comes to visit her family. Her dad faints right into the soup when he learns the boy is "from the other side". Finally, they all head up towards the wall. Meantime, on the boy's side, his family are looking for him, realizing in terror that he has crossed over... The two families meet on top of the wall. Within days, after learning the truth, the wall is brought down and people on both sides are united. The little boy and girl end up marrying btw. And as the families sit together, they shake their heads in amazement at how stupid they were all these years, not to realize it's only people just like them on the other side of the wall.

Nice story, don't you think? I'll stop with that for now. Been meaning to post this one for a while. I think about it often when I keep crossing the wall in the virtual realms of the Internet, trying to convince people on both sides that there is no monster on the other side...


Cakes said...

I continue my prayers for peace. For all of us mothers. and for all of our children.

I loved your story. You should illustrate it and turn it into a book. truly.

twilite said...

Hi IM! Enjoyed the story. Children are innocent. It's grown-ups' biases that build walls. Wishing for peace and harmony on earth!

IsraeliMom said...

Thank you for your comments! Just to clarify again - it's a book I read out to my kids (not something I wrote, I wish I were half as talented ;)). It's beautifully written too, all in rhymes with a nice sense of humor that appeals to the kids. They love hearing it. I wish someone would translate it properly, into English, maybe into Arabic as well.