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We are all responsible

Tuesday 25 July 2006, by Rayek Rizek

Dear Friends,

I have been following the news for the last two weeks as well as for the rest of my life.

Today I do not understand anything though I thought I would understand more.

I find it more and more difficult to take sides as most people do since I cannot see that all the justice is one side while the other is totally guilty.

I cannot see a difference between all the civilian victims.

I cannot see a difference between all those who carry weapons.

I cannot see a difference between all those who give the orders to kill.

I cannot divide people as “good” and “bad”.

I cannot trust any politician since they are all after keeping their chair as long as they can and many of them are willing to sell themselves to the devil for that purpose.

I cannot trust the media since it is all biased and misleading.

I cannot excuse anybody from personal responsibility since I believe that at any moment, whatever the situation is, it is the responsibility of everybody whether they are actively taking part or just watching from the side.

I do not want to let anybody destroy my humanity by filling me up with hate and anger towards others.

I choose not to follow anybody but to follow my conscience

I choose not to serve the ambitions of anybody but the ambitions of my humanity.

I choose not to be a tool in the hands of those who want to destroy but a tool in the hands of those who want to build.

I believe that wars and violence show how stupid we are and not how wise.

I believe that wars and violence come from the animal within us and not from the human, with my apologies to all of the friendly animals.

As it is true that we cannot make peace with the others as long as we are not in peace with ourselves it is also true that no nation can make peace with another as long as it does not have peace within itself.

My office is next to the swimming pool where groups of little children and kids come every day to swim. Some of them are Jewish and some are Palestinians and some are mixed. From the short distance where I watch them during my cigarette break I cannot tell who is who.

The screams and the shouts of their excitement sound the same whether they are Jews or Palestinians or others.

Who destroys the innocence of these kids?

If they do not fear each other now, then who and what make them fear each other when they are grownups?

Who poisons their minds?

Can we adults for once try to relearn our innocence from the kids, who have not been polluted yet?

Or do we think that we are much smarter than they are and that they have to believe in our fears which have been passed to us by our parents and grandparents.

Everything is mutual and the other is always our image.

If you want the respect of the others, then start to respect them first.

If you want the love of the other, then start to love them first.

If the others hate you or dislike you, then check why, within yourself, and not within them.

Peace and war are inevitable depending on what we choose.

Long live Wahat Assalam/Neve Shalom and all its inhabitants who are serving as an example for the entire world in spite of all the excuses that all the others are choosing to shackle themselves with.

Long live Neve Shalom/Wahat Assalam and its inhabitants who have chosen to be leaders, rather than followers like the majority of people today.

Long live all the parents in the Oasis of Peace for choosing this human reality for their children.

Long live the memory of Father Bruno Hussar who planted this seed to serve as a lesson for every individual about the infinite potential that each one of us has.

My sincere thanks and gratitude to all those who have chosen to put their weight into supporting and building this community that is giving hope and optimism to millions of people in our land and all over the world - in spite of all the petty issues that crop up here as in every other community.

The important thing is that we are on the right road.

Best wishes,

Rayek Rizek


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