A couple of days ago I read an article in Haaretz about a petition that was penned last June by Israeli author David Grossman. The petition has already attracted dozens of “the world’s literary stars” two of whom - Yoram Kaniuk and Seamus Heaney - passed away making this part of their last legacies for peace and human co-existence. It urges “the Netanyahu government not to destroy Palestinian villages in the southern Hebron hills.” I came across it by mere accident as it popped into my Twitter timeline. It could have easily passed my attention as so many other relevant events do. Support was picking up for the petition and there was a hearing on it in the Israeli High Court of Justice. Its wording was strong and passionate. It spoke about Israel expelling, abusing, and destroying. It mentions the villagers living in fear, displacement and disruption. But the petition was also realistic in its expectations; it was to merely “expose and condemn ‘small’ local outrages”. And its moral logic was simple and profound: one must “try and relieve suffering, to do something to bend back the occupation’s giant, cruel hand.”
Being morally cornered
This is a conflict that has created a set of moral dilemmas for all sides. And it is time that we sit together, see how we can reach a moral middle ground away from the absolutist language of radicals on both sides.Abdullah Hamidaddin
Here, the point of view was that the Jews came and took over the land from the Palestinians and such acts of kindness should not delude us from that large fact. It is as if one took your home, threw you out then offered a blanket as you shivered in the cold. It is like prison guards being kind to the inmates. How can you, they ask, forget the atrocities perpetrated by the Israelis army? How can you overlook the suffering of the Palestinians since 1948? How can you disregard the racist statements by Israeli politicians? How can you be indifferent to the apartheid like behavior of the Israeli government? How about Israel’s 10-meter high separation barrier? Among other things mentioned.