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Israel: There
Can Be Peace

This article's contributors are Liron Dorfman
and the students from ORT Comprehensive High
School in Kiryat Motzkin, Israel; it is a
continuation of the discussion in the "Conflict
Resolution" topic in the <iearn.hgp> conference.

[ Street in Jerusalem ]

The relationships between Jews and non-Jews with other religions or communities living in Israel should be based on the statement, "Love you therefore the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." (Deuteronomy 10:19)

This principle combines human attitude and religious tolerance. It is especially necessary to the Jewish people who suffered from persecution and racism in the Diaspora for thousands of years. The Jewish people have to show the civilized world a different attitude by opposing all kinds of racism.

- Ronny Bretter

I believe that coexistence between people is very important in my country. The Israelis and the Arabs are now in a great situation. We have our difficulties, but we also have our combined moments of glory, respect, and appreciation, in which we help each other with much success! These moments show that cooperation is very beneficial. There are even cases in which the cooperation between the two sides helps save lives -- cases in which Palestinians need medical treatment in Israeli facilities.

I had studied Arabic for three years and now I can talk in the language at a certain level and understand some conversations. I think it is very important to know each other's language because when you know someone's language, it shows that you respect him or her. Then, that person will respect you as well. In this way, many violent incidents may be prevented. Believe me; it's true. many times, violence is caused because of communication failure.

Another important point on the path to comprehension is that the media should stop showing films about the hate between the two people. Only if people will see the peace will they work to achieve it.

We should all do everything we can in order to accelerate the peace process. I'm sure that, with combined forces, we will pass every resistance in our way towards peace.

- Roee Hershko

Our Religions. When I think about it I cannot resist asking: What is really so different between us? We are all people who believe in the same God and want the same thing ("Live and let live"). So what are we fighting for?

It seems that little differences keep us apart and, in time, those little differences become like monsters that fog up our minds and keep us apart.

Israel is a country of the three main religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Israel live Jews and Arabs, together, side by side. Many people abroad think that Jews and Arabs live in constant conflict. It's true that sometimes there are terrorist attacks, but it doesn't mean that all Arabs are terrorists, and if someone claims so, he or she is definitely wrong.

Most Israeli Arabs are in good relations with the Jews in Israel. There are many examples of the coexistence of the Jews and Arabs in Israel. Let us take, for instance, Haifa, a city where the Jews and Arabs have been living in peace, side by side, for decades. Recently, Jews, Christians, and Muslims have celebrated their three holidays at the same week (which happens very rarely indeed), Hanukkah, Christmas, and Ramadan. For this rare occasion, in Haifa was held a big parade last month, in which participated Jews' and Arabs' children.

Another example is my C computer language teacher at school, who is an Arab. There are many other examples.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that Arabs and Jews can and must live in peace, because we are actually cousins. (Abraham was the father of Ishmael, who is believed to be the father of all Arabs.) I hope that, in the future, all Jews and Arabs will live together in Israel in peace, without any violence.

- Zorik Malkiel

I'm Jewish, not because I believe it's better than the rest of the religions, but because I was born Jewish, and I will probably die Jewish. There are many who feel the same way I do, not only in Judaism, but in Christianity and Islam, as well.

I myself don't know any Christian or Moslem person, but once, about five years ago, when I was ten, I met a boy in camp. He spoke a little funny, but it wasn't until later, after we had become good friends, that he told me that he was a Christian Arab. And you know what? It didn't matter to me one bit. And that's exactly how it should be -- no prejudices, not Jewish against Arabic, not Christian against Jewish, or any such racism which, unfortunately, exists in my country.

It is most of the time against Arabs, and especially after terrorist attacks, which are obviously not all the Arabs' fault. The hatred in this situation is pointed to innocent people.

I haven't been in touch with the Arab boy I met since we said goodbye at the end of that summer, and that's too bad. That's because if each boy had a friend from every other religion and faith, maybe there wouldn't be any wars.

- Eyal Krikon

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