Well, I am writing today from a sweltering Brussels Saturday, which is just perfect, because it means my laundry will dry effortlessly on the clothes horse. My cheeks are still rosy from the sun’s rays, and it does feel good. However, let me tell you about a recent experience that happened to me:
Yesterday during a visit to a picturesque Benedictine monastery, nestled in the Wallonian countryside, I was left shocked and appalled when, as we walked along a rural path, someone had written on the ground: “Israel=卐”. It seemed so out-of-place, in such a beautiful peaceful setting. It is one thing to see it daubed on the side of a city street, but to see it written on a quiet country path, just seemed pointless and depressing.
I know that the world is ignited by jet fuel when it comes to discussions regarding the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, and at this juncture especially, but sometimes we need to remember that nothing good comes from demonization. It only prolongs the pain of both the accuser and the accused. How does someone help a situation by calling Israel a Nazi state, which on reflection, could be said of dozens of regimes? It simply weakens an argument, if there is any to be made. You only illustrate ignorance and hysteria. You close the ears of those you wish to change, and persuade them that they were right in the assumption that: the rest of the world is crazy and will not flinch.
I believe that things will change, and change often comes without being acknowledged. What I mean is that the Gaza blockade will probably lift soon, but not through the futile gestures of a flotilla, but through old-fashioned diplomatic manoeuvring, with people sitting around a table, hammering out a deal. Dull, but true.
I just don’t know what more I can say this week, because so much is said, being said and will be said, that I just don’t know how I can interpret things any differently. I can only pray that reason will triumph and common sense will prevail, because that is the best we can hope for.