by Charlie, father of Maytav a Jewish 8th grader
Last night I joined about 50 families in a meeting between Muslims and Christians and Jews. The kids and parents met separately.
Among the shared stories and feelings, I heard both Jewish and Arab women speak about their fear of saying goodbye to their children in the morning not knowing if they would ever see them again. Jews are afraid of terror and Arab are afraid of terror, Jews who shoot to kill and Israeli soldiers who terrorize. The fear is shared on both sides and only escalates the cycle of misunderstanding, confusion and violence. The answer is to counter it by informing ourselves and educating ourselves through sharing and interaction with people on “the other side״
A Muslim doctor told me his son asked him “what do I do if a Jew attacks me? Do I try to run away? Do I freeze? Do I fight?” He didn’t know what to say except that he will never be alone. The father escorts his son to school out of fear.
This doctor said to him life is sacred. He will fight to save the life of any living being (he works at Wolfson hospital). He said there are so many important things to fight for, we shouldn’t be wasting our time fighting each other.
One Muslim woman told me that she came to a roadblock in Jerusalem. The soldiers had their back to her so she did not know what to do. Does she stop or go? She slowed to a crawl and the soldiers did not turn around. She drove slowly through the roadblock and a soldier slammed his hand on her car. She stopped. He said something in Hebrew that she did not understand and in fluent English told him she didn’t speak Hebrew. “Were you scared?” He said to her. “Yes,” she said. “Good!” He answered. This was not a young 18 year old boy but a reservist in his thirties.