Friday, January 2, 2009

The day after the war

The war has been going on for 6 days.

On Saturday December 27th at 12:08 I received an SMS message from a friend in Sderot that a large scale attack has started by the Israeli air force in Gaza and that blasts are being heard very strongly in Sderot. I was in the north of Israel with my family visiting our family.

That evening I returned home. My wife and kids remained in the north and are there until this very moment.

The past 6 days have been extremely troubling. Israel has been continuously bombing Gaza. The sounds of the attacks can be clearly heard in Sderot. For the first 2 days only very few rockets were launched from Gaza towards Israel and then the counter attack came. The whole southern part of Israel covering areas with several large cities (Ashkelon, Beer Sheva, Ashdod) have been targeted. Between 60 and 100 rockets a day have been fired from Gaza. In these attacks 4 people have been killed dozens wounded and thousands of people that previously had not been regarded in the range of the rockets are in shock.In Gaza over 400 people have been killed and thousands wounded. The air force and navy have been targeting hundreds of targets.

The public opinion in Israel is largely supporting the war. A poll taken shortly after the attack said that over 81% of the population in Isreal supports the action. I am not sure the poll is accurate and what more recent polls will show, but I expect that this percentage will decrease only slightly.

Sderot has been attcked as all other cities and towns in the range of the rockets (40-50 km around Gaza) but due to the fact that so many other palces have been targetted, strangely we have actually been hit less that in some previous escalations...
Many people have left Sderot and I estimate less than 50% of the people remain. Very few people are walking in the streets and no children are seen anywhere.

The war was a great mistake, however it is no wonder that so many people in Israel support it.
The ongoing reality of rockets falling in Sderot and other places for 8 years is a terrible reality. Many people of our region have left it for good over the years. Bringing up children in such a reality seems almost abusive and certainly irresponsible.
There is a feeling in most of the Israeli society, that there was no choice but to attack Gaza and stop the rockets once and for all. This is an expected human reaction to the on going situation.

With that said, I personally think it is a terrible mistake that could have been avoided. For 5 months there was an almost complete cease fire. Instead of taking advantage of this long period of quiet to reach a long term agreement, both sides spent their time preparing for this war by planning and arming. No serious efforts were made to start a dialog. The siege by Isreal continued and the smuggling of arms by the Hamas continued. It was a cease fire but only to prepare for the next terrible round which we are experiencing this very moment.

I am very pessimistic at the moment. My fear is that a ground attack is coming and that much more pain is still ahead. Eventually some kind of agreement will be achieved. I hope it will happen soon, I fear it will not.

Peace Man and I talk every day. We support each other and worry for each others well being. I am in contact with others in Gaza and share my situation while hearing of theirs. Much fear and pain on both sides.

What me and others are doing is continuing the dialog with friends in Gaza. We are working to widen and deepen this dialog with more people on both sides. The day after the war we want to start finding ways to work together and create a normality. We are only several kilometers apart and that will never change. It is extremely important to widen our dialog and create trust between those that are willing to talk. To share our stories, fears and hopes.
The day after the war we need a new beginning. Let's start planting seeds of humanity and trust now.

77 comments:

marina said...

Thankyou for your hope: it' s my hope too
marina

Svenja said...

It is so mean, you are trying all your best to get an understanding of the other's situation, you keep your dialogue up even in the most difficult situations, while you must worry about your bare existence. And all that comes to the minds of the "important" people is "oh hey, lets bomb them, thats gonna work". This has no been working for so long now, why don't they learn and take the opportunities that they have been offered? The people are obviously willing to start a dialogue, as can be seen in your case.

Maybe the case is that you, the people, understand that a dialogue is necessary, because you are neighbors. It is the most natural thing in the world that you try to get along with your neighbors, just because you need to. And maybe the politicians just don't see this necessity, because they sit in safe places, their families are safe and they don't have to worry about such basic things as "surviving".

I hope this war comes to an end soon, and I hope you two will be alright.

If there is any way we can support you, whatever it is, just let us know.

Anonymous said...

I share your pessimism and agree that a ground war is imminent.

It is no wonder that Hamas, with its recent barrage of rocket attacks on Israel, finally provoked a response from the IDF. More surprising is the lack of sympathy for Hamas in the Moslem world.

The civilian population of Gaza is disappointed with Hamas for failing to provide the kind of honest government and welfare services it promised in the 2006 Palestinian election. The Fatah-affiliated Palestinians of the West Bank despise Hamas because in 2007 it waged a civil war against Fatah, seized power in Gaza illegally, and subsequently frustrated Fatah’s efforts to negotiate peace with Israel. The Arab citizens of Israel ignore Hamas’s call for “resistance” against “the Zionist entity.” Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and most other Arab nations likewise side with peace-making Fatah.

The only Middle East countries rooting for Hamas, as opposed to the Palestinians, are Hamas’s two state sponsors: Iran and Syria. Those are the two least respected states in the region. Hamas also gets rhetorical help from its fellow terrorist group, Hezbollah. But so far, even those hate-filled fanatics have declined to join the fight.

Many Hamas militants may survive the current warfare in Gaza. But politically they are a dying breed. The sad fact for them is that most Moslems are sick and tired of terrorism.

Bibibibi said...

Hi! I'm french, and that's some months I seen your blog, but the first time I write a comment. Excuse my bad english. I feel so powerless!
And I dont't really understand what happen, since a so long time, such a situation between people who have not requested. I hope peace ... Thoughts

Arminius Advocatus said...

My prayers are with you both. I was glad about the amount of changes I experienced in my own life during the last year. Now, the changes I wish for, are the ones that refer to you people on the other side of the Atlantic.

One day, you will find peace. a friendly hug and Good luck from Mexico. ;)

--Arminius.

Anonymous said...

Why are Israelis so blind? Where are the Palestinians who used to live in Sderot and Askalaan? Is a religious mythology worth all this bloodshed?

I cannot understand how any rational human being can move to Palestine knowing that their fantasy displaces one more Palestinian.

Paula said...

Dear Peace Man and Hope Man - Please be safe - we need you and your compassionate hearts in this world. Through all this turmoil you continue to go beyond your fears and set an example for the world by sowing those seeds of humanity and trust. You have my deepest respect.

Mary Cuevas said...

hi hope man,
thanks for this post. really so sad to hear about all of this madness.

i have sent an email out to all on my email list to read your blog.

i am wishing peace in the region soon. i hope my new prez will work on this immediately, jan 20th, is not soon enough.

please read what dr. taatgen and his wife wrote under links on my blog, for educators for the end of the siege of gaza.

i also have told everyone on my blog to read your blog. please send my best wishes to Peace man. and i hope he gets funding to go back to school soon.
respectfully,
mary

Suzanne said...

You wrote: "On Saturday July 27th at 12:08 I received an SMS message from a friend in Sderot that a large scale attack has started by the Israeli air force in Gaza and that blasts are being heard very strongly in Sderot."

Saturday July 27th?
Must be Saturday December 27th given the events and the fact that July 27th is a Sunday.

Brandi said...

Thank you for your blog and your continuing efforts to maintain dialog. I feel such grief over the ongoing situation, such anger and helplessness. It is good to read your words and see your stubborn refusal to give up hope. Thank you.

Lynne said...

thank you both for your honesty, beautiful souls and courage in the face of all this. my prayers are with you both. Salaam/Shalom

il giardino di enzo said...

Dear Peace Man and Hope Man, I think that people like you are the gold of the world. And we have only to understand that we are all peasants, laborers, workers, uncles, cousinses, grandfathers, brothers, friends. Sorry for my english, I am Italian from Pisa. I embrace you strongly.

mike said...

I am interested to know how you both met in the first place. Secondly it of interest to me to know how you keep in contact. I have a lot of questions such as how friends and neighbours react. As you said it is very easy to react in anger. Two men argue and then have a fist fight. Both know it is not a solution but neither are willing toay wait a minute I was wrong but where do we go from here.
I live in the golan heights but in the lebonon war volunteered in Quriat shmoneh getting food to people. The people there live (or at least lived) in fear. Fear is a terrifying sense and often people react to fear in very extreme ways.
I know what I would like but I do not know how to achieve that end. Hammas to me is a cancer. To alievate cancer one has to remove or alieviate the bad cells in the body. These bad cells afect both palestinians and Israelis. As you know an illness cannot be ignored. If it is ignored then it gets worse as has happened here.
So the question is what do you do with the cancer. If I had one person from the hammas could I persuade him that he is wrong and get him to follow a peacful path? If I kill him would I antagonate others who would subsiquently follow his path? If neither of those two options work then how can I nutralise their effect?
Your blog is a breath of fresh air for me and several others. However I do believe that we must take strength from each other, people who value people more than their political and religeous beliefs. We must use that strength to get to others who deep down know that this is the way but feel alone and are not yet ready to stand up and be counted.
Keep up your good work and be safe. I look forward to reading that both peaceman and hopeman are ok and that their message of peace and hope will prevale. love mike

DWIGHT said...

Herodium ,
somewhere in the Judea desert . A man Build a kingdom long ago .
Is this the place where unbalance must prevail?
What is the use for things or places , if these something’s destroy the necessities.
Where is the birth of these angers whom burn everything regardless of all the beauty they pass by ?
Have we not seen enough tears in our children’s eyes ?
What Say You ? Jahweh , Allah ?
Or my loved friends Mohammed and Jesus ?
What do people want , that the live they create should be destroyed ……
That those who wishes to live should not be hurt ?
There is nothing but beauty here . I see it everywhere .
What is the value of something that only seeks destruction ?
I wish peace for all and that every men may see that reason is also a way of god .
As my good shepherds before me told the story of compassion for paradise on earth , for me and for all the children of the world , I wish you peace !

Mandy said...

Hi Peace man, Hope Man,

so sorry to hear about this news, we heard today that the ground attack has started...and that Gaza has no electricity or food...I would really like you permission publish your blog on my Facebook account or even start a group to create more awareness...

maurizio said...

Peace and hope...so far away words...keep on, friends in peace and hope and its powers. even anger, in words, it's needed. To shout and scream, STOP IT NOW!!!
And leave in peace and hope!
Maurizio & Ramesh

Anonymous said...

Dear Hope Man and Peace Man-This is my first visit to your blog. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with the rest of the world. My heart goes out to you, your families, and others caught in this struggle. It is my belief that most people generally want the same things in life...we all want a safe place to raise our children, food to eat, fulfilling and loving relationships, and maybe a decent job to support our families. People may have different strategies on how to acheive these goals, but in the end...we are much more similar than we are different. Thank you both for this blog, and making the world a better place. Signed, an American friend

PeaceofaPuzzle said...

I am so sorry you both have to live through all this. Violence solves nothing.

Anonymous said...

We are glued to the television watching the terrible and sad events happening in Gaza. We feel helpless but participated in a protest today. We do not understand how the ruling powers of the world can allow this to happen.
Please know that we are praying for you both and hoping that this will soon come to an end.
God bless you both and keep you safe.

Truth said...

If Palistinians want Israel to stop bombing them, they should stop firing rockets into Israel. Israel gave Gaza back to the Palistinians, but the Palistinians continue to attack Israel. It is only logical for Israel to protect herself. Israel is willing to live with her Arab neighbors in peace, but Arabs are not willing to let Israel exist. Palistinians need to stop complaining about the measures they have forced Israel to take; if the peole of Gaza don't want to be bombed, they should stop their attacks on Israel.

Merche Pallarés said...

I'm happy to know that you and Peace Man are still in contact as well as other young humanist and peace-loving citizens. However, I think Israel's response to the rockets shot by Hamas is overly cruel. I hope you realize it's the holocaust of Palestinians in Gaza. Zionists took over a land that wasn't theirs in 1948. Of course, Palestinians have wanted to fight for what they rightly think is theirs. It's only human behaviour: to fight for what is yours. The truth is that Israel is doing to the Palestinians the same the Germans did to the Jews in the holocaust. Some day Shakespeare's Shylock of "The Merchant of Venice" statement of "an eye for an eye" HAS to stop.
Otherwise, you will never have real peace. Much love, M.

marina said...

dear friends, I come here again because I need your words to beliewe in a future time without war and hate. I hope that you both are safe, I do not trust in any God but I pray for you and for your peoples too, mainly after the ground attack has started
vi abbraccio, marina da roma
PS sorry for my bad bad english

José Hamra Sassón said...

Dear PeaceMan and HopeMan,
I wish your ideas and beliefs prevail among Israelis and Palestinians. Hope you can fullfil your (our) goal for a peaceful coexistance.

Ann Hafften said...

Your dialogue is so important. Do not lose faith. I have your blog linked from mine, but I will send a posting telling everyone to read your messages of hope and peace.

AD sabry said...

Hi Peace man & Hopeman:
i just know about your blog
I'm Egyptian &I'm really
happy to know that's friendship can be between Palestinian & israeli
An i really appreciate that some israeli people defending arabs & Palestinian rights.
Good lick you both.

Edita said...

I would like to comment with two poems: one by Palestine poet Mahmoud Darwish and the other by Israelis poet Yehuda Amichai.

I Belong There

I belong there. I have many memories. I was born as everyone is born.
I have a mother, a house with many windows, brothers, friends, and a prison cell
with a chilly window! I have a wave snatched by seagulls, a panorama of my own.
I have a saturated meadow. In the deep horizon of my word, I have a moon,
a bird's sustenance, and an immortal olive tree.
I have lived on the land long before swords turned man into prey.
I belong there. When heaven mourns for her mother, I return heaven to
her mother.
And I cry so that a returning cloud might carry my tears.
To break the rules, I have learned all the words needed for a trial by blood.
I have learned and dismantled all the words in order to draw from them a
single word: Home.
- I Belong There - Unfortunately, It was Paradise - Selected Poems - Mahmoud Darwish -

A Quiet Joy

I'm standing in a place where I once loved.
The rain is falling. The rain is my home.

I think words of longing: a landscape
out to the very edge of what's possible.

I remember you waving your hand
as if wiping mist from the windowpane,

and your face, as if enlarged
from an old blurred photo.

Once I committed a terrible wrong
to myself and others.

But the world is beautifully made for doing good
and for resting, like a park bench.

And late in life I discovered
a quiet joy
like a serious disease that's discovered too late:

just a little time left now for quiet joy.
- A Quiet Joy - The Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai


I hope the day of peace will come one day.

Anne Gilbert said...

I am so appalled by the Israeli actioTns in Gaza that I'm left pretty speechless. While most Israelis probably support this war at the moment, eventually "the day after" will come, when they realize that waging war on a mostly civilian population that may or may not "like" Hamas any better than the Israeli government does, is a totally useless action. Basically, both Israelis and Palestinians want the same thing: peace and calm so they can go on about their lives. This would be a win-win situation for everyone. It's too bad the Israeli government doesn't see it that way. And as an American, living far away from this war zone, I feel totally helpless. Let us know how the rest of the world can help.


BTW, I've linked this blog to my own, which is mainly a writer's blog, but some "odd" things like this catch my interest from time to time. If you'd like to visit, please feel free to do so at:

http://www.writersdailygrind.blogspot.com

robyn said...

I was so happy to find your blog. It was the first hopeful thing I saw today.
I love it that sometimes I have to skip to see which one of you is writing from where. There's just so little that I can find where people on both sides recognize each other's reality.
Sometimes it feels so lonely and frustrating finding mostly people writing to justify one side or the other unilaterally.
Even the comments seem much less polarized than elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Dear hope and peace men
As an Israeli myself, who lived many years near shderot and spent many teenage nights in the town, and who visited gaza city innocently, i want to express my support and prayers to you both as well as to continue to hope for an end to this ugly conflict. The innocent victims on both sides must not be forgotten. Thank you for bringing hope where there feels like there is none. I wish you and your fiends and families safety and peace.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for continuing your fight for peace in these violent times. You both exemplify that fighting for peace does NOT occur from the end of a gun.

And thank you for reminding the world that Hamas, their beliefs and actions do not represent all Palestinians and not all Israeli's ignore Palestinian civilian casualities as acceptable collateral damage.

Please take good care of yourselves and your loved ones. My heart and prayers are with all people caught in the middle of this war.

Shalom Alechem/As-salaam alaykum

if only everyone could see how similar our two peoples are...

Anonymous said...

I admire you so much for what you said. So commendable. Your dialog idea, it is the only thing that could ever help. Thank you so very much for your efforts. I hope they are like a snowball going down a hill, I hope they attract many people to participate.

This is the *only* ray of hope in the entire current situation I have seen. I thank you for that hope. Thank you for your work on this.

I wish you the greatest success, in every way with this quest for dialog and peace. Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the worst enemmy of Palestinian people is Hamas. But people are blind and inflamated like germans were by Hitler. Palestinians get rid of Hamas terrorits (choosing Fatah for instances) and dialogue a peace might be possible ... But is there any democracy there, or is just a fake like with Hitler 70 years ago ?

Jane Doe said...

Thank you for your blog. Peace Man and Hope Man. With all the biased report, we can only learn from those who experienced first hand.

Keep the good work up.

Anonymous said...

Dear HOPEPEACEMEN I'm visiting your blog for the first time today and I'm very impressed. Do believe that your strong friendship is a real way to a new peaceful life in your two countries. Keep on walking whatever happens.
Warm and friendly "bonne chance" from France.

Anonymous said...

Dear Peaceman and Hopeman,
May God help you to reach your aim of peace and tolerance. Thank you so much for showing the right path and having so much love in your heart. Good luck for the future, please take care.
Salam. Shalom.
Aicha, from France

parisan said...

//This blog is written by 2 friends. One lives in Sajaia refugee camp in Gaza and the other lives in Sderot, a small town near Gaza on the Israeli side.//

Remove the border, and now the two friends can live together in one country where everybody can own the land and has the right to vote.

What do you think, Hope Man?

Anonymous said...

Hello both of you.
Good to read thess kind of thinkings!! It explains exactly the paradoxes of our region and the fact it is not mandatory to be pro-this or pro-that, just pro-peace and dialog.
Thanks a lot for this little window of hope,
Hubert,
En Habsor

Anonymous said...

There is only one message I hope to convey to your people....police yourselves. I understand the plight of the people living in the Gaza Strip, but I also understand the plight of the Israelis. In the U.S., we don't decide our differences with artillery. They are decided through debate and tolerance. If I were living in Israel, I would wholly support the war, because nobody deserves to live in fear. If I were living in Gaza, I would be screaming to stop the artillery shells sent across to Israel on a daily basis. It seems to me that Israel has given up a lot, but there is never enough. They only want to live in peace. But Hamas seems hell-bent on continuing to create a conflict. Can the Gazans not stop Hamas? If not, why not help the Israelis find Hamas, rather than harboring them and allowing them to continue their bloodthirsty plan?

Sonal, India said...

Have been reading recent news reports about heavy fighting near Saja'iya and elsewhere. Hope both Peace Man and Hope Man and their families are safe. Keep writing whenever possible, that is one way of letting people know you are safe.

Carol Scheller said...

You two are the vangaurds of civilization in this madness. You believe and state that where there is conflict, the best thing to do is to explore ways of talking between parties in conflict. As the highest form of evolution, people have the potential to develop skills in the hardest of situations : strong disagreement, fear and hate. Developing the capacity to talk instead of fight is perhaps the biggest challenge facing people and governments today. What you two are doing and have done is a position of strength, not weakness. You are the brave ones. Your example is there for those who want to see. How to show people that this is the only way that can guarantee a safe and human existence - something that walls and military might can never do - ? May you both stay safe in this horrible time.

Anonymous said...

I heard about your website by a famous French newspaper named "Le Monde", I almost burst in tears when I was learning the article. That's why, even if my English is not really good, even if I am powerless, I just want to send you all my hope. Wars are mistakes, all will be fine... Hopefull. All around the world people think about you.
With all my love,
A little French girl.

Xavier said...

I hope that both of you are safe, I can understand why the blog hasn't been updated, but like I said hope you are on a safe place. If there is in Gaza for Peace Man... =/

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that many people do believe in everything in this blog.
I wonder if there were people who has questioned whether these two men really exist.

Anonymous said...

I notice that your post is 3 or 4 days old ... silence from your part is worrying in view of the circumstances. Yes , ground offensive has begun, our media tell us about house-2-house fighting in a densely crowded city and continuing rocket-fire from Gaza to Israel. Did something happen to you, were you censored? Please give some sign of life.

Carlos said...

I hope both of you and, everyone who prefers to dialogue instead to fight, get your goals. It will be the best of the news.

Your blog is admirable. If people who is living inside the conflict believe in a solution, why not?

My best wishes from Spain, I am with both of you!

Carlos

Pythagorian said...

I pray for the safety of both of you, as well as every human being who is caught in this man-made insanity.

lennybruce said...

I really enjoy your guys blog for a while. I hope both of you and your families are safe. Are you able to have any contact with each other by sms before the mobile networks went down or now by landline?

As an American born Jew who lived for years in Israel, served in IDF in Lebanon 1, is now married to a Malaysian Muslim I find myself confused at times like these.

I try and stay balanced in my opinions and feelings knowing and really believing that spilt blood is spilt blood regardless of who's blood it is.

But I must admit, at times like this moment when I see the extreme imbalance in the violence being perpetrated by the one on the other I have trouble maintaining a balanced perspective. I am sorry about that.

The only solution for both sides is of course peace and the end of 'occupation' (I know some people prefer to use other less loaded terms) giving both peoples the chance to live in physical and emotional security, human dignity and with hope for a much better future. It's of course what all people want.

But I am losing my hope that it will ever be possible and as I get older I doubt I will see it in my lifetime and that pains me deeply.

But you two guys give me hope so I am very curious to know how this situation is affecting your relationship and your feelings.

Be well, be safe, our prayers are with you all!

Anonymous said...

Dear friends,

My name is Gina. I live in the US. I heard about your blog on NPR. I want you both to know that me, my family, and many people are praying for peace and your safety. I listen to the news here everyday and feel so helpless. Your blog is one of hope. Thank you. Peace and friendship to you and all others who are reading.

Clucky the Chicken said...

There was a story about your Blog on NPR in the US today. I had often wondered how it would be possible that the two sides could not find each other on the internet and solve this. I know that two guys can't stop it, but as an American I just wish all of the senseless killings would stop.

While I understand the points made by each side, I think that religious wars are just f***ing wasteful! Only the young people die, on both sides. And to what end? None.

Please keep this blog going... and good luck to both of you. Hamas: stop shooting FUCKING ROCKETS (you know what I mean), and Israel, STOP KILLING CIVILIANS! JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE IN THE WAY. SERIOUSLY, STOP FUCKING SHOOTING! What are they going to do, make you stand still and shoot a ROCKET at you? Not likely. Both of them need to stand down, and CEASE FIRE.

Anonymous said...

To fairly understand the situation in Palestine and the current war by the Israelis on Gaza one has to go back more than 60 years earlier in history and something wrong and unjust happened in those years infront of the whole world's eyes(in fact with the help of some powerful countries).Tragically,Since 1948,the same ugly scene is repeated all the time:killing,hatred and bloodshed.The newcomers,the Israelis,always feel they are unsafe and unwanted in their new "homeland" whereas the native residents,the Palestinians,still feel bitterly they are the victims of history.
I think that the Israelis will never feel secure even when all the Palestinians disappear from their land because they will think there are other people ,beyond their borders ,who don't want them to be there,i.e.their Arab neighbours,muslims people or even all the defenders of freedom and justice around the world.
I'm sorry to pessimistically conclude that if there is no justice,there will be no peace.And even if we assume that there might be peace only by forgetting the problem itself,the outcome will not be hope but unfortunately,a mere illusion.
Finally,I strongly long for peace in Palestine but I don't see any logical basis for that.

Mandy said...

Hi, I see comments being approved and I presume that this is because you are able to approve them and that you are both OK..I hope so..this blog seems to be getting popular.
I hope it continues to do so...

the comments are positive and supporting...you both have many people praying for you, and not just you but all the victims of this senseless war...

lets hope that is ends soon

Amelia said...

To the anonymous author that questioned the existence of these two people, please listen to the recent NPR podcast that hope man went on. It was so beautiful, it almost made me cry.

To peace man and hope man, thank you so much for doing this, you help me to restore faith in this world. I wish you both luck and safety. Please keep communicating with each other and us (so long as it doesn't endanger your well-being), because I love to hear from a reliable and kind-hearted source. Again, THANK YOU FOR DOING SOMETHING!

To the rest of the world, take heart in these two men. Use them as your role models, spread the word of their their bravery to everyone you know.

If only all people could realize what peace man and hope man have . . .

Thank you!

Mike said...

What can we do in America to make a difference? I feel the same frustration as I did reading the blogs by Riverbend and RaedintheMiddle during the Iraq war. Then I did have some sort of voice but not one that was listened too much. It as if there is no compassion for dead and maimed children any more.... And that the fear and hate have reached proportions that both power players are indifferent to the death of families... Help!! Mike

Anonymous said...

Peace for all.

We need immediate constructive changes on both sides.

The healthy and smart minds must unite against all shapes of barbarism.

No more partisanship, and no more generalization.

The Palestinians have been suffering badly.

It is clear that their leaders have failed them for almost the better part of the last hundred years.

Quarantine the current leaders, cut all ties to Iranian junta.

No more people will die.

Maquii fiiorii said...

Hi.I am from Argentina, Buenos Aires! I don't know a lot of about this lenguaje but i am interested about war with Gaza, it's horrible! Everyday I see the notice, and it's very ugly! I am very sad when i see the children cry. well, I am not very well with this lenguaje but I want that the people of Gaza know that other people of the world are worried and sad per this war.
I am 14 years old and I am interested!

Mary Cuevas said...

I just heard you on NPR!!!! Right on!!! Maybe a listener will help get Peace man get out of Gaza to finish school. So exciting. I hope Peace man is safe. I hope you have given him the message that you were on the radio!!! Nationwide!!!:)
Mary

emilaheller said...

Tonight my heart is breaking again. and yet what else is there but our faith in hope and peace. I am with you both and all those suffering in this senseless killing field. We cannot give up the hope for peace.

Anonymous said...

I have a question (a true question - this is not designed to be a statement disguised as a question) - why hasn't Egypt opened its border with Gaza in order to allow in humanitarian aid? I can understand why Israel closed its border, because of the bombers and other terrorists coming in. But can't they get aid from the Egyptian side? - I realize that the border is the Sinai desert and it's hard to get things across, but it looks like it's doable from sea. And why haven't I read about this possibility? Am I missing something? (I've asked friends, including American Jews, and no one seems to know).

Jill said...

Dear Peace Man and Hope Man,

I heard Hope Man's interview on radio station NPR this evening and was eager to see your blog. I admire you both and applaud what you are trying to accomplish. I hope and pray that others follow your example of friendship, humanity and communication - the keys to peace. May your efforts take hold and become the catalyst for a grass roots movement that can bring peace to the region. In my book, you both deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for your efforts. Keep writing. Wishing you both peace, good health and happiness. Shalom.

Leah Davidson said...

I'm so glad to see what I've always hoped -- that ordinary people have more sense than governments or would-be governments.

I think the United States has to get tough with Israel for a change. There has to be serious effort to satisfy the simple human rights of Palestinians, but as long as world powers like the US just roll over and support Israel in everything, no matter how destructive and stupid, the atrocity of war will roll on.

All attacks on civilians are obscene, but Israeli policy only intensifies the will of people in organizations like Hamas to fight and kill in their turn.

Keep speaking truth, Peaceman and Hopeman, and maybe more voices will join you -- maybe enough to make a real difference.

richards1052 said...

I just wanted the authors of this blog to know that it has been targeted by hasbara operatives working in coordination with the Israeli foreign ministry. If you wonder why the level of anger, hostility & pro-Israel rhetoric is so high, now you know.

Israel's PR flacks can't stand the idea of an Israeli and Gazan actually having a common perspective on this mess they call an anti terror operation.

E mail me if you'd like to know more.

Anonymous said...

Now Gaza city is surrounded. Israel should let leave palestinians out of town. Refugee camps will and must be supported by the west. Let Hamas in town doing. It becomes clear Hamas (IRAN) holding the palestinians hostage. UN can go in en out of town / just besiege the town. no shooting. People get titer fo Hamas end leave Hamas town. Let journalists in.

Akemi said...

Dear Hope Man and Peace Man,

I learned about your blog when listening to NPR tonight. I hope both of you are safe, and that the two sides will agree to cease fire as soon as possible.

Your site is posted onto my Japanese blogsite.

Merche Pallarés said...

I'm very surprised, to say the least, that my comment hasn't been published. May I ask WHY????

Gwendolyn said...

Dear Hope Man,

You two are making a huge difference in the world. People who heard your interview on NPR are so excited about the HOPE that you and Peace Man are bringing to everyone through your dialogue. No borders!

I have a blog called Fireflies of Hope. I have posted a link to your blog. I know my readers will come to your blog and be inspired. http://firefliesofhope.com

Joe said...

I heard your interview on NPR yesterday -- very compelling and it touched me. Unfortunately, peace is not a switch that we can flip or a meal we can pop in the microwave (Instant Peace! Heat and Serve!); I wish it were.

However, I completely agree with what you said -- peace IS possible when you take the time to learn about your "enemy" and have dialog with them.

Our enemies are just like us -- they breathe, they hurt, they laugh, they have family, they want their kids to be safe and grow up healthy, etc.

There is a sign in a church in Northern Ireland that stressed tolerance and understanding in a very violent and difficult part of the country. It says, "If we were born where they were born and taught what they were taught, we would believe what they believe."

I am Christian and I believe what I believe because I was born in the US and raised by Christian parents. If I were born in Gaza and raised by parents who were with Hamas, I would believe something totally different. If I were born in Israel and raised Jewish, I would believe something else. Yet in each case, I would probably feel very strongly about my beliefs and identify with them.

Hope Man and Peace Man, I wish you well. Please stay safe. You are an inspiration to a shmuck like me. I hope and pray that you two will be able to sit down in a cafe or in either of your houses and share a meal between friends.

Peace IS possible.

Irina said...

Hi,

I am from Romania and I only found out about this blog yesterday, reading an article in a newspaper about how difficult it is during these days for the press to enter Gaza region.

I just wanted to tell you how touched I am, how moved by your wonderful idea of writing such a blog and that, at the same time, I felt so powerless.

I do continue to think, however, that most of the awful things that continue to happen to this world come from ignorance. That is why I appreciate you so much. Because you are trying to understand each other, to understand each side. This is what makes us human.

Thank you both for showing that glimpse of humanity.

Stephanie said...

I have to agree completely with Joe's comment. Very well said.

I'd also like to add that your blog is very moving. I only wish more people could be made aware of it so that it might move the right people to the right actions.

Living in America, it is hard to imagine the terror it must be to live in the middle of this war. Perhaps that is why our government thinks it is OK to wait for a cease fire. I do not know, but I wish, as you say, that peace talks would have been conducted during the 5 months of near cease fire.

I admire the courage of you both and will keep your nations' plight in my prayers. Continue to hope, continue to seek peace. It will come.

Anonymous said...

you two are amazing. thank u
please preasure your respective governments to end all of this. make it stop! you are a real inspiration. thank u again!

Anonymous said...

Peace man and Hope man... I, too, heard of your blog for the first time on NPR yesterday, Tuesday. Now I've been rereading all of the posts. God bless you both.
(You know, there only is one God even if our approach is from different directions.)

So many of us here in the US are hoping that our new president sets our nation onto a better path and that our presence in the Middle East will no longer be just self-serving. I think our diplomats should read your posts.

I, like so many others, feel so helpless. Maybe the best thing I can do is to just keep on reading.

From Molie

hillsideslide said...

Thank you!

Men of Hope and Peace: You are the heroes who are forging a better future.

You have my support and prayers.

You are making a difference.

Keep it up- you are not alone... you are the pioneers for the wave of people who want another way and who follow in your footsteps. We are behind you!

Anonymous said...

First excuse me for my bad english !
I live in France. Every day on television i see this war and i cry with my 4 children.
All our pryers are for people of gaza.
I pry for the peace every where but it is possible?????
Inch'Allah.....

Alicia Hoarau said...

Hello from France
i have not a lot of thing to say but i would like to let you know that i really like your blog and that your friendship give me some hope..
i'm reading and watching everything that i can find about Gaza and Israel on the net.. (cause my Boyfriend is living in Yaffo- TLV ) and that's how i arrived there..
i feel so bad about what is going on in Gaza and i hope this crazyness wil stop soon..


tomorow i'm going to a demonstration for Gaza unfortunatly it's the only thing that i can do..

Take care of both of you..

Anonymous said...

Why do I get the idea that this is not a forum that permits opinions that differ from the author's own opinions?

The image of Palestanians dancing and laughing in the streets in the immediate aftermath of 9-11 is still burned in my memories.

I wonder just how awful the author felt about the 9-11 on the Trade Center attack and if he (I assume most Palestinian women can't read or write) blogged about the tragedy.

--An American

alexandra said...

you are in my prayers!
Stay strong!
Love from Sweden!

Sharon said...

good luck and courage, peaceman and hopeman. thank you for your efforts. if only a genuine and lasting peace could come.

julie said...

Are you, hopeman and peaceman, familiar with Dr. Izzeldine Abuelaish? This story in the New York Times tells about him, a Gazan Doctor who built bridges with Israel and reached to children on both sides. He lost 3 daughters to the battle. The only possible compensation for his loss is peace. Hope and peace, let's pray for both! God bless you both.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/18/world/middleeast/18doctor.html