••• The Big Brother's, oops, i mean Apple's Gazette ••• A Sophisticated Periodical with Panache and a Sense of Humor
One would think Israel, of all countries, would serve as an example to the world. A country created for a people persecuted and having been forced to live in ghettos, from what we learned in history books.
A country created to finally become a homeland for a people seeking to live in peace, for whom a language, Hebrew, was newly re-created in the late 1800s for all to share the same tongue. A country created for a people to govern themselves according to their laws, Religion and traditions. A country carved out of the southern part of Ottoman Syria, to first become the British Mandate of Palestine and finally Israel.
It took blood shed on all sides, with many nations fighting against one another to achieve a goal to finally give a persecuted people a land of their own. It took uncountable lives of Jewish people seeking to migrate to British Palestine via ships in the early 20th Century, with the immigrants not allowed to set foot unto the soil by the British – and the ships finally turned away to bring thousands upon thousands of Jewish voyageurs to British Concentration Camps in Cyprus, Mauritius, etc. No one really knew what happened to these immigrants who were first recruited by the Jewish Agency( Palestine office ) so to migrate to their new homeland, then shipped to different British camps.
Some of the ships carrying Jewish voyageurs were torpedoed at sea with the ships sinking with thousands of lives lost.
Others, also arriving by ship or train to British Palestine, were incarcerated by the British in Concentration camps, like Atlit, etc. in the British Mandate of Palestine, where many were forced to live for several years.
Many who’d been able to escape from the camps, and others eventually released to freely roam British Palestine, settled in what is now the West Bank. Those having migrated or born in the British Mandate of Palestine prior to it becoming Israel in 1948 were called ” Palestinian”, with the country of their birth stated as, ” Palestine” in their birth certificate.
Once the country of Israel was officially created, the West Bank was excluded and given to the newly created country of Transjordan, now Jordan; thus many Jewish Immigrants found themselves closed off from Israel after its creation, living along with Arabs and Christians in what’s now the West Bank. Hebrew did not become the official language of Israel until its creation in 1948, with everyone living in the territory originally speaking Arabic, which included the Yishuvis, who’d lived in the southern Part of former Ottoman Syria ( now Israel) for centuries.
With the West Bank originally given to Jordan, the new border caused a divide between the people in the West Bank and those in former British Palestine, that became Israel – with both suddenly finding a border between one another, similar to the divide of West and East Germany, North and South Korea, etc. until the Yom Kippur war, when Israel won the West Bank back from Jordan.
Which brings me to the current situation of Israel – a conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, many of whom could well be related, unbeknownst to them, with the generations having taken on a different Religion on each side; those on the Palestinian side taking on the Muslim Religion and continued speaking Arabic, while those on the Israeli side took on the Jewish Religion, learning Hebrew, while yet, the people on both sides of the borders could well be brethren in blood.
It occurred to me when seeing the photos of two of the recent victims of the bloodshed. One, Eyal Yifrach, one of the three young man kidnapped and finally found dead, and the other a 16 year old Palestinian boy, who may have fallen victim to revenge.
My eye had grown familiar to the face of Eyal Yifrach, with his photo repeatedly shown in the news after he, along with his two friends, had been kidnapped. When seeing a photo of Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian boy, a day after the funeral of Eyal Yifrach and his two friends, i was dumbstruck by the facial similarity between the two young man, with the features appearing so similar, as though it was the same person – a younger and an older photo of the same boy.
Surely that could not be the case, even though the features are almost identical, with Abu Khdeir’s features perfectly fitting the features of Eyal Yifrach, the young Israeli man. The nose, the chin, the jawline, the eyes, eye lids, eye fold, eye brows, forehead, ears bear a striking resemblance to each other. Any photo forensic expert would positively identity the photos as being photos of the same person, or identical twins, with Abu Khdeirs photo being the younger version of Eyal Yifrach.
Is it possible, i thought, that unbeknownst to their families, both families may well be related ? A people, brethren, a blood once divided by borders, now fighting each other, with each side, unbeknownst to them, shedding the blood of their own brothers ?
Is it really that difficult to reach out to each other, and say ” Let us be brethren and work together and rebuild what is crumbling for the sake of our children, to be an example unto them, and to the world, for once, break bread”, and live in peace ?