OK, I’ve mourned for the setback, now we move on!

Oct 14, 2007 Published under Introspection, OneVoice Movement

Earlier this morning I was really down.

Then I got up and realized how lucky I am, and how much so many people are suffering on both sides.

And I realized that OneVoice has never been stronger.

And I realized that the more extremists attack our Israeli and Palestinian offices, the more they gain supporters and the stronger we become.

And I remembered why we do what we do.

And I remembered all the amazing friends and partners and alliances we’ve made along the way.

And I recalled that in the end, almost nobody in this world seems themselves as the problem and will not be the reason why we fail, and so most people end joining the movement.

And I remembered that the enemy is not a person or an individual or a group, but any ideology that denies the humanity of the other side.

And I remembered that in the end the force of light and friendship and love is so much more powerful than anger and revenge and recrimination.

And I realized I am slowly starting to adopt some of the anger that these dark extremists have.

And I realized I can get rid of it, of that anger.

And I did.

Now let me continue doing what I believe in, with the same steadfast determination, but with no hatred towards anyone, not even those who hate me.  For if I hate them, I have lost and become like them.

Here is something I really have to work on.

This won’t be easy, but as I work on fighting extremism and absolutism and violence, I must not become that which I fight. I must be more noble.  I must be more patient.  I must stay the course not just in discouraging violent extremism in the world, but also in preventing it to infect me from within.

There, I’ve mourned.  Now we move on.

And we prevail.

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  1. caritas said:

    This morning you woke up in your comfortable bed with your comfortable bank account. You decided whether you were going to buy your food at the store or the restaurant. You have options most Palestinians don’t.

    Could it be possible that your “setback” is the result of your support for a President who has lost the respect of his people and an unelected and disempowered “government” that rules by decree?

    Who are the absolutists? They are the Israeli and Palestinian politicians you support.

  2. jessica said:

    You know, just because someone thinks that the two-state solution is a bad idea, it doesn’t mean that they are absolutist, extremist or wish to deny the humanity of anyone.

    It simply doesn’t work. It didn’t work when the UN partition plan was announced in the 1947 and it certainly won’t work now after 40 years of Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza. The British should never have made promises to the Zionists, but that’s how divide and rule is played in the colonial system.

    A two state solution is only going to work if it is based on justice and adherence to international law. Right now, asking Palestinians to negotiate anything – while under occupation – is like asking someone who is tied to a chair with a gun to their head to negotiate. Obviously whatever they say is coerced. Yet we never hear One Voice talk about OCCUPATION.

    Why is it that the idea of one-person, one-vote, one-state is so terrifying? It seems to work quite nicely throughout most of the world. It’s true that a tremendous amount of reconciliation and conflict resolution work will need to be done in order to create a stable state–there’s a lot of hate speech about the other on both sides. Acts of terror have been committed by both sides. The big difference is that one side has been occupying and stifling the existence of the other side for the past 40 years. Checkpoints aren’t about security–and neither is the wall. They are about control and acquisition of land. Domination of another people is not an act of a just or peaceful society.

    It will not be a walk in the park for both sides to find it within themselves to forgive–particularly on the Arab side, where the level of suffering has been so intense. Pride and honor are an integral part of both societies, and it is difficult to admit wrongdoing. But because I know both Israelis and Palestinians and know them to be, for the most part, loving and just people when their heads are clear, I believe that a one-state solution is possible, and it is the most likely way to create a stable, peaceful state.

    I have not heard you say anything that honestly describes why it is not possible for a one state solution to occur. Stubbornness and insistence that there must be a Jewish state is not a compelling argument. If I, as a Quaker, were to insist on creating a Quaker state because there aren’t very many of us in the world and I am concerned about retaining my traditions, I seriously doubt that the world would find it a compelling argument. Give me something better, please. Or else start considering ALL of the options. I believe the two-state solution has failed for the past 60 years because it was always a failure. It was a failure in 1947, and it’s a failure today. Not because Arabs hate Jews and want them run into the sea–they don’t, actually–but because the vast majority of people in the region want to live in their ancestral homes, to practice their religion and have equal access to economic stability, and that isn’t possible in Israel, or in any of the two state solutions that have been proposed thus far.

  3. Mike said:

    Well said, Daniel. It’s easy to allow hatred and negativity to invade your thinking when you’re facing it on all fronts (including the comment above). Put it aside and continue on with positivity, kindness and humility.

  4. MightyDutchman said:

    Wise words indeed !
    I wish you and your movement all the best and I do believe you will succeed if you stay the course !
    In my own small way I have been helping to spread the word though Facebook and through my own website.
    As a United Nations Staff member who has been working in this region for many years I feel that the popular voice and the power of the masses can and will prevail !

    All the best.

  5. Libby Traubman said:

    Dear Daniel and OneVoice,

    Your response to the setback and those who resist change is inspiring. The Public Peace Process is about building the gazelle, not slaying the dinosaur. We must put our creative energy into building the world we choose to live in rather than spending our time and energy resisting those who do not understand that we are all interdependent and interrelated. There will be no individual survival. We are all in this together. Keep reachng out with your beautiful spirit and in time the critical mass will bring about the change we all desire.

    Libby Traubman

  6. Peter said:

    No, no, no…. you have it upside down. Lubetsky is not just one person: he is almost a million people…. and they are allied and walk together towards peace by believing in the same things: that the humanity of “other” must be restored, that we are the same more than we are different, that poverty, fear and separation are as much the enablers of this terrible dispute as they are its result. The two governments are irrelevant except as they can be made to reflect the wishes of most of their electorate: for peace and quiet, for prosperity, for education, for the freedom to raise their families and to self-determine a path through life without fear of violence and deprivation. And, excuse me, Caritas…. go look up the meaning of the Latin word “Caritas” itself: compassion, charity, the hand that reaches out to help, caring, linkage: do you really think someone who is not themselves impoverished, suppressed and trodden-upon should give up in helping others less fortunate? Read the Koran, read the Bible please: All the world’s great religions mandate the helping hand that reaches to support those in harm’s way. We need a Gandhi for 2008, and Lubetsky is the closest we have! Don’t scorn him, help him to succeed…. and go look up the word Caritas in a dictionary please.

  7. Kay said:

    At least you are doing something positive to change the world, so that you and others don’t have to live in a war zone. I’ve been through a lot in the past seven years but I always remind myself while I suffer set backs that Rome wasn’t built in a day. I support your movement and it is the best thing to come out of the middle east in a long time. I’ll get the word out about your movement for peace.

    Take care.

    “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

    “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

    Martin Luther King, Jr.

  8. Lisa said:

    To Kay –

    1. A one-state solution is utopian for two reasons: (a) Arabs and Jews do not trust one another sufficiently to allow power-sharing; and (b) it would effectively destroy the existence of Israel as the state of the Jewish nation.

    2. Israel is not the Jewish state. It is the state of the Jewish nation. The vast majority of Israeli Jews define themselves as secular; they are defined by their nationality, not their religion. Therefore, your hypothetical comparison to a Quaker state simply does not work. Quakers are members of a religious group, not a nation. Jews are a nation.

    3. Given your professed belief in the loving-kindness and goodness of most Israelis and Palestinians, I find it rather strange that you are opposed to the idea of ordinary Israelis *and* Palestinians expressing their desire for a two-state solution and an end to the conflict. I am also surprised that you express no condemnation of the people who threatened the lives of the musicians who were scheduled to perform at the Jericho concert. Surely your ideals extend to freedom of expression and the right to gather in public places. Surely you should oppose the bullying tactics of those who have successfully prevented thousands of Palestinians from exercising those basic rights by gathering at Jericho for a concert.

    4. Your claim that One Voice does not talk about occupation is false. The point of One Voice is to amplify the voices of Palestinians *and* Israelis who believe that an end to the occupation is the only way to end the conflict.

    Justice is an ambiguous term. Too often, it means justice for one side at the expense of the other. The vast majority of Israelis are native-born. They are rooted in their country, immersed in their language and in their culture. They have just as much a right to their identity as Palestinians do to theirs.

    Perhaps, some day, we will all live in John Lennon’s world of Imagine. But for now, we have to face reality and accept the fact that there are two peoples with vastly disparate national aspirations. They cannot live together, but most of them would be quite content to live side-by-side and autonomously.

  9. Lisa said:

    Sorry, the above comment was for Jessica, not Kay.

  10. Compassion is the Only Antidote to Cynicism, Fear and Cowardice | Daniel Lubetzky said:

    [...] blogged back then how I realized this and fought it and literally forced myself to disavow that hatred and even work around my emotions to literally stop hating and actually start caring for those who I was most hateful towards.  OneVoice, the Movement, [...]

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