Surfing in Gaza – Part II

Aug 12, 2007 Published under Funnies, Middle East, OneVoice Movement

I set out to help Doc and David find Mohammed and Ahmed, who Doc and David want to help get free surfing equipment and “just surf” as a way to establish a “Surfing for Peace” initiative. 

I called Dr. Fathi Darwish, our older statesman General Director of OneVoice Palestine, based out of Ramallah. 

“Doctor,” I said, “do you know what is surfing?”


“Surfing.  The sport where people get on big boards and glide on the sea, propelled by the waves.”


“Do you know Baywatch?”


“You know Hawaii?  With the guys with the nice tans and long hair, who ride the waves?”

“Well, Daniel, to be honest, I don’t know what you are talking about.”


Who am I to wonder? I didn’t know who “Kelly Slater” is – or Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz for that matter.

But there is certainly something very powerful in the philosophy that surfers bring to our world. “Just have fun, surf, focus on your connection with the moment, and leave everything else behind.”

During our meeting, I also remembered that we have been explaining that the OneVoice Summit is designed to be a massive mobilization of moderates that creates an unprecedented shared reality – the first time that Israelis and Palestinians will participate in a historic moment with the same perspective and understanding.  Unlike the 1948 “Independence” for Israelis or “Naqba”  (catastrophe) for Palestinians, or unlike the Lebanon war where Israelis thought Nasrallah a vicious criminal and Palestinians by and large considered him a valiant hero, here we have an opportunity to create a special moment in the region’s consciousness, where Israelis and Palestinians in parallel stand up and say, Enough, we are going to end this conflict once and for all.

 And as in surfing, the goal is that the WAVE OF MODERATION will be so massive, that it will potentially drown out violent extremism and help attract the mainstream majority to ride the positive wave.

It is a narly undertaking, yes.  But a ride we cannot afford not to take – or prevail on. 

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