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The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,    but because of the people who don't do anything about it    
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In this unprecedented moment, terrible, wonderful things are happening simultaneously.
Yoav Peck
Posted to Forum of Peace Groups on Sun. Mar 22,


In this unprecedented moment, terrible, wonderful things are happening
simultaneously. Israelis are discovering what it is to be cooped up in the
house, with a frightening enemy lurking outside. A kind of forced empathy
for the Palestinians who have endured closures for 52 years. Corona does not
burst through one`s door in the middle of the night, to arrest our 14 year
old sons, but it threatens us fiercely nonetheless. And the same secret
service that tracks Palestinian cousins of arrested rock-throwers is now
tracking us!

The utter inter-connectedness of us all. now is being driven home to even
the most separatist among us. Suddenly, there is a `WE` that goes beyond
borders and checkpoints. Finally, reality is pounding us with the truth that
when any of us are ill, when any of us suffer, we are ALL in danger. We know
that getting on top of this will require all of us. Arabs and Jews, Druze
and Circassians alike.

Dr. Rafi Walden, President of doctors for peace and deputy director of Sheba
(Tel Hashomer) hospital: `Strange that a patient can deliver his life into
the hands of a senior heart surgeon, who is Arab, at the same time that the
prime minister broadly defines the Arab citizens of Israel as supporters of
terror. The health system would collapse without the critical contribution
of the Arab staffers.`

From day one, there has been full cooperation between the Palestinian health
system and the Israelis`. Israelis and Palestinians taking care of each
other is suddenly not scorned by militants in Palestine as `normalization.`
And when this crisis is over, why would we not continueto cooperate on
infrastructure and culture and sustainability? When the Carmel forest raged,
in 2016, eight crews of Palestinian firefighters rushed into Israel to help
put out the flames.

Now, our way of caring for each other is to avoid each other. In this land
of middle-eastern huggers and kissers, where personal space is hard to come
by. At the corner market, masked customers` body-language says `Stay away
from me.`

Thrown to ourselves. We`re all in retreat. Long days at home. Time to think,
time to re-think. Time to feel.

Yoav Peck is Director of the Sulha Peace Project, bringing Israelis and
Palestinians together for people-to-people solidarity-building

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