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Middle East Fairy Tale


A long time ago in a tiny, little land there was a new baby born.

This was a baby nation that has yet to learn the ways of the family into which it was born....

This simple birth was perhaps more of a nightmare than a faery tale. To say it was a fortuitous event for the family would be to overstate the truth.... She was trained in the horrors of persecution and torture. Her name was Israel. She was named for a forefather. So if she acts a bit aggressive and masculine we need to overlook that.

Too many have either forgotten or never knew about the Stern Gang and other groups from within, who were out to exterminate Arabs living in what has become Israel. The "Palestinians" were not the enemy of Israel in 1948. They withdrew for the safety of their families because they did not, for the most part, participate in the Arab/Israeli war of 1948. Israel did win and the Palestinians were not allowed to return home. Some of their families did in fact stand up to other Arabs and do their best to protect their Jewish neighbors. It was a point of desert hospitality and honor that they had lived side by side and eaten with each other and so could not kill their neighbor who they often had in fact been close friends with.

The refusal of return following the war in 1948 left thousands stranded in the desert. They lived in refugee camps and mourned the loss of their homes, lands, livelihoods, and freedom.

Their neighboring Arabs did nothing to alleviate their suffering and lack of a place and citizenship. They had not fought in the war for either side, in most instances, had became pariah to the warring parties, unwanted and unaided by their old neighbors or their brother Arabs.

While Egypt and Jordan controlled the area of Trans Jordan for 17 years, nothing was done to benefit the people in this remnant area of Palestine. They could have established a nation if they had chosen to. Instead they left this area to serve as a buffer zone between themselves and Israel, not as an independent nation but a ruled territory. They really didn't care about this group......it isn't us so why bother?

When the war of 1967 came along and the surrounding nations once again prepared to attack Israel.... Israel won against incredible odds. BUT this time Israel had also taken the Golan Heights, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula.

Egypt in a gutsy move signed a peace treaty with Israel in exchange for the return of the Sinai. But Israel forgot one thing in all of her glorying. In 1950 the UN had become the worlds negotiation and enforcement body and they and the World Court had outlawed colonialism. England soon gave up her hold on Canada, New Zealand, and Australia while keeping such tiny places as the Falkland Islands. Other nations gave up their colonies in Asia and Africa. America has kept Samoa, Puerto Rico, and Guam while turning the larger territories of Hawaii and Alaska into states.

Land specifically taken in war was not free for the taking anymore. It now brings deep financial and moral responsibilities with it, if kept. The right of return, protection of the populace, many things are specifically laid out in legal rulings.

In keeping Gaza, West Bank, and the Golan Heights Israel took on a legal responsibility to see to the right of return of refugees, to provide protection for the populace, to meet the basic needs of food, clothing, housing and medical care. Education should also have been an expected service.

What was given was nowhere near the moral or legal obligation Israel took on. Israel instead has decimated the population. The UN has provided the schools and a good part of the medical care. Israel appears to use the school buildings for target practice with total disregard for life and safety. Instead of providing housing, Israel destroys housing wholesale. She frequently goes far beyond the house of a single perpetrator of terror and destroys many at a time. In December 2004 the IDF destroyed 113 houses in Kahn Younis refugee camp alone. Other camps have lost as much or more. The total is many thousands in the past four years. Israeli soldiers also have fired multiple rockets and missiles into hospitals.

Where are the basic services, material needs, food, safety, medical care and the protection of civilians and medical personnel? Where are the job opportunities? If they are not to be had in Israel, then in other neighboring countries and in allowing commerce in the Palestinian territory. What of the loss of education because of hampered movement and closed borders? What about hampering medical personnel from reaching or transporting patients? Babies are born at check points…some on the side of the road and some in ambulances because passage is denied.

Israel claims all this happens because of suicide bombers and other terrorists. Israel claims the IDF presence is needed in the territories because of terrorism. But there is no terror when the tanks shoot through the walls of homes and kill children in their beds. There is no terror when a bulldozer starts knocking in the walls of a home on its inhabitants in the middle of the night or runs over an international peace activist. There is no terror when IDF sniper bullets go through school classroom windows and kill little girls sitting in classes with their friends. There was no terror when twins were born on the side of the road or for the mother with delivery complications who birthed her baby in an ambulance after waiting for 2 hours at a checkpoint recently. There is no terror when some of these babies die there at the checkpoints. There was no terror January 7th 2005 when tanks shelled children picking strawberries in their families agricultural lands in Gaza. It was not terrifying for the father to find his dismembered children in that field and there was no terror for the young boys who lost both legs or a single arm or leg and were covered in shrapnel wounds.

If this is not terror: then a suicide bomber sitting in a busload of innocent civilians is not terror either. Then RPGs or Kassam rockets landing in a neighborhood are not terror either. A home damaged by a rocket is nothing and IDF soldiers shot or blown up are nothing either.

Since there is nothing Israel can do to a Palestinian that is terror…….then in all fairness nothing done by a Palestinian to an Israeli is an act or terror either. The very definition of terrorism then has been negated by Israel’s actions in the territory called Palestine.

If what they do is not terrorism…….then what is done to them is not terrorism either.

Since Terrorism doesn’t exist now on either side……the excuse for the occupation; "protection from terrorism", has just been eliminated.

See how simple it is…Israel can take her army home and not have to be concerned about residual bad effects in her young men. Palestine can stop sending suicide bombers, RPGs and Kassam rockets into IDF positions or Israeli settlers neighborhoods and the settlers who were allowed ILLEGALLY into occupied territories can leave now as there are no security worries for the 1967 borders.

Terrorism has ceased to exist by Israel’s definitions of it.

By the end this year we can all sing…..silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright….

Perhaps I can also make my own pilgrimage to Bethlehem and look out over the empty peaceful hills where shepherds once listened to angels sing of Glory to God, and of Peace on earth.

Terrorism has ceased to exist.

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A new baby is hopefully about to be born. We need a good midwife and teachers who will teach this child better manners and how to get along with the family. This child is tentatively name Palestine. Like his forefather Ishmael, Palestine may be a bit wild and unruly but with the propensity to become a great nation.

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My personal belief is that we are all the children of one God. When Jesus spoke the words" Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" he spoke to us all. When He spoke the words, "whosoever will, whosoever believeth" he was addressing the universal invitation to come to the one God. He was spoken of as the "Prince of Peace", while God in heaven is definitely the "King of Peace". His chosen capital on earth was Jerusalem…..Salem…..Peace. Jews, Christians, and Moslems all want this city of "Peace" but none approach it with peace. Each approaches it with covetousness, which is forbidden to us.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God"-Jesus.

(This was written with a little sarcasm and with a whole lot of wishful thinking.) Shalom… Salaam… Salem…
Peace be with you

Dr. Mary Majayda



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Dr. Mary Majayda is a human rights and peace activist writer and the occasional teller of fairy tales. She holds a doctorate in Theology and Christian Counseling. Mary and her late husband operated a mission and K-12 school for Native American children for 22 years. She is currently employed as a hospice chaplain working with terminally ill patients in their homes. She is also a marriage counselor and member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. Recently married to a Palestinian she is working through the nearly impossible tangle of legalities to be united with her husband. Please feel free to contact her at clergylady@juno.com



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