For the past month I have been thinking about what to write to you about Yom Al-Ard. The news from the Holy Land is not great with the continuous Judaization of Jerusalem, more illegal land grabs in the Negev, Hebron and villages in the West Bank.
It seems that the rape of the Palestinian land (whether inside Israel or the West Bank including Jerusalem) cannot be stopped at this moment in history. But never despair my friends. History teaches us that no oppressive regime, no violations of human rights can last forever. Who would have imagined that the evil Gaddafi would be executed by his own people? Who would have thought that a year on, the Syrian people would be that courageous and resilient in the face of a harsh regime?
Times are changing and people want freedom and dignity. Leaders like Gaddafi and Assad are incapable of imagining that people will one day stand up and question their authority. Yom Al-Ard is important because it reminds the Israeli government of its illegal actions and that the status quo is not sustainable for the Israelis. Seeking peace with their Palestinians neighbours, reinstating equal rights to Palestinians 48 & ending the illegal occupation of Palestine as well as reversing the settlement project is the only long term sustainable strategy for the 6 million Israelis living among a “300 million sea of Arabs”. The changing political landscape in the Middle East is slowly edging towards such change. Today’s global march to Jerusalem http://gm2j.com/main/ is a new activism taking place not only on a Palestinian level but an international level as well.
In the face of the continuing injustice and shrinking Palestinian lands, I wanted to make sure I keep an open mind & heart about the conflict. So I turned to the wisdom of the Dalai Lama for some hope & inspiration. Tibet has also been struggling for independence & autonomy since China’s 1950 invasion. I wanted to know how the Dalai Lama dealt with the injustices taking place in Tibet. I hope his wisdom leaves an impression on your spirit! Here is what the Dalai Lama said about:
– Nakba (tragedy):
“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways-either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.”
– Sumud (perseverance):
“Hard times build determination and inner strength. Through them we can also come to appreciate the uselessness of anger. Instead of getting angry nurture a deep caring and respect for troublemakers because by creating such trying circumstances they provide us with invaluable opportunities to practice tolerance and patience.”
– Salam Shalom (Peace):
“Because we all share this planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. This is not just a dream, but a necessity …Real peace [is] not just the absence of violence or of war… A mere absence of war is not genuine, lasting world peace. Peace must develop on mutual trust.”
– Hourriya (freedom):
“Brute force, no matter how strongly applied, can never subdue the basic human desire for freedom and dignity. It is not enough, as communist systems have assumed, merely to provide people with food, shelter and clothing. Human nature needs to breathe the precious air of liberty.”
(Posted by Susan Wahhab on March 30, 2012 / Facebook / 31.03.2012)