For the past year, two men — one Israeli, one Palestinian — have been blogging about their lives on opposite sides of the Israeli-Gaza border. One goes by the screen-name Hope Man (Israeli Eric Yellin), and the other, Peace Man (Palestinian — name not given for safety concerns). They purposely share the same blog.
What really touched me was the fact that these two “enemies” value friendship over all else: Over religion. Over politics. Over war. Over being ostracized. Over nationality. Hope Man says of Peace Man, “For him, it was the first time ever to meet an Israeli. For him, they were always the enemy, always the oppressor, and it took a while to create trust even between the two of us,” Yellin says. “And I think that over time, we’ve really become friends, and there is full and complete trust. I trust him with my life and, I think, vice versa.” It paints a beautiful picture of how we should treat our enemies, with love and friendship. Perhaps then they will cease being our enemies and simply our friends, whom we would die for.
It is also great to see how they are using the medium of blogging (but I’m not biased) to inform the world of their perspective of war. What gripped me while reading their posts was the fact that, as an American living in America, I have NO CLUE what it is like to live in war and hatred.
Here are some excerpts from their blog conversations:
[Latest Post - 1st Post from Peace Man in Nearly 2 Months] I hope that the cease-fire will be the beginning of a new future and hope of ending the long suffering, and give the opportunity for peace between the parties, they have tried and experienced the war, and I wish they give peace and dialogue a chance for once. We have much to do because this war increased the pain and the hate between the two parties. [more]
[Their First Post - Jan 2008] “Today has been quiet so far. Only one siren went off. I heard one faint rocket fall in a far distance and another somewhat closer. Not too close.
I was glad that all my kids were already in school and not anywhere near the falling rockets.
The past week was very difficult. Probably close to 200 rockets with several people wounded. A couple rockets fell in a range of 40-60 meters from our home. One fell without any preparation (siren) and caught me in the shower.
This morning I called my friend “Peace man” from Gaza. He told me that things have been quiet today. Israel has cut all fuel and goods supply to Gaza. This means that they have electricity only an hour or so a day. He fears that the electricity will shut down completely. I asked about food. He told me that prices have gone up even more do to the lack of goods…” (more)
[Written by the Israeli, Hope Man, Jan 2009] “We are now 2 weeks into the war. 1 week since the ground incursion and Peace man and I have been in very little contact since the. He is out of electricity 99% of the time and cannot charge his cell phone. Added to that is the fact that reception of cell phones from Gaza is almost nil, he has to be in a high and exposed place to talk. This endangers him so we have had very little contact. It is a horrifying reality…” (more)
[Written by the Palestinian, Peace Man, his last post since the War in Gaza began, Nov 2008] “Today I will write you the trapped students in Gaza ,am one of Hundreds of post graduate students from the Gaza Strip accepted to study abroad are unable to reach our universities because of the closure of the Strip imposed by Israel since June 2007…” (more)
Here are some links: