While Sulha participants offer many different stories and personalities, Abu Awwad’s story is exceptional in that he truly comes from the “other side.” A resident of a village near Hebron and self-described “participant” in the second intifada who spent six years in an Israeli jail, Abu Awwad has seen his share of fighting and loss.
“My brother Yusef was killed at a checkpoint in 2000,” Abu Awwad said. “And another one of my brothers, Said, was killed in 2004.”
Abu Awwad explained that a third brother, Ali, who was in attendance at Latrun on Tuesday, had been shot and wounded during the intifada, along with his son, who was also wounded by gunfire in 2004.
“We’ve been through it all,” he said. “And
Martin Amis has an important recent essay in the The Wall Street Journal about a new understanding of international terrorism that is emerging. In the course of the essay, however, Amis raises a series of vital issues that I will address over the course of several entries. The first is whether terrorism is really about religion even if its foot soldiers are almost all religious extremists? What are the different ramifications in terms of prevention and peacemaking? Even if terrorism is not essentially about religion we cannot abandon an engagement with religion because it motivates the foot soldiers.
The two most stimulating international terrorism-watchers known to me are John Gray and Philip Bobbitt. Professor Gray (“Straw Dogs,” “Al Qaeda and What It Means to Be Modern” and “Black Mass”) and Professor Bobbitt (“The Shield of Achilles” and the masterly “Terror and Consent”) are utterly unalike, except in brainpower
I had written a piece earlier on Leo Kramer’s pioneering work supporting Palestinian and Israeli doctors who work together. Leo’s follow-up article, Israeli, Palestinian Doctors Affect Change on the Ground, is even more revealing. Leo writes that the medical work is vital because doing is more important than talking, a theme I have been trying to push recently in It Is What You Do That Defines You. Leo writes:
These efforts, however, must also be directed toward achieving results on the ground. That means ameliorating the insecurity of the Israelis, while addressing the deprivation of the Palestinians, their need for medical services, goods, utilities, food and freedom of movement. The overt violence of the conflict is bad enough for both sides, without the medical and humanitarian border crises, which thwart the struggle to maintain a basic standard of living for the Palestinians.
To properly approach security and