Monday, November 07, 2005

That this conflict is so absurd I have written several times before, but it still amazes me when I read about yet another proof of its senselessness. Last week a 12-year old Palestinian boy, Ahmed Isma'il al-Khatib ( see also here ), was shot by IDF soldiers in Jen when they mistook the toy gun that he played with for a real one. Severely wounded, he was transfered to an Israeli hospital ( Rambam in Haifa ), where he died. His parents decided to donate his organs to save the lives of other people. "His heart was given to a 12-year-old girl; his liver was divided in two and given to two patients, a six-month old baby and a 56-year-old woman; his kidneys were given to a 5-year-old boy and his lungs were given to a 5-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl, Israel Radio reported." Every now and then we read about Arab ( Palestinian ) children or adults receiving organs of Jews ( Israelis ) who died, or of Jewish ( Israeli ) adults and children being given an opportunity to return to a normal life with the help of organs donated by an Arab ( Palestinian ) family. In this case the story is even more touching. This just goes to show that we all live with the same hearts, lungs and kidneys, we all breathe the same air, and we all depend on each other. If only all of us would be allowed to scrape off some of the outward labels that make life so difficult for us, and if only our lives could be lived on the most basic, human level, without the interference of politicians and religious 'leaders', we would in all likelihood get along quite well. This does not mean that we all should give up our religious or national identity, but it would be nice if we stopped defining and labeling others without first seeing them as human beings, with the same human needs and passions that keep us going. If we see the person on the other side first and foremost as someone who in most aspects is identical to us, we fill find it harder to blow ourselves up right next to him while he is buying some groceries, or to shoot him in the head when he is playing in the street.

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