Since posting about the special video meeting between the students of the American University in Iraq and me, I got many supportive emails form the western world. I got supportive emails, but also found out that not only people from America, Europe and Israel read my post, many people from Arab countries read it too. I felt like a wall came down, even just for a bit, as I could communicate regarding my book, Israel, Jews and Arabs, and the situation of the citizens of Iraq.
After the post was posted I noticed that many Arabs read it. I wondered how they reached it. After a few days Dima contacted me and said that her dad reposted it, thinking many people will criticize Dima for even speaking to me. “But the really nice thing was”, she said, “that people really supported the dialogue, and thought the Jews are dearly missed in Iraq”. I was very surprised to hear all this, and actually realized that Iraqis, they don`t have a problem with the Jews, the problem they have is with the existence of Israel.
Dima told me that for Arabs, just the existence of Israel is like “a Holocaust” to the Arabs. I did not speak to her more about it. It is a dangerous place from my point of you to cross. What would I say? That just the comparison gives me the chills? Don`t they know that Jews were taken to the gas chambers just because they were Jews? That the Arabs who lived here were never executed? That they had a choice to leave and had a place to go? A situation that the Jews did not have the benefit of having?
I think that there is so much information and brain wash that still takes place in the Arab world, and I really wish that these days, where internet gives so much information, and people can judge for themselves, maybe they can see the truth.
Everyday life in Iraq is unbearable, suicide bombers, shooting in the streets, Isis, all this brought life to be unbearable, and as Israelis, we can sympathy with that. We were the first country to suffer from suicide bombers. I remember that when our oldest was two years old and I would drive with him, I always tried not stop next to busses, because of suicide bombers, who used to bomb busses. Israel is also living every day with lots of threats surrounding it, and as I said before, if only they could see what Israel is going through, and see that Israelis are just people like them, raising families, hardworking people, who at the end of the day are looking for quite, safe, and peaceful lives, maybe then we could cross religions, cross every other boundaries and just live side by side in peace.