...reflections from a Compassionate Listener

Monday, May 31, 2010

Sami Awad, on Auschwitz, fear, and the meaning of nonviolence

The Israeli attack today on the ships trying to break the blockade on Gaza, brought great sorrow throughout the world. On this dark day, our delegation here in Palestine received the profound gift of listening to Sami Awad, Palestinian non-violence leader. Sami is the founding director of the Holy Land Trust.

Learn more about their work at: http://www.holylandtrust.org/
I am partnering with Holy Land Trust to bring Compassionate Listening training to 30 Palestinian women, June 16th - 18th, at the Everest Hotel in Beit Jala. If you know any women from Palestine who would like to join the training, please have them contact Holy Land Trust directly.

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Therese Charvet said...

Sami's comments are so insightful, a paradigm shift from the usual us vs. them mentality....urging us to meet the "other" as fellow human being, to work to reduce fear rather than fight for justice....This is profound, an important re-framing of what is needed for peace. He is clearly tapped into the inner source of peace and knows how it looks to take it outward. Thanks for posting this.

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, the fear must be addressed on both sides in order for this wonderful idea to work.
Another issue that complicates the process is that Israelis, and Jews generally, have never forgotten that they were led like lambs to the slaughter and so are determined not be passive victims again. This insight will be very important to remember when dealing with those who wish to defend Israel against further aggression.

Judith Margolis said...

It was good to be at the delegation's meeting in Kvar Etzion on Monday and to listen to Mohammed. Myron, Yanki etc. I look forward to further participation.

Responding to this post: You characterize the flotilla incident as: "The Israeli attack today on the ships trying to break the blockade on Gaza." which implies you were there and know what happened.That you are on one side and blaming the other.

There is a legitimate question, obvious from videos shown on YouTube about whether what occurred there was confrontational or defensive. From first hand accounts it appears that at least one of the boats was carrying people whose intention was not peaceful activity but provocation.

Clling it an "Israeli attack" rather than a "dispute" or "an encounter that resulted in violence" gives the impression that you are on one side and blaming the other side. This compromises the model of Compassionate Listening as an example of and fair-minded conflict resolution.

I value our relationship and feel that only openhearted honesty makes sense here.

Jactive said...

I don't think the use of the word "attack" is in and of itself prejudicial. If Leah had said "unjustified attack", then Judith might have a point.

It may be correct, as some supporters of Israel have maintained, that Israel's decision to board the ship did not violate international law - even though it occurred in international waters.

However, the persons on board were, for their part, under no legal obligation to passively submit to the boarding, even if we as believers in nonviolence would find their actions reprehensible.

Here's a newsclip I just found online at the website of the English language Turkish newspaper Hurriyeh. The picture of events this provides does not support the idea of a vicious, unrepentantly and intentionally evil mob on board ship, which could only be subdued by killing nine of them and wounding 30 others.

Begin quote: "Other pictures show a commando falling down stairs and another soldier being assisted by medics aboard the ferry.

Kenneth Nichols O’Keefe, a U.S. Gulf War veteran who was aboard the ferry, said he was among the activists who overpowered three Israeli soldiers, according to the Anatolia news agency.

“[The soldiers] looked at us... They thought we would kill them, but we let them go,” O'Keefe said, adding that he took the weapon of one of the soldiers and emptied it, according to the Anatolia report. " -- end quote.

Aura said...

Sami thank you, your words touch my heart, you are a visionary and i honor that. If everyone could walk this way in the world, what beauty we could see.