Marlowe's Shade

Monday, October 18, 2004

Once an enemy, now a supporter of Israel

Brigitte Grabriel's story, as posted by Smooth Stone speaks volumes about the difference between the Israelis and those who oppose them.

I was raised in Lebanon where I was taught that the Jews were evil, Israel was the devil, and the only time we will have peace in the Middle East is when we kill all the Jews and drive them into the sea.

When the Muslims and Palestinians declared Jihad on the Christians in 1975, they started massacring the Christians city after city. I ended up living in a bomb shelter underground from age 10 to 17 without electricity eating grass to live and crawling under sniper bullets to a spring to get water.

It was Israel that came to help the Christians in Lebanon. My mother was wounded by a Muslim’s shell and was taken into an Israeli hospital for treatment. When we entered the emergency room I was shocked at what I saw. There were hundreds of people wounded, Muslims, Palestinians, Christian Lebanese and Israeli soldiers lying on the floor. The doctors treated everyone according to their injury. They treated my mother before they treated the Israeli soldier lying next to her. They didn’t see religion. They didn’t see political affiliation. They saw people in need and they helped.

For the first time in my life, I experienced a human quality that I know my culture would never have shown to its enemy. I experienced the values of the Israelis -- who were able to love their enemy in their most trying moments. I spent 22 days at that hospital. Those days changed my life and the way I listen to the media. I realized that I had been sold a fabricated lie by my government about the Jews and Israel that was so far from reality. I knew for a fact that if I was a Jew standing in an Arab hospital, I would be lynched and thrown over to the grounds as shouts of joy of “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) would echo through the hospital and the surrounding streets.

I became friends with the families of the Israeli wounded soldiers, one in particular Rina, her only child was wounded in his eyes.

One day I was visiting with her and the Israeli army band came to play national songs to lift the spirits of the wounded soldiers. As they surrounded Rina’s son’s bed playing a song about Jerusalem, Rina and I started crying. I felt out of place and started waking out of the room, and this mother holds my hand and pulls me back in without even looking at me. She holds me crying and says: “It is not your fault”. We just stood there crying holding each other’s hands.
papijoe 6:09 AM