In my last interview with Mossi, in All for Peace, he asked me what seemed a provocative question, knowing well he didn’t have the intention to provoke when he said: I am meeting your president next week, what do you want me to tell him? While trying to make the question more appropriate with my sense of reaction, Mossi, ended asking me what would I want to tell the president, and to make the discussion less serious he said: what would you do if you were the president.
Regardless the Q and A game that took place, what continued to irritate me was the fact the Mossi, the Israeli, can meet the president and I, the Palestinian cannot.
I forgot about it, and I saw today on the news headlines talking about the meeting of the president with a delegation from Meretz. At the beginning I felt the same stirring feeling of being annoyed. This time it was more of annoyance, taking into consideration the scenes of deaths that have been haunting us in the last few days. I was thinking of those times, when in such occurrences, strikes that would take place in the streets of Palestine. Not a single Israeli would even think of stepping in an area of a checkpoint marked with the red huge sign of “ No Israelis allowed to Palestinian Areas”.
But as I was reading through what took place in the meeting, I stopped at the statements of the president that I genuinely needed to listen to as a Palestinian. He said that he felt ashamed to go to visit the parents of the killed youngsters of today and yesterday and the day before yesterday. “ What am I supposed to tell the parents?” I felt the true pain in his words. And I was thinking, why doesn’t the president address us in the same way? Is he waiting for a wise, smart, human Israeli who would empathies and can make a difference?
As much as people like that delegation and others form supporting waves in Israel that empathies and sympathize, their effect on the change in the politics of israle is practically nothing. These people are as helpless as us. Talking to them is like convincing the convinced.
I felt like sending a letter to the president, and I actually posted a reflecting in Arabic saying, if I was in the president’s position”. I know the president will never get my question or my request. Because the president seems to have build a wall between him and the people. Someone must have convinced him that we didn’t need to know or hear or feel him. Maybe someone convinced him that expressing his true emotions is a weakness a leader cannot prevail infront of his people. But how come the president feels so much at ease addressing Israelis and not addressing us?
Does he really think that we may not buy his emotional discourse? We live in such an emotional damaging situation aside and together with all the damage we live in, it is emotions of empathy of the president that the people mostly need in such a situation, when each day a family mourns a child forever.
I gave up on my aspirations of thinking of “ what would I do if I become a president” and decided to minimize my demands and request to a single one; we need the president to go out and talk to his people, “us”, the way he talks himself out when addressing the Israeli public.
It will be a lot of benefits for him, and for us the mourning nation.