In the picture, me and Gilad Atzmon, two activists from two different worlds, interested in Human Rights and ethics. The meeting was during a medical aid for Palestine concert in London. I read my poetry while Gilad played Jazz to stitch the wounds of Palestinians.
Iqbal Tamimi/ Palestinian Journalist and researcher in UK and creator of Palestinian Mothers Network
After many years of humiliation and despair experienced by many Palestinians like myself, I took the liberty after moving to the UK of starting an individual project - searching to find out why Israeli’s are very cruel, how come they never see that their acts are inhumane, and how come they know nothing about ethics.
I could not start any dialogue with Israelis while I was residing in any Arab country, because I am a Palestinian and a practicing Muslim. Many Arabs and Muslims are still marked with deep wounds caused by the Israeli occupation not for Palestinians only. The majority of Arabs will not understand my mission if I brushed against their inflamed memories of loss and grief. I have been able to anticipate most people’s reactions, after publishing a few articles about not judging others on faith choice basis, and refusing the ideologies of feelings of superiority thus judging others upon such criteria. I ended up with a large number of e mails calling me all kinds of names, the least of which was ‘praising’ Jews and Christians, and being a bad Muslim woman who does not deserve to wear her Hijab.
The other reason for not being able to start a direct dialogue was due to the fact that some Arab countries already have relations with Israel on members of state level, but ordinary citizens are not encouraged to start communicating with the ‘enemy’. As an example I have created a website to initiate a dialogue between Palestinian mothers and Israeli mothers to talk about their feelings of loss and grief after losing a child to the war, and to shed some light on the Palestinian Plight. This website was banned in a Gulf country that has many Israeli projects and investments on its territories. Myself and many members of my network wrote to the department concerned in that country, but the answer was that we did not meet their criteria (internet is censored there by people who judge upon their own knowledge and experience what is good for all the citizens to have access for and what is not). Hence such human rights website has been classified in the same basket with porn websites, but of course other websites like dating and half naked women are OK and are not considered harming the ethics of the population like promoting peace might be considered. In short, ordinary citizens are not encouraged to contact Israelis, but influential personalities and investors can. This is another double standard one must stop to investigate in the Arab world.