My name is Michael (40), I live in Osnabrück, Germany. I have never been to the middle east but since I was a kid our news on TV have always been full of wars and riots in this area. Plus I learned that it has been that way before I was born. I have to admit that I kind of grew “used to it”, my pity for the people grew kind of worn out and it is also so far away… Our media always shows us people burning israli and american flags in the streets of countrys with muslim majorities while those whose flags are burnt keep launching high-tech weapons made in USA on them.
The media always shows those flag-burning-crowds as aggressive, ideologically misled and probably undereducated people who might never learn to share a different view. Lives are lost on both sides and the vicious circle keeps spinning forever. Beeing german always adds a complicated component to the discussion: Our people killed 6.000.000 jewish people in the past. Whenever somebody says something pro-palestinensian our anti-israeli, the person will probably and instantly be marked anti-semetic (or worse).
But the good thing is that nobody shall choose a side on this page, not the palestinensian nor israeli side. It is here so we can pick the side of peace, the side of the peace-loving people in all those always war-threatened countrys in the middle east. This page helped me to a different view. Probably all those flag-burning-crowds on the streets and the high-tech-weapon-launching people in their jets, helicopters, tanks and bunkers are a vast minority. The vast majority are those working hard to build their lives, their homes, caring for their families. And maybe now even for the the people on the other side.
I have to admit that I had tears in my eyes when I browsed the entries and pictures on this page. Keep on the work, spread the word. But I think that engagement on the internet can just be a start and that people will have to put up a peaceful protest on the streets to show your government that you are fed up with war and hate in your region. Without burning any flags for a change. (Perhaps the flag-burning-crowds maybe forced or payed by their government anyway…) Twenty-three years ago, our countrymen from eastern-germany went on the streets in a peaceful protest. This helped to reunite our country. So peaceful protest can be powerful, but it takes time and courage. Thanks a lot for putting up this online platform for peace in the middle east. Best wishes for your great and important work from Germany.