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Ice Not Fully Broken

Once upon a time, 10 idealists set out on a trip to promote peace through individual understanding and cooperation. Their travels would take them to Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Libya, where the group – which included some Israelis – hoped to present an olive tree to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi upon its arrival in Tripoli, along with a message of peace.

 

That doyen of “peace,” Shimon Peres, waxed lyrical as to the importance of the trip. “A trip to Tripoli three or four years ago would have looked impossible,” he said. But “the time will come when going to Baghdad or Damascus would not be considered breaking the ice…Peace begins with one person trying to convince himself it is our only real chance and good option that we as human beings are carrying.”

 

After travelling to Israeli and palestinian controlled areas of Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, the group made their way towards Libya where Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi came out to greet them, gave them all big hugs, and proclaimed peace for all mankind, which they were barred from entering.

“Israel does not exist as a country, it is Palestine, and we do not allow occupiers into our country,” was the explanation a special representative of the Libyan government gave the nine-person group of a peace mission for barring their entrance into the country Wednesday morning.

 

The group, which includes three Israelis, was camped out in the no-man’s land between Egypt and Libya after failing to gain entrance to the latter country late Tuesday night.

 

Latif Yahia, the Iraqi participant who was once a double for Uday Hussein, and who functioned as the group’s spokesman at the border, gave a valiant effort in trying to persuade the Libyan official, but was unsuccessful.

 

The group had voted to stay the night at the border and see if diplomacy and their message of good will to all people would gain them admittance Wednesday into the nation which has until now barred Israeli visitors.

 

Throughout the trek the group had been aware that the goal of ending their journey in Libya hinged on the good graces of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was aware of the group’s intentions to travel to Tripoli.

 

A statement released by Breaking the Ice, prior to the official Libyan rejection of entry, said that participants were still hopeful they would continue their trip in Libya as scheduled, and arrive in Tripoli to plant an olive tree from Jerusalem, which they are carrying with them.

 

“We have decided to camp at the border and make our appeal again in the morning to ensure the highest officials will have the ability to make the decision,” the statement said.

Now don’t get me wrong. Wishing for peace is a nice endeavor, as is trying to build bridges between people. Just don’t be surprised when you find out that while you are trying to break the ice, there are those who would rather break your neck. Once you understand this reality, you are able to more fully appreciate why Israel’s priority has to be to defend her citizens.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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