It’s Not the Occupation, Stupid!

At Islam Online, Hisham Al-Masry (not his real name) speaks of his encounter with an Israeli girl in Denmark.

I was outside setting on the coach enjoying the great view of Vallekilde when a girl with a long dark curly hair showed up, she looked at me, I saw the sadness in her eyes, and I felt there is something different about her, but couldn’t know what exactly what it was.

She came towards me, “Hello.. I want to talk to you..” she said, I told to her “Sure.. what do you want to talk about?”, I was really shocked when I heard what she had to say after that, because I didn’t expect that she will come to me and the first thing she had to say is “Do you hate me?”

The first thing that I should be clear about here is to understand and explain what she meant by the terms “you” and “me”, I am a Muslim, Arab and Egyptian young man, and she is an Israeli girl, both of us met for the first time.

There was something inside of me that wouldn’t let me go, but all other parts of my mind and soul were pushing me in this direction to meet someone from Israel, the people who have several wars with Egyptians. Actually, visiting Occupied Palestine is a dream for all Arabs and Muslims, but someone like me couldn’t have such a chance without having really big problems before and after returning back home with the security departments in Egypt. This is why they don’t give you an Israeli Visa on your Passport, but it will be given in another temporary Passport, and this meeting could destroy my whole career history and also could give me a bad reputation as a person who came closer to Israeli people, and that’s why I can not publish this under my name.

The good thing is that I didn’t have to travel to Israel because the meeting is at a neutral place in Denmark where the “Media For Dialogue” course was held, I also knew there would be a chance to meet Arabs from Occupied Palestine, which meant I would be able to have a close look at the conflict. It’s not just another documentary movie, but I would meet real people, and have the ability to interact with them all, hoping to bring something good out of it. This is how I was thinking and how I make it easy for my self to accept it.

I was remembering all of this after hearing the question from the Israeli girl I met in Denmark during the course. I told her “Of course I don’t hate you, but I hate occupation, and you know that our countries had a very bad historical wars against each other, I believe that all humans should live together in peace”. She completely agreed with me like she had the same opinion as mine.

Sounds promising.

That is until the Egyptian man drops the pretense of the conflict being about the so-called occupation and lets the Israeli woman know how he really feels.

I continued “I will be honest and tell you about what I really think because you are not the only one who feels the sadness, but I have also my deep sadness feeling, especially when I think about the future of Egyptians in coming generations. I believe we will have another big war with Israel, maybe it will take some time until this happen, but no one can stop that, recording to prophet Mohammed -peace and blessings be upon him- “The Hour will not come to pass until you fight the Jews..” to the end of the Hadith (mentioned by Abu Hurayrah in: Whole true small number -7,414). This war will be totally religious and All Muslims will be part of it, it’s not the same war that we have now in the Middle East against the Israeli occupation. and this me feel bad some how, because the war will never end between Muslims and Jews. Of course no body wants war but what to do?!

Now that’s a conversation killer.

It’s also further proof that the so-called “occupation” is not the root cause of this conflict. The Muslims see themselves as obliged to fight the Jews, wherever we are.


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

Help Keep This Important Work Going