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What`s new in the last three mileniums
In the Middle East, nothing much changed since the days of the Pharos. Rulers do international relationships, and tell their own people what to think. Egypt is a classic example. They had good relations with Israel, but allowed the public government sponsored media to blast Israel for a variety of reasons. This way they can keep their options to show solidarity with the other countries of the area in their support of the Palestinian cause. As the old saying goes; “it’s good PR. Business is a different story. Unfortunately I did not copy the article from Yediot Ahronot yesterday, but it does talk about cross investment between Israel and its neighbors, with little fanfare. This is the way of the Middle East, probably since before it was called the Middle East. I doubt much will change, democracy not withstanding. Marc
Marc Mansour, USA, 01/03/2011 03:24:00
peace process
the basic facts about the Israel-Palestine conflict are not controversial. whatch this and truly think for a moment, you dont need more evidence to prove is simply easy and clear. then we can live in harmony and peace. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5935337125702937135#
gussmoro, australia, 27/02/2011 15:05:00
3000 year?
the comments of TWO SIDES TO THIS mentions that Jews have the right to go back to Palastine because they were there 3000 years ago. Fine, we as Muslims believe too that this land was ruled and dominated by Jews 3000 years (give or take). But let`s be honest, who has more right to the land: those who are living already on it from the Palastinians whom you bouldozer their houses and confiscate their land, those whom you expelled since 1948 in different wars and periods - which makes their claim less than 75 year old at the worst? or those who are claiming the land after 3000 years? If this going to be the basis of establishing claims, then the Italians (the Romans) were everywhere in the Old World in the three continents Europe, Africa and Asia! The Greeks where in Egypt for more than 600 years, the Arabs lived in Spain for more than 800 years, the Mongols reached Damascus, do you want me to continue? According to the Old Testament, the Jews had their Kingdoms in Palastine not more than 300-600 years at best, which is less than what the Arabs had in Spain. So, this proof of ownership is not valid anymore. Jews are in Palastine today only because the West wanted to establish a beach front in Islamic countries and it coincided with the search of the Jews for an escape from the persecution you had in Europe in the late 19th century. That`t it. No more, no less. If the West stops aiding Israel with money and political support, the Jews would abandon Israel in less than 10 years.
mohammed G, UK, 27/02/2011 13:07:00
continue the dialogue
Jeff, Absolutely agree with your suggestions. My own background (medic who worked establishing NGO type projects in Third World) leads me to think that groups with expertise in given areas might link to transfer that knowledge. It would be a priviledge to help be part of following up on Rabbi Hartman`s inspired communication in any small way. I may be contacted at global.voices.for.peace at gmail.com
P.Joyce, , 27/02/2011 12:35:00
Chaim from Israel, Forgive me. Maybe my knowledge of the Torah is not as detailed as yours, but invoking Mordechai’s refusal to bow to Haman in this context is thoroughly misplaced. Seeking peace with neighbors is something that every Jew should want. Being distressed by the injustice that the Palestinians are living under, even if it can be justified by security, should be in every Jew’s heart. Another justification for the treatment of Palestinians has been that many leaders in the Muslim World treat their own people even worse. And this, in fact, leads to a good way to look at Mordechai’s example. Over the years, Israel had bowed to at least some of those leaders who weren’t particularly just to their own people. No one thought Mubarak to be a just leader; only a convenient one. Yet, Israel treated him as if his line of dictatorship would last forever (kind of divinely if you ask me). Now -- surprise surprise -- Mubarak is gone. Instead, we have a complicated, unpredictable Egypt. We now have PUBLIC OPINION to worry about. Coming out and engaging with the people, and not only Egyptians, but also all Arab people, and Palestinian in particular, is not bowing to anyone. In fact, it is exactly the equivalent of the refusal to bow to hateful and corrupt leaders, including perhaps some of our own.
Alex, USA, 27/02/2011 09:48:00
Two Sides To This!
Let me first say "salaam" and all the best in your newly free country. Most Israelis and Jews wish you nothing but the best. If you will permit me I would like to ask you a few difficult questions. Not because I want to debate or offend you. I only want to help you understand the other side: Many of you have welcomed the letter only to bring up past wrongs done by Israel or the lack of a Palestinian state. Has it occurred to you that your dictator did not provide you with the other side of the story? Perhaps Israel had legitimate reasons to fear you and your leaders which called for Israel`s extermination? That all the anti Israel propaganda you grew up with was total nonsense? That perhaps you initiated the 1948, 1956 1967 and 1973 war? That you rejected the UN resolution that would have created a Palestinian state in 1947 (UN resolution 181) and prevented refugees? That after Israel withdrew from Gaza and Lebanon it was attacked by thousands of rockets? That many Israelis have died at the hands of terrorists? That you rejected the UN resolution that would have brought the refugees home (194). That you said "no to peace, no to negotiations and no to recognition of Israel" in Sudan AFTER the 1967 war? That you attacked Israel during the holiest day of the year in 1973 while the army and people were fasting? Have you ever considered that there were an equal number of Jewish refugees from Arab countries that were rehabilitated in Israel while Palestinians rot in Lebanon and Kuwait? That over one million Arabs in Israel vote and speak their mind and condemn Israel in a way that would result in execution in any Arab state? How can you ask the Israelis to treat the Palestinians better than you treated them? BOTH sides need to take some blame. Israelis do not think they "stole" land. They see themselves having a 3000 year history. You don`t have to agree with this version but you need to first understand what they think. Most Israelis want to withdraw from the West Bank but it won`t happen if you can`t see it from their perspective. If you want it to happen stop threatening and blaming and start learning. Consider for a minute that you may not be 100% right.
Peace, Canada, 26/02/2011 08:49:00
Mabruk to the Egyption people
Mabruk and good luck, from an Israeli that is truely and honestly happy for you. Freedom and choice is for all humankind. All the best to you Inshalla!
Mira Kleiner, United States, 26/02/2011 02:59:00
continue the dialogue
P Joyce, IE has requested we find a way for people of good will to continue the dialogue. My suggestion is to create three or four chat rooms: 1- Regional Economic Development (my area) 2- Political and Legal Institution Building 3- Societal and attitude interaction/change 4- The creation of Eqyptian NGO`s for the common good. If Egypt is to emerge as a democratic, prosperous and fair society,then help/cooperation can come from outside. The Egyptian Diaspora who live in Democracies can play a great role. Countries such as India and China have emerged successful from poisonous ideologies and stifling bureaucracies. Each of these and other successful countries trade and co-develop with Israel for their own benefit. Perhaps a new Egypt can emerge dedicated to the benefit of its own citizens in cooperation with those who can bring it into the global economy. Not by government run enterprises, but by unleashing Egyptian creativity and talent through foreign direct investment,partnership with developed economies, and forging ties with others (Israelis included) who can provide the expertise, technology and access to the global market. Are Egyptians able to break and transcend the lies, ignorance, and corruption their government has shackled them with is a legitimate question.
JeffinSFBay Area, USA, 26/02/2011 02:46:00
Msg from an Egyptian youth
Hi there , I`m mazen , 21 years old .. i participated in all the days of the revolution .. i will consider all those words come from ur heart .. But we have eyes ..and we saw what u do with Palestinians and all the arabs ... i saw many videos of babies killd by the IDF .. women , old men kill with cold blood .. all the arab youth ( not only in egypt ) saw that ..if u wanna know how much egyptian hate israel ..see the comments of us in the arab newspaper websites .... so solve the problem .. stop building settlements (why u build it although there r gonna be demolished ? ) and rturn back to 1967 borders ..and send this letter to Palestinians (the one who said egypt for egyptians and leave Palestinians .. NO .. they are our brothers ) because if israel doesn`t do that ... egypt will build itself and then millions of egyptian will chant "the people ..wants ... liberation of palestine " instead of "the people wants .. the fall of the regime "" believe me .. we are the youth are saying that even on facebook (who start the revolution ) ..shalom :)
Mazen, Alexandria , Egypt, 26/02/2011 02:06:00

Dear dr hrtman,I did not believe that you really want a peace this is due to very simple reason you are jewish and believe that your ``country`` will expand as gas from neil to forat rivers . I think you are afraid because you are coming to dark future you do not know who will be the president of egypt in the next year. mubarak helped your ``country`` by exporting it gas nearly without money the coming president may not ,may be brotherhood group another islamic regieme may be at the region beside Iran . Democracy in egypt is very bad to Israel I think because it reflects what the egyptian people want not what israel want .
ahmed , egypt, 25/02/2011 20:51:00

Dear Rabbi Hartmann, Thank you so much for your letter. I totally agree with you and I assure you that so many Egyptians encourage "Peace with Israel" but in an improved sense instead of the cold peace we are living in. I think this will definitely happen once we get a real democratic system. We just have to put into consideration that this "rage & hate towards Israelis" that is wide spread here in Egypt is a product of the previous corrupt Egyptian regime. The Egyptian regime had to create an invisible monster to its people "in our case it`s Israel" to distract us from the real problems we are having in our country & to blame Israel for all bad things that are happening. In other words every country needs a scapegoat and our regime used to like the idea of Israel as our scapegoat. This will hopefully change in future, as we are in a great need of a strong, wise leader like SADAT. Dear Mohamed Tamer, I can understand the way you are thinking. Maybe you lost somebody in one of the previous wars with Israel & you are not totally positive about the "peace" idea. However you have to know that every war has its martyrs and heroes from both sides and remember in the time of the revolution when we were all stressed here in Egypt and watching the news 24/7 , who were the ones who were trying to interfere to get the Egyptians apart? Iran and Hezbollah. And who were the ones making use of the lack of security and demolishing in the Egyptian Rafah??? Hamas which is nothing but a tool of Iran and its proxy Hezbollah. God bless all who are encouraging Peace Maha Safey, cairo egypt
Maha Safey, Cairo, Egypt, 25/02/2011 13:46:00
Human Rights
Firstly Mr Hartman, I thank you for your polite friendly tone. But I cannot help but smirk "[democracy is] a system of government which believes that all humans are endowed with certain basic rights and freedoms .." If that is true, then Israel could not possibly be a democracy, they way it consistently violates Palestinian human rights. According to international law, Israel has occupied illegal territories for 44 years, and continues to expand illegal settlements, destroy Palestinian homes, and steal their land with "the separation wall". It makes their lives hell with checkpoints, refuses to return refugees, enforces illegal blockades and utterly destroys their infrastructure. Simply refer to the Goldstone report, or any report by unbiased human rights organizations like amnesty international to see the size of the violations. Israel has the best chance for peace, but it must give Palestinians their rights.
Omar, Canada, 25/02/2011 06:33:00
A Big Thank You
Dear Rabbi Hartman, Greetings from Cairo! I was very touched when I read your thoughtful and heartfelt sentiments to us in Egypt. I am also very grateful for your admirable generousity in reaching out to us. Many of us inside and outside Egypt share your heartfelt sentiments about the intertwined fate of our people which you have succinctly described in your letter. You are right about the hard work ahead to really get to know each other. I also hope that there will be opportunities to share freely our ideas, thoughts, feelings, fears, hopes and anxieties about our common interests and concerns. This, no doubt, will enable our people to build much needed trust for their future progress and peaceful coexistence. Much love from Egypt and God bless you Rabbi, George
George Mickhail, Egypt & Australia, 25/02/2011 03:16:00
Could I suggest having it translated into Arabic?
dan, UK, 25/02/2011 01:08:00
The hand of peace
The Letter offers a message of mutual tolerance and co-existence. Those many who have rejected it in the comments with intolerant and hateful speech are not enlightened enough to be ready for it. Maybe one day...
Mark K, germany, 24/02/2011 23:06:00
offering of peace
The letter was beutifully written and offers a hearty hand of peace to Arab neighbors. But It takes two to tango. Those who exclusively blame Israeli people for the plight of Arab people in the region are not ready for the tango of peace. Good luck to all rational people of the Near East in their quest for mutual tolerance.
Mark K, germany, 24/02/2011 23:02:00
Most Egyptians clain Israel have broken the treaty on many times and struggle to find 1 time Egypt havent honored it. If you take the time to read the camp david accord you will find in article 1A. Please read it and then come back and tell us that Israel have honoured the peace treaty. I belive Israel to needs a revolution, beacuse we have got rid of our extremist dictator and Israel needs people with visions to lead. The jewish people have more than its share of good and smart people. Those are the ones that should lead Israel away from this extrem/settler/aggresive politic. Those are the ones that will take over Egypt and imagine the future both out countrys can build together! Stop denying the facts, stop talking like its everybody else fault, stop talking about us hating etc etc. Give back the land that the ENTIRE world are demanding you to do. We are not brainwashed, its the ones in Isreal that cant understand what 194 countrys in the world are demanding and only you and the US is against. Give back the land so we can start building a great future! Dont remind us about 1967 etc etc. We are not scared, and we will never sit still again if Israel try a cast lead massacre again. Please understand this! We never want any war, so please dont force us in to one. Im sure you feel you could prevail in a war against Egypt-Syria-Iran-Hezbollah-Hamas and whover more that should join Egypt. But please dont.
magid, Sweden/Egypt, 24/02/2011 21:04:00
Good step forward
Dr.Hartman, Let me first congratulate you on your timely and inspiring initiative. In the past, I was associated with other peace initiatives some of which were launched by Israeli friends. I represented both Egypt & Canada. Thanks to Turkish Minister for Religious Affairs, Prof.Dr. Mehmet Aydin, we met in Bursa, Turkey some 8 years ago, in no avail. Unfortunately, our efforts did not materialize. The Israeli team seemed under pressure of its government not to cross a certain red line, which was counter-productive. I do hope that you will not be imposed a similar treatment. Thus, it would be yet another big disappointment to all of us. Make no mistake, it would deter any future noble attempts such as yours. In Egypt, I was born and raised in a suburb where numeours Jewish familes lived in great harmony and good-neighbourhood with the rest of the population. We used to play together, invite each otrher and attend events at the Maadi Synagogue. Our good friends from the Jewish community visited our Coptic Churches on similar occasions. A few of us ended their love stories with mixed marriages. While posted in Paris, one of my best friends and supporters was a prominent Jewish politician, President of the French Assemblיe nationale, the Hon. Claude-Gיrard Marcus. We remained to date family friends.. He and another friend Enrico Macias, that you must know, were instrumental in paving the way for peace between Egypt and Israel. Last year, when Enrico came to Ottawa-Gatineau to sing in its conference center, we spent an hour recalling these historical days when he sang for peace. Let alone the many friends among Israeli diplomats who served in Cairo such as Amb.Zvi Mazel and Deputy-ambassador Yaacov (Cobi) Brosh. We used to meet when I was Director of the Policy Planning Department at Foreign Affairs to try to solve impediments; they were extremely keen about warming up the so-called cold peace. Others, I cherish their frienship and desire for improving relations with Egypt are: Egyptian-born Prof.Ada Aharoni, Founder and President of the Culture for Peace Center and Conlict Resolution at the Tecnion University of Haifa and her late husband Chaim also born in Egypt, may God rest his soul. As well,Prof. Ernesto Kahan Vice-President of that same Center, he is Clinical Professor, Head of Epidemiology Dept. at Tel Aviv University, also a renowned writer and poet. We remained good family friends. Last but not least, is Zvi Barak, with whom we took part in a UN sponsored conference in Salzburg. elder brother to the Right. Hon. Ehud Barak. Dr. Hartman, my earnest wish is to meet, all of us with others, may be under the auspices of your distinguished Institute or here in Canada. This step would constitute an encouragement and a promise. Dr.Safwat Ayoub Excecutive Director, SNF South North Forum
Dr.Safwat Ayoub, Canada,Egyptian-Canadian, 24/02/2011 18:27:00
Better responses desired
Thanks to Rabbi hartman for this letter and initiating a dialog like this. I had hoped for different responses. I had hoped that once the dictator was overthrown and a free press emerged in Egypt (which could still happen), that the people will emerge from their darkness and be able to learn the whole story, because there is much they don`t know, having been fed a steady diet of hatred towards Israel all these years to channel their anger away from their government. But that was clearly wishful thinking. Many of the responses intimate teh need for war against Israel over the Palestinian issue. Why the difference? The refugee camps were already 20 years old in 1967. At that time, it was TransJordan. Except for the Palestinians, all refugees from WWII had by then been resettled, including hundreds of thousands of Jews expelled from Arab countries in the late 1940s and 1950s. They also lost their homes and belongings. In the late 1950s, the Arab League voted to keep the Palestinians in those camps, instead of resettling them in Syria or Iraq, both of which offered to take all of them. Read "the Road to War" by Walter Lacqueur. And the Arab governments have always escaped the fray by insisting that it`s up to Israel to make peace and to resettle the refugees, which Israel simply can not do. I hate the ultra-orthodox Jewish settlers, but after what has happpened in Gaza and Lebanon, it`s hard to believe that Israeli leaders will have the political will or power to abandon the West Bank. and also allow right of return. They have always offered to allow a few thousand to return. So I suggest to you in Egypt: Examine at the Israeli economic miracle. Ask yourself why so many Nobel prizes to Israelis and virtually none to Arabs. Concentrate on education and building a future for your families. Let go of your hatred toward Israel and accept your country`s complicity for the terrible situation that has been created and in which the Palestinatians live hopelessly. Arab governments conspired to create keep them in their camps and to refuse them citizenship so that they would remain a "fifth column" against Israel. If a solution is to be found, Egypt and the other Arab countries will have to actively participate in crafting a solution that will allow the Palestinian Authority to compromise. Some of you have wirtten about not fearing or even wanting a martyr`s death. That`s a critical difference that separates muslims from the west. I had hoped for more.
Clif, Kansas USA, 24/02/2011 07:30:00
it is heart warming to see those who want peace voicing their opinions here. there seems to be confusion though. with all due respect to the all those who have written here, i must say that israel has done everything for peace. israel is contstantly attacked from gaza and from lebanon and only reacts to this. israel works towards peace, if the palestinians accept the right of israel to exist and just stop shooting missiles into israel then there will be peace. pure and simple. i hope more than anything that this happens and that the jewish people can once again live peacefully in their ancient homeland with the holiest jewish city, jerusalem as the capital. i send love to the people of egypt who want change. perhaps the first step in that change should be to stop the propaganda and get some real journalist who are capable of telling you the real facts on the ground.
navit, australia, 24/02/2011 04:33:00
This is GOD`s Will
Dear Friend, You have wasted more than 60 years chance to show your innocent feelings that your are showing today... But believe me, its your time now to regret, although regret will not be useful for you.. You will not regret because of arabs/muslims strength or power, you will regret because of GOD`s power, who doesnot accept injustice.. Can you belive that those silly facebook`s young boys & girls can change Hosni Mubarak`s regime??? Never... This is God`s will; by GOD`s weakest weapon he has ended this dictator`s regime... GOD always give a chance to people & nations, and check what they will do, and you have taken your chance, but unfortunatly you have wasted it by killing palastinian children and spreading injustice allover your young country.. what you are relying on is decaying; USA is decaying; Mubarak`s regime has fell down; your population is degrading; your internal affairs is corrupted; in breif your curve is going down... Its only a matter of time and you will see your tragedic end... My advice to each individual of you is to ask GOD for forgiveness, and to follow his true & fair message of Islam which only calls for justice and peace, and try to save you afterlife and correct what you can in this life...
Mohammed Nabil, Egypt, 23/02/2011 23:38:00
Time to walk the talk
Your words are heartfelt, Rabbi Hartman, and your open-arms letter a worthy gesture. But the Israeli government needs to read your letter even more than the Egyptian people. It is time for them to "walk the talk" of peace. There`s a wave of democracy in the Arab world, and Israel needs to be riding that wave. Gestures of peace must be accompanied by true measures of progress. Israel can`t hold an olive branch in one hand and a hammer and nails in the other. Building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem must be replaced by building in Palestine. It is time to help the Palestinians attain the same level of dignity the Egyptians just fought for, lest Israel will become more and more isolated in the region and in the world. And I say this as a Jew--not a "Jew-hating" Jew, but one who wants Israel to survive as well as the Palestinians to enjoy freedoms they, too, strongly deserve. I refuse to believe the two are mutually exclusive.
Aaron, USA, 23/02/2011 20:43:00
It is so unfortunate and misguided that so many Egyptians are writing here that the only way true peace can be achieved with Egypt is by Israel ensuring there is peace with the Palestinians. This is like saying to China that one can only make peace with it when it makes peace with Taiwan. Or better yet, we in Australia should tell the US that until it makes peace with Cuba, we cannot have relations with the USA. It is time Egyptians were responsible for Egypt, Israelis for Israel, Cubans for Cuba and Palestinians for themselves. And besides, which Palestinians are being referred? Those in Gaza being led by a bunch of no-hoper fanatics who kill their own? Or those in the West Bank who lead relatively normal lives? Is Israel required to instigate peace with Abbas, Hamas, Hezbollah, Ahmadinejad, Syria, Quadaffi, Al-Queida and now Egypt and Jordan over again? For heaven`s sake, Egyptians, worry about EGYPT!! Don`t you have enough economic and social problems in Egypt to focus on yourselves and stop worrying about issues beyond your own borders, including the Palestinians? Does not peace with Israel bring you calm? And besides, wasn`t the Sinai peninsula returned to Egypt in 1979 as part of a Peace Treaty with Sadat. Live up to your treaty!!! Live up to your commitment!!! Israel has!! Has Israel fired a rocket at Egypt and somehow broken this peace? For those of you Egyptians who have the skill and ability to separate issues into their various components, I say Welcome, Shalom, Salaam, and may we have a coffee together either side of the border!! I would like the world to visit Dahab, Sharm Al-Sheikh, and Santa Caterina to bring the tourist dollars to Egypt and keep your economy going. However, you have a task to complete to achieve this....this task is to teach your Egyptian brothers who continually hold Israel hostage to the "Palestinian Problem" to cease this behavior. Alternatively, if these Egyptian brothers truly HATE Israel, Jews and Zionists, perhaps a reminder of 1948, 56, 67 and 73 would be appropriate. War is stupid, even when you win them!!
Michael, Australia, 23/02/2011 14:32:00
A dream we lived once
As a citizen of your other neighboring country, Jordan. I would like to add some of my thoughts to the dialogue. I seriously doubt that you will be able to find a fist full of Jordanians, Palestinians and Egyptians living in Jordan who believe in Israel as a state wishing to live peacefully with its neighbors. We lived this dream once, the dream of having a zone without conflict, a zone where my grandmother used to tell me stories about her motherland Palestine and about their Arab Jewish neighbor who used to live with them in complete harmony in the same building for years. We believed in that, I believed in that a day will come when I will be able to visit Palestine as a Palestinian citizen who’s both mother and father were born there. I was a little kid back then, but I still remember the joy on my father’s face when he saw Rabin shaking hands with Arafat and I remember asking him what’s going on, he answered; finally it’s the beginning of the end, the beginning for a line of serious negotiations toward forming the state of Palestine and ending the conflict. Couple of decades has passed since then, and not only was the line of negotiations lost but having people anger and hate reaching a boiling level that I can’t even begin to describe after what they witnessed in the past years in Palestine and Lebanon. All human beings desire and deserve to live in peace and feel safe in their own country. We Palestinians are no exception to this rule.
wael, jordan, 23/02/2011 02:03:00
The only piece of the pussle thats missing is Palestine. Its really that simple. And as long as you Israelis outright just ignore the fact that all of us Egyptians keep telling you here that occupation needs to stop there will be no peace. Its scary to see every single one of you just keep avoiding the issue. I have to agree with the Palestinian Noah, why dont you talk to the Palestinians? Why dont you seruiosly reach out to them instead of us? We all know the answer to that question. I will say this again, make a just peace with the Palestinians and we would be your best friends the next day. Without it the peace wont hold. Egypt will never accept another cast lead massacre, or invasion of Lebanon. We wont and we cant so the ball is in your hands
Magid, Egypt/Sweden, 23/02/2011 00:55:00
can this dialogue be continued.
Jeff wrote: "Perhaps Hartman Institute can facilitate dialogue among some of us who would like to engage in true conversation based on what each has posted. This dialogue could be open to a community of dialoguers who choose to write to each other or several others to bring this conversation to another level." Maybe the people can do what governments have failed to. It`s a brilliant idea - building bridges across revived Arab communities. Please, Please will someone take up Jeff`s suggestion ?
P Joyce, IE, 22/02/2011 18:12:00
We must?
"We must begin a new conversation with you,". What kind of talk is that? The Egyptians must begin. Their past leaders okayed peace. It is the Egyptian people that refused it, boycotted Israelis and Israeli products. C`mon Rabbi Hartman, we live in the State of Israel, in a state in which we remember the good and the bad, we do not forget the good and the bad. Remembrance is an everyday occurrence in our life. Stop the apologetics and the PR. We don`t need all this bowing down, all this bending over. Remember Mordechai לא יכרע ולא ישתחוה. That`s the secret of our existence!
Chaim, Israel, 22/02/2011 17:30:00
A just peace?
Dear Mr. Hartmann, It is commendable your letter to our people and I don`t think I would be mistaken if you also mean this letter to all the people in the arab world who are going through significant changes for freedom, democracy and opportunity. It is clearly evident from all the responses, that we as a people, want peace, harmony and fairness. We are not a warmongering people. We do not get excited with the sight of blood and guns. But we do get frustrated at injustice and inequality. We proved that in our peaceful revolution in Egypt. Please look at all the revolutions in this part of the world recently. The people were peaceful. The governments were not. Do not assume that there can be a genuine peace so long as there in injustices in Palestine. Egypt has always been the moral moving force in the Middle East, and with the new Egypt, even we in Egypt are not sure at how things will progress in terms of our relationship with Israel. Peace is at this moment in our national interests. But national interests do change. The people will decide that. There might come one day, that when all these revolutions end, the people will chant with one voice for the liberation of Palestine. And when this does happen, the arab governments will have a choice. Either to silence the people (highly unprobable as is evident from the revolutions nowadays)or cave in to the people demands. I do hope Israel does not give the arab peoples the reason to protest on this matter. Your weapons do not fear us. Martyrdom is special for us. Life is not important. It is how you die that is more important. Do you actually believe that there can be a just peace in the region with the occupation a country? If you were in our place, I don`t think you would want full peace either.Your initiative to talk to our people is highly commendable. We appreciate fully. But words are never enough. The arab leaders understood that before being removed. I hope your country won`t make the same mistake. Good luck to all.
Mahmoud Sadek, Egypt, 22/02/2011 10:55:00
can this chat be continued?
I have both contributed and followed the comments since your letter was posted. While many of the Egyptian responses have thrown all the onus to Israel and its treatment of Palestinians (ignoring any Arab/Palestinian responsibility), several of the commenters have been thoughtful and inviting for true dialogue. Mohammed Tamer being one. Perhaps Hartman Institute can facilitate dialogue among some of us who would like to engage in true conversation based on what each has posted. This dialogue could be open to a community of dialoguers who choose to write to each other or several others to bring this conversation to another level.
Jeff Saperstein, USA, 21/02/2011 23:52:00
Value of Peace>Tragic Price of War
Brilliant observation! Possessing the self correcting capacity, Democracies are independent for their stability and their long term productivity from external danger real or invented and perceived to divert unsettling demand for reform. The Development in Egypt must on those grounds be welcome-- however, the catastrophe of a Muslim Brotherhood Kidnapping the Process must encourage gradualism-- all Israeli-Egyptian interaction surface -- must be enriched trading all possible from strategic view points immaterial goods for cooperation to stabilize and deepen the mutual understanding-- the Peace MUST be quicly turned into a HOT one!!!!. This really IS imperative. As regards the Palestinians-- should be convinced to marginalize the Hamas element-- not to produce the situation of Hozeh Hudabiah- The attempts to bring Hamas into the National Unity Palestinian government- and legitimize the movement are misguided- It actually seems to me that also the Palestinian adversary must be through ongoing pre conditions free negotiations convinced that there is MORE , and MORE valuable goods than land to be gained whilst negotiating for PEACE-- Starting with the intrinsic value of cooperation and NON combat for the Progress and thriving of the whole region with Highly technologically advanced Democratic Israel as an Engine of Growth must be emphasized. The cooperation in education and science and the deepened understanding of Each others histories is the KEY... Sylvia Sztern-SempreLovingM.G.
Sylvia Sztern, Sweden, 21/02/2011 23:17:00
Get out
I do not believe in your letter. Where`re you come from? from USA, UK or ... Why you killing the people of Palestine? Which peace are you talking about? it`s simply illusion. I see you tears falling cause Mubark regime is going to step down. Yo do not want democratic Egypt. But new Egypt is coming and we`ll see.
Ahmed, Egypt, 21/02/2011 17:40:00
The simple truth
Shalom Donniel, Mah Shlomkhah?! H yom ani khee b`Mitsraym Khadash. Ey fo atah gar?! You still live in Israel, where fear and suspision of both your friends and enemies has become a reality of life, and where preparing for the worst case scenario is the only way to sleep easy at night. What kind of life is this? Maybe what the people of Israel need is to finally realize that in order to lead "Normal" lives one needs to trust someone. Maybe people Like Netinyahu and Sharon who survive on striking fear in your hearts of everything and everyone are only doing it to serve their own political careers! Maybe they are your version of Mubarak. I`ll tell you this much, we ae not ready to be your friends, I hope one day we will, and I hope so. But you don`t have to be "Friends" with your neigbours to have a meaningful dialogue, lasting peace, and robust trade relations. Dialogue is great but let`s first ensure those who pretend can`t trust learn how, or make way for someone who knows how! All the best.
Mohamed, Mitsraym, 21/02/2011 15:19:00
Thinking only of yorselfe
Instead of talking to Egyption why not talking to Palestininans who are living under your occupation. We are not your nieghbors? we are not Exist/ You don`t see us? we are her and peace begin with us, enought settlement on our land, enough discreminations against us, stop the British Emergency Laws, if you are democratic as you claim. You are the occupation, stop that.
Noah, Palestine, 21/02/2011 09:27:00
Hello To You Too
Although we (in Egypt) are seriously against everything the Israeli state does to our Palestinian Brothers and Sisters (occupation, Walls, check points, Civilian killings..etc)... But, we do (at the same time) appreciate, and listen to such messages/letters as this one (and whomever supports such a point of view in your society). If only Israel had more of you whom would push for a dignifying peaceful resolution with the Palestinians (for both sides), the whole region would know true peace. Now my turn: "Why, hello there neighbor… how nice to hear from you ”
H, Egypt, 21/02/2011 08:58:00
a letter to our Israelis Neighbors
Dear Mr. Hartman and people of Israel Thanks for opening such an interesting dialogue with us – Egyptians and - thanks for seeing us for the first time after all these “peaceful years”; thanks to the youths of Tahrir Square and their historic revolution that gave you a chance to talk to us not to our “ unelected leaders”. I do not know if HAARETZ will put my comments as I have had previous censorships to my comments. I do share with all the people who wrote you our wishes for peace and prosperity for the region. But I am a little different from all the Egyptians that wrote to you with a simple fact; I have lived and worked in Jerusalem with international agencies for a whole decade. I have seen the facts on the ground and talked to both Israelis and Palestinians. The truth is I arrived to Jerusalem, as all the nice people who wrote you - very hopeful and optimistic about the new prosperous Middle East, I ended up after 10 years entirely disappointed and realized that there is no way for peace in the Middle East, unless the Israelis do change and stop thinking that their mighty power will keep them strong. My reasons are clear; daily eating up of the West Bank by settlers, including East Jerusalem; a constant daily humiliation of the Palestinians at about 170” still exiting check points”, the inhuman siege of Gaza, and the overall treatment of Palestinians at all levels. Egyptians who have not been in here might wish all sorts of wishful thinking, the minute they will come and see by their own eyes what is going on the ground they will turn against such kind of peace. Israel is only 60 years old while Egypt is more than 5000 years; we are a very proud nation and will not accept any injustice in the region, in this case for the Palestinians – not for kinship or religion affiliation only – but also as part of our deep memory and identity – as we have never been a colonial power in our history. Please, please try to understand the people of the region if you decide to stay here longer and be part of it. Learning from the Egyptian people, why do not you take all the enlightened people in Israel, go to Rabin Square in Tel Aviv and camp there until you bring peace to the Palestinians, get all the settlers out of the West Bank and East Jerusalem as you did in Gaza. Can you honestly do that? Or you will keep sending us letters. And if you do not I will tell you that Israel cannot have the cake and eat it. Please do that before it is too late
Tarek , Egypt , 21/02/2011 07:03:00
simplify the message
a great expression of openmindedness and invitation to dialogue. However,if the intent is really to have a communication to the Egyptian people they can resonate with and respond to it needs to be streamlined and simplified. Otherwise the letter to Egyptians is really an opinion piece to your readers
shulamit sofia, USA/ California, 21/02/2011 01:52:00

You as a jew need to make peace with yourself and and the Palestinian people who live in refugee camps across the arab world and the world, for as long their issues are not resloved then there will not be peace in the middle east and the conflict will continue. Your zionist state existence is completel is unfit in that part of the world. The zionists made a very fatal mistake when they choose Palestine as so called Jewish homeland. It is very sad becuase deep in my heart i do not see any possibility of peace under the current environment of repressing the palestinian and continue building settlements. WHAT PEACE ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT.
Hassan, USA, 20/02/2011 14:12:00
New Egypt
Hi Donniel, Egypt`s long lost Iranian brothers are already on the way greeting you by waving their flags from the warships. Sadly you are sticking out your hand in friendship only to be cut off ......Shalom ?
Harto, New Zealand, 19/02/2011 00:56:00
Democratic nations
Democratic nations don`t go to war. I grant you that truth but is Israel democratic to its neighbors? I don`t think the treatment of your neighbors from the "strong" country that you claim you are will go for long. You should have discussed with the leaders with a concern of the people. Past means it`s gone. Tomorrow we`l tell you what you should do. But you can start removing your settlers before we sit to talk.
Adam, USA, 18/02/2011 23:05:00
Letter to the Egyptian people
Even more than Rabbi Hartman?s letter, I am so glad to read all the responses from many Egyptians and others. To me this is the hope for the future that we can reach out to each other. I was a grass-roots peacemaker between Palestinians and Israelis, when I lived in Jerusalem for nine years and even now from the USA I am still involved. My dearest dream is to see both Palestinians and Israelis have their own independent States and, in addition, forge a Regional Peace with all the surrounding countries. May ordinary citizens throughout the region continue to communicate, reaching out beyond the boundaries of country, religion and culture, connecting in our common humanity with understanding and respect, to bring about a groundswell, that will peacefully change the face of the Middle East and the World.
Yonah Gold, USA, 18/02/2011 20:13:00
Shalom Hartman :)
Very well said, those words must have came straight from your heart since they immediately touched mine. No one seeks war, we wish we can truly live in peace, not only with you, but also with ourselves, and with other neighbors in the area. I personally do have many Jewish friends that i truly appreciate and value, i have seen nothing from them but respect and kindness, naturally speaking i can only feel the same toward them. It goes without saying that on both sides there are fanatics, and maniacs, who`s actions and deeds keep our 2 nations from truly enjoying peace, and prevent that treaty from materializing! I will not go into details, but i really wish that all parties show more responsibility, the Arab world will never accept you as long as we see footage of brutality against Palestinians, in the same time, you will not stop such actions as long as you feel threatened! so it is a vicious circle......Unless we decide to change that (we and you naturally). Calling for your complete retreat from all occupied land is insane, this will never happen unless a huge price is paid in blood, the more realistic option is that both parties show enough flexibility to reach a decent win win situation. Thanks again for your words, you truly spoke what any moderate Arab would like to say. Mohammed Tamer, Egyptian and really Proud :)
Mohammed Tamer, Egypt, 18/02/2011 12:35:00
sacrifice for peace
it is not possible to have peace with Israel while there are around 500 000 palestinian living in refugee camps in lebanon (a country of 4 million citizen) from about 70 years now who still have the keys of their houses in palestine! I am pro-peace, and anti-war. But Israel MUST find an agreeable solution with the palestinians that will perserve the minimum of dignity and human rights! look at the map, Israel extends between Gaza and the west bank! no country can be built like this. Sacrifices from both sides should be made.
Ashraf, Lebanon, 18/02/2011 11:28:00
Mr Magid - the solution to a puzzle is achieved by placing one piece at a time into the puzzle. You choose whether the piece between Israel and Egypt is in place within that puzzle OR whether Egypt now wishes to destroy the puzzle completely. Egypt should control what it can control, which is peace with Israel. The piece of the puzzle that relates to the Palestinians is not a piece that Egypt controls.
Michael, Australia, 18/02/2011 04:58:00
We heard the problems in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and many other Arab countries were because of Israeli abuse of Palestinians. The recent uprising showed this to be not the case. If Israel moves back to 1967, why would anyone expect that to create peace? Isn`t the withdrawal from Gaza a predictor of what happens when Israel gives back?
Tom, US, 18/02/2011 01:17:00
letter from a neighbor
nabih, USA, 18/02/2011 00:54:00

Thanks Egyptian you made the all world curve for you ans instead the arabs were begging Israelis for a piece now Israel begging for peace
Nora, Syria/Sweden, 18/02/2011 00:41:00
Donniel`s Letter to the Eqyptian"A Sense of Space"
Beautifully composed, Donniel. Would a letter to Israelis-and to the Jewish Diaspora- in support of an agreement with the Palestinians and fair treatment of Arab citizens in Israel encourage action in Israel? Israel must act in ways that energize and inform dialogue. Dialogue is not enough. Warmest, Dick
Dick Kaufman, USA, 17/02/2011 22:40:00

Most of the Egyptians will clap a lot after this speech for you and will hug you with tears in their eyes but deep inside a huge hatred and grudge lies.
Magued Hanna, Egypt, 17/02/2011 21:36:00
Lovely words, need actions to be believed
I like the attitude you send, specially when talking about the democracy. But I am wondering, is this the democracy that Israel should show toward and only Egypt? Talking about peace and democracy is good, but how can we believe that a country with government like Israel that establishes special rules for its own Arab citizens in Jerusalem and other places that mainly aiming to repel them out. Example, two days back, your Knesset approved the rule of stopping the retirement financial support to it members if they are "betrayers" and this was specifically designed for one person for his opinions (only words he talks, no actions at all) Mr. Azmi Besharah. So if this is the situation for Israel own citizens who are not Jewish, how can we believe that you are interested in the truthful democracy??!!!
Sharif Aljoaba, USA, 17/02/2011 18:40:00
Democracy in Egypt
We in Latin America know perfectly well what it feels to live under a dictatorship, or, if you want, a "simulated democracy". It is great that Israel has a democracy, but don´t sleep on it. You should not forget how it feels not to enjoy basic freedoms, and maybe you would understand the true "yearning to be free". As a jes, I´m praying truly and loudly for the Egyptians. May they find their well-earned freedom, and may they solve their daily problems like dignity, and feeding their families with ease and honor. Israel is not their enemy. Wars are usually started by dictatorships to secure themselves in power. Lets bring, together, a period of peace and prosperity for both. Amen.
Enrique Novi, Mexico, 17/02/2011 17:42:00
Excellent Letter
I congratulate the Rabbi for his excellent letter to the Egyptian people. But the Palestinian problem must be solved before any permanent peace among Israel and her Arab neighbors. That means "Two States", with new drawed borders; one recognizing and respecting the other. That means Jerusalem as Israelian capital; but some quarters from her,with Arab majority, or autonomous, or included in Palestinan State. No "right of return". Full diplomatic relations and touristic collaboration. It may be difficult, but the both people,Israelian and Arabic, deserves to get free from the awful nightmare. Salam, Shalom.
Luiz Felipe Haddad, Brazil, 17/02/2011 17:36:00

I want to start will Hello too, but i want to mention one thing about our relations for the last few years. Did you ever hear about the poor egyptian soldiers who killed by your bullets on the borders. and your government only said sorry it was a mistake! Do you know that your soldiers did the same mistake for several times? and why our soldiers never did a mistake like this? I believe in peace and i don`t have any war intension against israel.. but you don`t have to take advantage of our silence !
Eihab, USA, 17/02/2011 15:41:00
we wish that your transition to freedom be a peaceful and beneficial one to all your citizens and that your freedom be a blessing to you, and to the whole world. Amen thank you very much for such very good faith
SADIK LOUITRI, CANADA, 17/02/2011 15:16:00
Peace to you too
Well said and thanks for your nice words and wishes. As for myself and I am sure millions of Egyptians share the same view we want peace too. Egyptian media has painted a develish look on Israel which affected the way EGyptians think, they did the same recently against Tahrir square revolutionaries. Media is very powerful tool to control how people think.
Egyptian, Canada, 17/02/2011 15:06:00
We would love to have a true peace with Israel. A peace where everybody can benifit. A peace where we together can build the middleast to an economical power and a place where all this money spent on weapons and arms can be spend on culture and beuty. But you have to make a just peace with the palestinians beacuse without a Palestine where palestinians can also prosper nobody else have a right to call for peace.
Magid, Sweden/Egypt, 17/02/2011 02:07:00
Piece instead of peace
Isreal`s policy of sizing pieces of the 18% that`s left to Palestinians to establish their homeland of what was 100% theirs (Palestine) is hardly a receipt for peace . Why didn`t Donniel even once mention the word "Palestinians"in his article ???...Israel is seeking piece not peace , Donniel knows that . Letting the Palestinians establish their homeland on 18% of what was 100% theirs in less then fair . Alexandria-Egypt
Ashraf, Egypt, 17/02/2011 01:52:00
Well said
Well said sir. My dad fought in 1973 and I personally witnessed the damage of war when I was still 4 years old. I say Egyptian want peace and I hope we remain peaceful, however I would add that democracies will not allow atrocities against the Palestinian people so lets hope we can all work out a Humane and Fair solution for the Middle East which we all love. Regards, Karim
Karim, Egypt, 16/02/2011 22:46:00
Donniel Hartman
Donniel - these are wonderful observations, with which I am in total agreement. Warm regards, Charles.
Charles Bronfman, USA, 16/02/2011 20:27:00
Practice what you preach
Lovely words, and thank you for the article. Nevertheless, WAR could be avoided should israel decides to solve the Palastinian issue, and admit to a palastinian state on the 1967 borders..... very simple!!! Should that happen, Israel would be the new best friend of all arab countries!!!!
Amro, Jordan, 16/02/2011 14:39:00
i wish this letter to be send to the palestinian
your letter is amazing and makes me fly in beautiful dream. but in the reality as a palestinian refugee who lived my whole life with out Home sweet Home. with no country taking care of me no goverment responsible about me. many countries denied me to get at least a tourist visa. no goverment offer me a job. i just smashed all my life obstacles by my own hands with no helps from any one. all of this makes me upset from all the people who steal my rights and they are responsible to causing me to live this miserable life [israeli-Arab-american.....etc ]. just i want ask why this people doing this to me? they want to get rich and ride ferrari or lamborghini? or they want to establish thier home over my stolen land?. at the end , i have a dream that one day we the palestinian and israeli will live together as a one nation have all the rights to live free and equal in one country with elected democratic government without care of what race or religion of that elected people who will lead that country and i dont care what they will call that country Israel - palestine - Israpal- palisra ........etc. i just want to end this miserable life. shalllom and sallam for all
Ahmad, a Refugee in many countries, 16/02/2011 14:17:00
Letter to the israeli people
Thank you for your good wishes, inspite of being too late!!. However we want from the israelis to understand the eventts occuring around them. They must end their way of thinking and false arrogance concerning the arabs and to force their corrupted leaders to begn with the first steps towards integration of israel in the region.
Hassan , egypt, 16/02/2011 09:54:00
What a Letter
Hey Donniel. What a letter? Great words, with wisdom for all to learn from.I hope everyone on both sides would take your words to heart and try to work together to make the Middle East and the world a better place. Trust me if i were the president of Egypt, i would read your letter on the national television and make the people see and hear from someone on the other side of the border. I am sure many will change their perspectives about Israel.
Mohammed Tunkara, USA, 16/02/2011 08:19:00
Where were you?
Mr Sarh Maqsoud - My name is Michael. I am also Australian. I was born in Melbourne. I am also an Israeli citizen. The question "where were you" is offensive, to say the least. Let me ask - "where were you?". Don`t place your responsibility onto others, including Israel. Your people should have demonstrated years earlier if things were that bad. Is it truly only facebook and the internet that brought you to the streets? "where were all of you Egyptians?" And today, I now ask "where are you all, you Iranians?". Stand up each one of you and get into the streets. There are millions upon millions of you. Don`t blame Israel for your backyard troubles and don`t equate your issues with the issues of the Palestinians. They have no relationship. Keep things simple, then there will be no WAR.
Michael, Australia, 16/02/2011 04:56:00
Economic linkage breeds respect
Donniel: Your letter for hope and the response by many of the Egyptians were a wonderful beginning for dialogue. The main task for Egyptian youth, as it was for Indian, Korean, Singaporean, and others is to link to the global economy so they have hope for a good future. Israel, along with others, who are major players in the high tech economy, can provide a great deal to help Egyptians to help themselves. Hopefully, Egyptian youth will break the ideological chains that have inhibited them from global economic linkage, so they can take their rightful place to contribute to peace and prosperity for themselves and world.
JeffinSFBay Area, USA, 16/02/2011 04:47:00
The way to true peace
Thanks for your words and as Arab and Egyptian citizen I`d like to tell you that everyone on earth is looking for peace,all Arabs and Egyptians are looking for peace and I think Israelis should look for peace too. For long time we considered you as our enemies and we still do that in spite of the peace treaty between our countries which made that kind of cold senseless peace between Egypt and Israel that was just between both country leaders and not between our peoples. Did the Israeli people ask himself one question which is why the Arab people hate the Israeli people? I think the answer is very clear and I think most Israeli people know it, simply because of the Arab land you invaded in 1967, because of killing our Palestinian brothers and sisters, because of new colonies which are built every day encroaching on the Palestinian land, because of your war against Gaza,because of your way of thinking about Arabs. As Arab I can`t think of peace between Egypt and Israel while I see the killing of my Palestinian brothers and sisters, while I see the invasion of Arab land in Palestine and Syria and Lebanon still standing since 1967 and while Gaza is still put under siege so if the Israeli people looks for warm and even hot true peace with Egypt and even all the Arab countries, Israel should leave all the Arab land invaded in 1967, removal of all colonies built in Jerusalem or any other Palestinian land, stop of the siege on Gaza and to allow the establishment of a new independent Palestinian state. That`s the only way to gain our friendship instead of Enmity and have a true warm peace with the Egyptian people and with all Arabs from ocean to gulf. This will happen if the Israeli people really are interested in peace and really are looking for it pressed on their governments to take the way of true peace.
Dr. Sameh, Egypt, 15/02/2011 21:56:00
Democracies rarely go to war, you say? But Israel has gone to war every few years. There are 500,000 Palestinians from Gaza living in Egypt. Shouldn`t they have the human right to travel back and forth to their homes unhindered? And the Gaza war was not a war, but a massacre. Just look at the numbers dead on each side. Few, if any, Israeli troops received return fire. You will have to change your ways before any civilized democracy will make true peace with you.
Benjamin, Egypt/Germany, 15/02/2011 18:47:00
Why we didn`t talk to each other?
Falling into the same mistake of the Americans and the Europeans, Israel has bough the idea from the Egyptian regime that many sectors from the Egyptian society would eat the Israeli`s alive if they get hold of them. While pretending to be your best friends, the previous regime gave a green light to the people who shape the public opinion in Egypt (especially the media) to portray Israelis as monsters or savages (sorry for the harsh selection of words). The Egyptians bought the idea and the logical outcome is an anxious Israel, who is extremely worried about about its safety and quite keen on the survival of the "falsely" friendly regime. Mubarak consequently could sell to Israel and its friends the benefits of passing the presidency seat to an ally or best to a close family member. I know for sure that the Egyptians are not man eaters and the Israelis are not monsters. Donniel, your article represents a step in the right direction, and I think that Israel would not only need to change its communication strategy with its neigbors, but also with its own people.
An Egyptian, Germany, 15/02/2011 18:44:00
Thank you Rabbi Daniel
Thanks for the amazing and heartfelt letter.. Although i don`t speak on behalf of ALL the egyptians, I believe the feelings and hopes expressed in your letter is reciprocated by many egyptians . The bigger challenge is to reach out to more Egyptians as many have not seen except bad images of your country from the media... Counter-type media needs to somehow portray Israelis in a better light.. Shalom!
Dina Saleh, Egypt, 15/02/2011 11:11:00
Thanks very much for ur feelings towards us! we don`t look forward anew outer conflict with any side! we r seeking for building our country as one of the most democratic country in the world! we r looking forward astrong economy! we r looking forward spreeding democracy to all countries and states in the middle east! for israel......we don`t want to end the peace accords and treaty with them! but we need to activate the conversation with them as u hope! i hope that one day israelis will listen and trust in our demands according to arab conflict issue! again as president"sadat"said "no more war....no more bloodshed"from our side! but u must also say to palestinians "no more war...no more bloodshed"! and not also palesinians but also all peoples! again mercy for ur feeling towards us in egypt and don`t worry we are akind peoples and war isnot our first option! salam!
moody, Egypt, 15/02/2011 07:57:00
Hi, my name is Tareq, half Egyptian, half French. I`m 25 years old and lived almost all my life in France. I`m backpacking in South America now and met two wonderful human beings, Yael and Daniel. The first day we met, we shared some food and talked about the amazing beauty of southern Chile and our journey through Argentina. As we were waiting for cars in the middle of nowhere in Patagonia, I learned to say "eyn machonit" kol beseder, todah" and other words in Hebrew and I showed them some Arabic music. One night, after dinning, we had a deep conversation. We apologized, sincerely. For the first time, in this trip, surrounded by beauty of nature and the peace of places that have never seen a war, I saw Israelis as human as me. There, in front of me, I had people like me. Made of flesh and feelings, like me. And above that, terrific people. Nice and warm people. Israelis. Peace starts in ur hearts. I hope we all get over hatred. World`s problems start in our minds. Shalom, neighbours.
m., Egyptian, 15/02/2011 07:27:00
Letter to the Egytian People
Hi Donniel: It seems that this letter came from the heart? I do not know yet!! Unfortunately, history has taught us as Arabs not to trust the Israeli people due the their conducts in their sever and brutal revenge treatments to the innocent people; for example the civilians of Gaza and the civilians of Lebanon. I think time has come for Israelis to prove their good intentions on the ground, not just beautiful and flowery statements which made for public consumption and get washed out over night
Kal Slayyeh, USA, 14/02/2011 20:12:00
A Voice for humanity
Today, your article made me cry; cry for all the wasted years; for the hatred and the destruction. Even now, can we all just talk to each other and begin to heal our world. Tikkun Olam - Shalom, Salaam, Peace
Dr P, Ireland, 14/02/2011 18:05:00
Working together for peace
My dear neighbor, Donnel Hartman, Thank you so much for this amazing letter, for the warm feelings and brotherly sentiment. I was there in Tahrir square, I was one of the young men who fought for democracy and welfare for Egypt and I promise you to fight as much as I can against anyone who tries to turn this peaceful noble act into a private agenda leading to war. I have always acknowledged Israel as a wonderful state who would -one day in the future- be an essential element for development of the middle East. And I still recognize and admire my country`s first neighbor... I am sure that the future has more joy to both of our nations in more warm peace. Cold peace isn`t enough for me anymore... I will work for that. We will work together for the good of our people Shalom from Egypt
Ramy Hussein, Egypt, 14/02/2011 18:02:00
i red your letter and like u i believe in piece and hope for our countries friendship , i also believe that democracy never starts a war , and as a newly established relationship it requires trust and patience and i pray that we have these two virtues to continue our peaceful progress, thanks for ur letter
GEORGE HANNA, Egypt, 14/02/2011 17:50:00
Shalom to our cousins in Israel
Thank you very much for your very warm feelings and wishes for the Egyptian people. we loved Anwar Sadat, because he gave us a chance to know how jews around the world are really not that bad, and that we can live together in peace in the same place as brothers and sisters in Humanity. but the core issue for us is not the jews, but it`s Palestine. negotiate peace with the PA, and whatever you guys agree upon, will get our blessings to it. the real problem started in 1948, and Israel has to have the courage to solve the problem it created and give the palestinian part of their rights back, why not accept the Arab peace initiatives with swabs of land for example? we are willing to accept Israel right to live and the aspirations of the jewish people, if Israel will accept and respect the Aspirations of the palestinian people. we are willing to share with you, our oil wealth, we have a lot of common things, we both are funny people who like jokes, both we can advance one another, let`s leave war to the past and start a new page, in which the palestinian people get something back,by then Israel will be the most beloved country in the Arab world. it`s not a precondition from us, but it`s a dream, just like yours, we wish the day will come, when we can only keep busy remember and worship the God of Moses and the God of Israel, instead of fighting in his name. don`t you agree?
Mohamed The Egyptian, Egypt, 14/02/2011 06:49:00
Where were you?
Let me just start by saying that I`m an Egyptian Australian! I have lived in Egypt for many years and chose to leave to seek greener postures elsewhere. I just want to ask you one question, where were you all over these years? where was this letter? or did you find it necessary now that the Egyptian people are free to voice your concerns over what might become of this revolution? I really pray that there will be no more wars or conflicts, however you as Israel have to give what you have taken by force or at least some of it so you can live in real peace not the peace that Mubarak and his gang provided!
Sarh Maqsoud, Australia, 14/02/2011 06:38:00
Letter to Egypt
Great words that I hope as American/Egyptian can be put to work for the whole area. Ihope that a similar letter and feelings can be directed to the Palestanian people who are living in your midst and even closer to you than the Egyptians.
Moustafa Nour, U.S.A, 14/02/2011 06:20:00
Hi Donniel, Thanks for this thoughtful letter. I agree with (almost) every thing you said. We have plenty of work to do internally here in Egypt. Its mind numbing coming to think of it all: Building the institutions from the ground up, eliminating corruption etc etc. I can go on forever. As for our relations with you and the general Israeli populace, I cannot agree more. We have much work to do. This is not the time to exchange charges or succumb to age old feelings of resentment but the time to reach out to one another like you did to us and begin a new relation ship. A relation ship rooted in respect and in a positive vision for the future. A future that affords our children a life free of fear, hatred, suspicion or anger. I too remember the feeling of loss and the anxiety associated with past Egyptian - Israeli wars. Donniel, I am optimistic about the future. You maybe surprised at how much we have in common. The internet now facilitates a dialogue between nations. Perhaps our new dialogue can help us both get over the ideological paralysis that has kept us from making real progress on peace in the region. Thanks Donniel for this letter. I appreciate your wishes for us. Lets keep in touch and work together to resolve our differences and build upon achievements of the past. An Egyptian
Hisham, Egyptian, 14/02/2011 03:13:00
Hello to Egypt
Another wise and wonderful column! Thank you Rabbi Hartman..may the blessings that pour forth from your pen become a reality. And while you are at it, how about your own run for office? B`Shalom
Rachel Eryn, USA, 14/02/2011 00:52:00
Another Hello
thank you so much for the message. I think all the arabs and jews need to reach out to each other and talk, and that`s possible only within democratic systems. Because Dictators and Islammists are blackning Israel and a Jews Image to stay or achieve a long stay in power. I hope Jews and arabs will live in peace forever, they deserve it. Thank You
abdell, Algeria, 14/02/2011 00:02:00
Egypt and Peace
You still do not get it. There is no peace because it was imposed on Egyptians by two dictators. Egyptians were wise enough to know that if you remove Egypt from the scene, Israelis would take advantage of the situation and build settlements, not fearing any consequences. That is exactly what happened. You cannot have peace without freeing Palestinians. LET PALESTINIANS GO!
US Citizen, USA, 13/02/2011 22:20:00
One ALWAYS has to be fair.
We got your message. But with all due respect to a religious figure, both peoples of Egypt and Israel must promote the values of co-existence in their respective societies, rather than promoting a distorted and incoherent understanding of Biblical/Quranic verses. I guess a more sound understanding would rule out both suicide attacks and deporting current inhabitant to bring in settlers. I guess a more sound understanding would require both sides to admit that no one is superior to the other and no one is "CHOSEN" and that we are all subject to accountability before God according to our deeds.
Ahmed Nassar, USA, 13/02/2011 21:50:00
A Letter to the Egyptian People
A thoughtful and wonderful letter. - Is it really being sent? - To whom? In what manner? IF it is only online, read by subscribers to the S. Hartman Institute, its worth is diminished.
Sandy, USA, 13/02/2011 19:24:00
Letter to Egyptians
After reading your essays Rabbi Hartmann, I am always thinking it is a shame that the people who are directly involved, in this case the Egyptian people, neever get to hear these thoughts directly. I wonder what the effect would be of having a real dialogue. Thank you for continuing to write important ideas to us.
Deborah Harris, USA, 13/02/2011 19:15:00
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