Friday, November 23, 2012

Gobbling Turkeys

Yesterday, after going to three Thanksgiving parties one after another, I felt like a dozen turkeys were gobbling inside my stomach.  

But you see, the turkeys have been previously gobbling inside my head. The incessant noise went on as a friend and I were talking about Israel, Hamas and the Gaza conflict. 

 "There's no winner in that situation," my friend remarked. And then she mentioned how a story a friend of hers told her debunked  her mindset of Israel as the dove and Hamas as the hawk. 

The friend witnessed how Israeli soldiers shot a tour guide and an old unarmed woman who was merely showing a centuries old stone mill near where she lives in the Gaza strip. 

After cautioning my friend about sweeping generalizations, I pointed out that the fighting in Gaza is merely a macro representative of the violence that we, as individuals, do to one another and to ourselves. 

Violence comes in  many faces and does not necessarily only happen whenever a soldier or a militant launches a missile or pulls the trigger of a gun. There are  types  of violence that have weakened friendships;  fragmented relationships, marriages and families; and  eroded respect and integrity. Biases, bigotry, selfishness, greed -- all assume the form of guns  that we aim at each other and ourselves.  

Later in the day as I surfed the net, I saw pictures (shown below) that somewhat muted the gobbling of turkeys in my head. Two  of the pictures show both Muslims and Jews enjoying life in peaceful co-existence and even working  together towards an advocacy. The last photo is a representation of the First Thanksgiving when in 1621, both the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians broke bread together. 

The noble in us can and does trounce the beastly. 
- Ariel Murphy

A Jewish man from Israel and a Muslim man from Palestine held a cardboard sign that said "why can't we all get along" on a street corner in Midtown Manhattan, November 2012.
Platters of watermelon and Israeli cheeses brought together Jews and Arabs in the Musrara neighborhood as part of the first annual “Between Green and Red” festival in Jerusalem. Photo by Hamutal Wachtel, August 2012

The First Thanksgiving  when Colonists and Native Americans broke bread together. Reproduction of an oil painting by  JLG Ferris, early 20th century




  1. Both the words and the pictures tell a powerful story. Why is it so hard to simply get along?

    1. Thank you Mitchell Hegman! Why is it so hard to get along? Maybe because each of us is unique and trying to get along requires making sure "the gears fit."

  2. Very well expressed Ariel Murphy!!! Thank you.

    1. Thank you Carol. We are all light to each other. When it dims in another or others, we try to lend whatever of our own. Every little bit helps.