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Sunday, June 19, 2005


A Gaza Blog Good Bye

Mohammed K. Mukhaimar of Gaza wrote one blog entry for the Jerusalem Post. You may read the initial blog entry (thanks ninathedog) and the comments that it elicited (his first entry was rather inoccuous and non-political; the comments were mainly negative, readers even taking issue that the Israeli occupation caused problems for people in Gaza) from Jerusalem Post readers here (thanks to Rafah Pundits for the link). Unfortunately, Mohammed has decided to forego writing for the Jerusalem Post for the meantime, and his reason follows.

Dear Jpost.com reader,

I regret to inform you that we have decided to terminate the blog of Palestinian psychologist Mohammed K. Mukhaimar following an urgent request by him to do so.

Jpost.com approached Mr. Mukhaimar with a proposition to provide his thoughts and experiences to our readers on a regular web log (blog), and the blog was aired for the first, and unfortunately, last time this week Thursday.

Mr. Mukhaimar's first blog entry consisted of nothing more than a greeting and a short personal biography, with a promise of more to come. The responses to Mohammed's blog were not long in coming. Within minutes of publishing his blog, Jpost.com received hundreds of emails for Mohammed, most of which were extremely positive and encouraged him to continue providing a voice "from the other side" as it were. It seemed our readers were grateful for the opportunity to interact and connect with a personage so seemingly distant in geography, language, culture and ideology. Many had questions for Mohammed, many more just wanted to say "hello" and "thank you for being there", for taking that courageous step.

Although Mohammed was pleased with the enthusiastic response to his blog, many of the replies sought Mohammed's view on the political and security situation in the region, a topic which Mohammed preferred not to confront at this point. Having intended to present a non-politicized humanitarian viewpoint, Mohammed was concerned that the blog was taking a direction that deviated from his purpose. Mohammed therefore made the decision to terminate the blog for now. "Talking politics is complex, and my goal is not to talk politics right now," Mohammed explained.

I applaud Mohammed's courage and I respect him for his belief that one person, if he or she so wishes, can take actions that bridge the vast divides of hatred and misunderstanding between our two peoples, even if he is now forced to walk back along that bridge. The bridge is there Mohammed, you built it, and we, together with our readers, will wait with proud expectation for you to walk back on it at a time of your choosing.

Amir Mizroch
News Editor and Managing Editor - Internet
The Jerusalem Post

The following is the final message from Mohammed K. Mukhaimar to The Jerusalem Post, explaining why now was not the best time for him to write on Jpost.com:

I would like to explain my intention in writing here. As an initial goal I had in mind that I wanted to explain what is going on in Gaza, from a very basic humanistic and neutral level, avoiding stereotypes and negative attitudes.

I think that to support peace on the basis of justice, Israelis and Palestinians need to strengthen their civil society, so as to approach Israelis as equally qualified to contribute significantly for a common peace movement. There has to be a common notion on both parts that to a certain extent we are all victims of the occupation and of this conflict - or more accurately of the powers that maintain both the occupation and the conflict. And that we are all determined to disobey the racist powers that victimize us, in favor of bringing in more and more commonsensical human attitudes to our lives and our societies.

We were all more or less born into this conflict. We would all like to have our children brought up without having the conflict clouding their lives.

After the response I got, I wonder whether it is possible for us to communicate without being objective? Without trying to understand the other side? I agree that it is easy to put the blame on others, but where does it lead to? I should also acknowledge that our societies suffer from an ongoing militarization as a defense against the present state of mistrust, fear, and humiliation so that death becomes more precious, indeed holier, than life itself.

As for now I find myself not in the position to go on here. To succeed we need each others' help and understanding.

I have decided that it is not the right time for me to be here, reflecting something common between us- the suffering, the fear, the mistrust, and how to find ways to overcome this and go beyond our wounds and be productive.

I wish I will be able to contribute later, and let us pray together for a peaceful future.

Thank you
Mohammed K. Mukhaimar

Mohammed still welcomes responses from readers; he can be emailed at momukhaimar@yahoo.com.

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