The 3rd of March

The 3rd of March marks the anniversary of the worst day of my life. It is the day my beloved son, David, was killed by a Palestinian sniper while serving in reserve duty at an Israeli checkpoint. The checkpoint was removed the very next day and never put back which leads me to believe that it was not exactly critical to the security of Israel. David was a student at Tel Aviv University studying for his masters in the Philosophy of Education. He was part of the peace movement and one of the officers who did not want to serve in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Nevertheless, he felt it his duty, after much consideration, to go and serve when he was called up. Never assume that you know who the person is behind the gun.

The 3rd of March was the day when I understood and told the Israeli army that no one should be killed in the name of my child. I realized that it would just contribute to the cycle of violence and that revenge would not be the path that I would take. I also understood that all mothers, regardless of color, creed and ethnic identity shared the same pain when losing a child. I understood that Palestinian and Israeli mothers should stand on the same stage and speak in the same voice to end the violence and to prevent other families from suffering this dreadful loss.

The 3rd of March is when Congress will be exposed to Israel's fear for the future, an "Orange Alert". We, who have not managed to end the conflict in our own territory, feel it incumbent s to blunder in, ignoring all extraordinary and established friendships and create panic, hatred and a call to violence.

The 3rd of March plus 14 days Israel will hold its elections. Could this possibly be a ploy to bring the Israeli public to standing ovations influencing their choice for the future? Is this a manipulation by the powers that be? Such eloquent rhetoric. Let us not be swayed by threats of annihilation which seem to be the order of the day for so many world leaders and let us find a way which could lead to an agreement.

The 3rd of March will remind me of the dreadful war this past summer, of the more than 2,000 Palestinian deaths, of the 2000 more reasons to hate, of the Israeli soldiers who lost their lives in a futile battle, which led nowhere and left those living in the area filled with a sense of dread for their future. Did all this killing lead to negotiations or to a peaceful solution? Certainly not. No women were asked to come to the table to decide on war, no mother was invited to talks on a cease fire and certainly not to any peace negotiations. Mothers and children are the ultimate victims of the madness of war.

It is time for a change for all in the region. It is time to look at the damage the occupation is doing to both nations and what is happening to the morals of our country. I for one, love Israel; it is my country, but I find it impossible not to notice what is happening to the moral fiber of our nation. One can only hope for a better future with different leaders who will reach out to our neighbors to find a way to live in dignity and who will understand the necessity for reconciliation if we are to have permanent peace and not just a cease fire.