Sunday, May 11, 2008

Palestinians and Israelis Together

I recently had an interesting conversation with a young Palestinian who was born in Qatar but now holds Saudi citizenship and runs a successful company here.

At one point in the conversation I mentioned that I thought that if the Palestinians and Israelis could learn to work together, they would form an economic, political, and social dynamic that would be the envy of the entire Middle East . I thought I would be starting an argument, but to my surprise he agreed. He talked about how impressed he had been with the Jewish students who were his classmates when he studied engineering in Munich .

I then said I thought Hamas could have peace with Israel tomorrow if they really wanted to. When I mentioned that at an anti-Israel rally last year in Monterey , California , I almost started a riot. But he again agreed, making a few comments about the Hamas leaders in Gaza that I won’t repeat here.

I know it’s possible he just wanted to be agreeable with a man who could be his father’s age, but I don’t think that was the case. It was encouraging to meet a kindred spirit (there don’t seem to be many), and of all places a Palestinian living in Saudi Arabia .

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