In Times of Fear

Sharon - Great Neck, New York
Entered on March 30, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: peace

What is justice?

Justice is fairness, equality, the golden rule, the truth.

Justice is peace. Or at least, that’s what I believe it to be.

I believe that if the world had some more justice, we could live more peacefully.

With ourselves, and with one another.

When an outbreak started in the long battle with Gaza in the end of 2008, I was in Israel, visiting my family. It was the only thing on the news. Every day started, and ended, with more rockets, more attacks, more blood, and more deaths. And it started building up. More hurt, more hate, and more terror. With these feelings, less understanding, caring, and less hope. Hope for the peace.

I first noticed the fading of this hope when I saw tanks in the outskirts of Jerusalem. They were preparing to head into Gaza, only a few days into the war.And it made me think, what if those huge weapons were heading towards me, my friends, and my family?? Luckily, I was far away from this position. In a safe haven. But all the time phone calls were made to friends in the south, close to Gaza. Or to family that visited one of those cities. The cities of tension, of fear. And the rest of the country imitated the mood.

You could feel the conflict in the air. Every conversation you held with somebody somehow drifted to the subject of the war. At every household, restaurant, or park it was being talked about. Every person in the country had something to say about the bombs, and the rockets. Every news channel did too. Also did the newspapers. “Hospitals in Gaza run out of supplies”, “Another Hamas leader killed”, “Qassams in the south of Israel”. Those are only a few of the well-known headlines.

On and on and on. And why? Because we judge. We judge everyone, and everything. We say, “oh, those Muslims”, or, “oh those Jews”. Israel refers to them as the “terrorists in Gaza”, and Hamas refers to Israel as the “stealers of Palestine”. But maybe it doesn’t have to be this way. Maybe people could learn to share, even with people that are different. Many people have said this before me, but wouldn’t it be great if it happened?

For me, the first step is to learn, because you can’t judge without knowing. Judging is “unjust”. That is why I believe that knowledge is power. The power for peace. Knowledge leads to justice. And justice leads to peace.