It is true that most Israelis and Palestinians want peace, but that means different things for each side. For the Palestinians, peace means justice and the recognition of their rights, while Israel’s preoccupation is maintaining security and bringing an end to open hostilities. The Israelis have operated under the belief that they could attain their version of peace without having to meet Palestinians’ demands. Washington’s unyielding support for Tel Aviv, including military aid and diplomatic shield in the Security Council, has given Israel the ability to maintain its conception of peace.
Here’s to the security guards who maybe had a degree in another land. Here’s to the manicurist who had to leave her family to come here, painting the nails, scrubbing the feet of strangers. Here’s to the janitors who don’t even fucking understand English yet work hard despite it all. Here’s to the fast food workers who work hard to see their family smile. Here’s to the laundry man at the Marriott who told me with the sparkle in his eyes how he was an engineer in Peru. Here’s to the bus driver, the Turkish Sufi who almost danced when I quoted Rumi. Here’s to the harvesters who live in fear of being deported for coming here to open the road for their future generation. Here’s to the taxi drivers from Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and India who gossip amongst themselves. Here is to them waking up at 4am, calling home to hear the voices of their loved ones. Here is to their children, to the children who despite it all become artists, writers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, activists and rebels. Here’s to Western Union and Money Gram. For never forgetting home. Here’s to their children who carry the heartbeats of their motherland and even in sleep, speak with pride about their fathers. Keep on.
Immigrants. First generation.