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Why Can't Israel and Palestine be BFFs?

In her Korean hanbok with her Mom's tallit

Published in ChicagoNow, March 17, 2014

My guest blogger today is my almost eight-year-old granddaughter who has the answer to the perplexing issues between Israel and Palestine. During "share your culture day" at her school, she brought things from Korea and Israel, her two cultures. Her good friend brought things from Palestine. When her friend wondered why Israel and Palestine were fighting, Maya decided she could solve the problem by writing a letter to "the guy in charge of Israel."

Here's what she wrote:

A plea for peace

In case you can't read it, she says,

To Irael (sic)

Dear Benjamin Netanyahu,

Your country and Palestine are fighting over your country and you know it. The world is counting on you. I'm counting on you to stop. Why can't you share? Every day Jasmine who is Palestinian and I say "I want Israel and Palestine to stop fighting!" You can become friends forever. Please.

Yours sincerely, Maya

P.S. I'm not doing this to be famous

Yes, it's naive. True, she has no knowledge of the history or politics. She just knows she and Jasmine and BFFs, and she doesn't understand why their "cultures" can't get it together. Maybe this is a place to start. These two little girls want to find a path to peace. So they wonder why countries can't share.

When I asked Maya what her post script meant, she said she didn't care to be famous for her diplomatic efforts. She just wanted people to stop fighting. Maya will turn eight on Sunday. Happy Birthday to my dear little diplomat. When she blows out her candle, I know she will be wishing for peace.


by Laurie Levy
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