If someone had told me this was going to happen twenty years ago, I would not have believed it. An Israeli-Palestinian team set out to climb Mount Everest. This week team members reached the peak, but the Palestinian member didn't make it because of illness. An Israeli team member, Micha Yaniv, planted the Palestinian flag and the Israeli flag at the top of Mt Everest
Isn't this the image of Israel we want to project to the world? Won't this win more friends for Israel and for the Zionist cause than, for example, settlers beating up Palestinian kids on the way to school? Didn't this act require bravery? And what about the reaction of the Palestinian:
Upon reaching the summit, Yifrah, a 32-year-old farmer from Kfar Shamai, proceeded to plant Israeli and Palestinian flags, thus keeping his promise to fellow mountain climber Ali Bushnaq, a Palestinian water engineer who currently resides in Abu Dhabi, who collapsed on the way to the top and was forced to wait for the others at 7000 meters (23,000 feet).
Bushnaq broke into tears when he heard of Yifrah's gesture.
"Now he is my brother," he said.
A Jewish farmer and a Palestinian engineer - and they are friends. It is no legend. The truth is much stronger than propaganda.
It is not the whole truth of course. Another Palestinian, a journalist wrote to me, just now:
Israel is a renegade state that is hell bent on exterminating non-Jews in this part of the world and creating a Talmudic Republic. Muslim towns must never become target of Israel's nuclear bombs. Muslims must possess a deterent.
Friendship and brotherhood versus hatred and racism and warmongering. Which will win out? Which side are you on?
Truth and reality are complex. Having a vision and implementing that vision requires courage and stubborness.
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