Friday, September 22, 2006


This week's Cutting Edge programme on SBS was a documentary from Israel entitled "Little Peace of Mine" about an endearing Israeli youngster Nadav, who after witnessing a terrorist bombing in Jerusalem in 2002, decides to take matters into his own hands and forms his own movement "Peace for the Future" with the idea of bringing together Jewish children from West Jerusalem and Arab children from East Jerusalem.

Nadav wants to develop friendships between the children on both sides of the conflict in the region; not just to play games but also to establish the seeds for peace in the future.

Twelve year old Nadav puts his heart and soul into arranging a series of meetings with Palestinian children who he hopes are of the same mind. Things go well until they start discussing the nuts and bolts of politics and, at that point, the kids become like their grown up counterparts.

Mai, a charming 13 year old from East Jerusalem, suddenly morphs into Saeb Erekat while Nadav is on the back foot, forced to state that Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount was a "mistake". Of course, there's nothing much he can say when she raises the non-existent massacre in Jenin.

Welcome to the insane world of their parents' generation!

Although their group breaks apart, the friendship between Nadav and Mai continues and through Little Peace of Mine we witness the grim reality and hardship on both sides of the divide that give us both a glimmer of hope and a glimmer of despair in a region and in a world where sanity rarely prevails.

The farcical events of this week in the United Nations is a testament to the fact that it's still a mad, mad, mad world in which children are dying everywhere while grown ups posture in the halls of power in New York.

Against this backdrop, Jews everywhere will tonight celebrate the beginning of their new year. Usually, we express the hope to all - Jews and non Jews alike - for peace in the coming year. Nadav has reminded us how difficult it is to achieve that objective.

Notwithstanding this I want to express the wish that we should all taste a little sweetness and peace in the coming year.

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