Monday, May 3, 2010

Collaborator: Collaboration

Words are an imperfect science.

They have many different meanings and even more understandings.

When Artists 4 Israel speak of collaborators, we mean our painters and graffitists who work together, blending styles, sharing spirit and creating works of art that transcend their own abilities and reach towards the sky with beauty and brotherhood.

When those in Gaza speak of collaboration, theirs is a far more sinister definition. When anyone of their subjects work with, help or, even, treat an Israeli with common decency and respect, it is called "collaboration." The penalty is death.

On the second day of our tour, at the JNF Indoor Recreational Facility, we met a collaborator. We will protect her name. So, let us call her Liberty. Liberty lived near the Karni Crossing. Her parents had a nice home by the standards of Gaza and raised their daughter without much discussion of politics. When the terrorist overlords of Gaza, Hamas, tried to place a Qassam launching site in their home, they became very aware of politics very quickly. Liberty's parents crossed into Israel and made their way to Sderot. They cried "Amnesty!"

Israel protects her citizens, even if they have just arrived. Liberty's home is not nearly as big now. But, there are no rocket launching sites there. She is no longer a human shield. She no longer discusses politics. She plays with her friends, gossips about boys and has gotten quite good at fuseball.

Liberty is safe.

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