The amazing strength of the people of Kibbutz Metzer
Five people shot to death from short range, among them two children and their mother. The work of one man with a gun, the act claimed by a Palestinian militant group. The Kibbutz infiltrated – a model of good relations with their Palestinian neighbors, as could be verified on TV: never had there been so many (if any) Arabs to join the saddened crowd in a funeral after a terrorist attack. There were those who say – as quoted in the media – that “it was done on purpose, out of a hatred not just blind but poised to weaken the Israelis who try to achieve a fair compromise.” But from the publicity and also our own impression it is clear that the ideas of this Kibbutz near the Green Line have gained an audience as it never had before.
Not only journalists from all over the world but also Israelis – public personalities and just normal people embarked on the Kibbutz . Most of them heard for the first time of the efforts by the Metzer people to change the plans for the Separation Wall – also to be erected on their eastside. In vain Metzer tried to convince the authorities to build the wall – if at all – not at the expense of Palestinian farmland. Why not build it on the Green Line, or – if there is needed space around it – then at the expense of the Kibbutz’ lands. After all, whom was The Wall supposed to benefit… Such logic, the logic of “trying yo keep the neighbors satisfied”, is not at all common in today’s Israel.
So, the surprised readers of the mass circulation daily Ma’ariv had to swallow on the day after the attack a headline – quoted from a Kibbutz representative -“The Occupation Is The Cause Of Terrorism.”
All the peace movements went there as individuals or groupswise. Speaking with a few of the Kibbutz members, one gets the impression of people who are very hurt, and who may never anymore go around in the dark without fear, but nevertheless they are not ready to give up their belief in openness and good relations, the relations which they have built over decades, real neighborly relations with the Arabs among whom they live, inside and over the Green Line, many of whom come and mourn with them day after day.