Today I’m headed to southern California to celebrate my son’s birthday. I remember this day 36 years ago very clearly, as though it were yesterday.
Birthdays should be for mothers and young children. We are the members of the family who really appreciate the significance of birth. Mothers because . . . well, because we labor 9 months to grow and bring this new life into the world.
Young children because every child likes to be the center of attention and know that they are loved and cherished. Birthday parties are a great way to show our love.
Children have no voice in their early life circumstances. Will they see their first sunrise in Seattle or in Gaza or Cairo? Will their parents have jobs and opportunities, or live under occupation with dreams of returning to their ancestral home? Will they have good health and security, or grow up under drones and bombs? Of course, every child deserves the same opportunities and secure future, but the heartbreaking reality is that they don’t.
The adults negotiating the future for Israel and Palestine should attend some birthday parties on both sides of the Green Line, make some wishes for each other’s children, and watch their children blow out the candles. Then the “peace talks” might have a prayer of succeeding.