Letter of November 1st 2000
from Jacques Gaillot

The Palestinians' anger

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The Palestinians' anger

The outburst of violence in Israel and in Occupied Territories has ruined in a short time all the precedent peace achievements so painfully obtained. How fast violence can be destructive when peace is so slow to be established! To start a fire only a match is needed, when a whole forest is on fire, how difficult it is to stop it. But even when the fire is extinguished, it will take many years to restore the forest in its original beauty.
It is the same for violence, when it starts how hard it is to stop it, and when it ends, many efforts will be needed to convince the former enemies to speak to each other again, to restore confidence, to learn to live together.
During the Algerian war I was very surprised to see how quickly the young privates arriving from France were forgetting all their good manners to plunge into the violence, the repression and to apply tortures. There was complete change of behavior. They did not know that by denying to their opponents a status of human being, they were ruining themselves. Still today, although hiding behind their silence, they are suffering the consequences.
The anger of the young Palestinians is understandable; they have been humiliated for many years, humiliated by the establishment of Jewish colonies, by the daily difficulties to circulate through all the checkpoints. Nothing has changed and their youth has been robbed. Humiliation is the worst of all, it gives rise to violence: he who saw humiliation shall reap the revolt.