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By Sarah Ozacky-Lazar

In a women’s peace conference in Geneva, at the end of November, I met three ladies from Ache, Indonesia. It was my first time to hear about this region and the problems it faces. Only one of them spoke hesitant English, the other two were smiling with embarrassment when they were spoken to.
All of them covered their hair with Muslim Hejab they were short and rather heavy with a tender expression on their faces, but they seemed sad.

They told us about the oppression in their island, and how the Indonesian army controls their life. They have no freedom, they said, their life are miserable, they wanted the world to hear about the suffering of their people. Their eyes spoke more often that their mouth.

I keep thinking about them all through these last weeks since the Tsunami hit Asia. Ache was hurt badly, entire villages and communities were flooded and erased by the angry water. I do not even remember their names; I had this nightmare of their bodies flowing on the water, taken by the waves deep into the sea, their eyes open and their cries not heard .

I keep wondering if the sane soldiers who humiliated the people of Ache are now helping in their rescue. Or maybe many of those soldiers were also taken by the high waves and felt for a moment helpless and wick like their local victims. I imagine soldiers and women holding hands when taken into their destiny in the abyss.

Against the huge disaster caused by Nature, human beings become one. Enemies and rivals of yesterday cooperate in order to save their own life. I wonder what these soldiers were thinking in their last moments – why did we waste our life hating and fighting and killing – instead of working together to build secure life and protect our common land from the anger of the sea?

The magnitude of the Tsunami disaster caused people around the world to react in many different ways. What we witness is on one hand mystical reactions, religious explanations, biblical comparisons and philosophical interpretations, and on the other hand noble efforts and recruitments of recourses and aid from all over the glob to support the victims.

I feel that it is time to hold our breath and reflect on the meaning of this huge catastrophe and the waste of so many innocent life. What are the many lessons one can draw from this unexpected tragedy?

No High- tech nor sophisticated equipments in space could predict the Tsunami and worn humanity in time. People were taken by the waves without distinction of their color, age, gender, religion, ethnicity or political affiliation. All of us together became to be so small and helpless vis-à-vis Nature. So why do we add misery and disasters to this world?

Why torture each other, hate, fight, kill and waste the short years given to us to pass through this planet? In a moment of truth we need each other so badly, we stretch hands to each other in the sea, in the fire or during earthquake. Nations and individuals overcome their historic conflicts in order to help one another. Why only now?

While I am writing these words the Israeli radio reports on yet another cycle of violence in Gaza strip – Palestinian militants from Hammas are shelling Israeli towns with primitive missiles and the Israeli army shoots back at them and sometimes kills civilians and children. All of the sudden those news, which usually upset me and make me furious, seem like an infantile game. Why are we doing this to each other?

Israelis and Palestinians live so close together on the same coastline. An average earthquake and much smaller Tsunami can cause a huge disaster to all of them together. Is it not the time to put the weapons aside, stop the mutual killing and start cooperating for better life together?

I sink into my armchair and think of Noah flowing in his arch and wondering if the heavy rain has stopped and the Deluge is over. He sent a dove to check the situation out there. When she came back with an Olive branch in her beak he knew that Peace came to earth. Since that Biblical time – a dove with an olive branch became the symbol of Peace.

Is there such a white dove flying over Ache and waving her wings to my three lost friends?