East and West

Hey folks,

has been a while yet there’s that post running wild in my thoughts for quite a while now that I need to get written down. Remember that job I was getting? Well in the end I didn’t get it (well, not yet) for reason of our all beloved economic crisis which has cost me two jobs so far. It was quite a story: I was meant to start working on Monday and – only by lucky coincidence – did I get the information that the whole thing was cancelled on Friday morning, around 3 am. Wasn’t quite funny, I can tell you that, not at all funny. Yes, I had known that that company was facing some troubles, and yes, I gave them a call as soon as I found out what was going on but all they’d say would be that it wouldn’t affect me thereby naturally keeping me from looking for another job.

In my darkest hours I have brooded the question whether the sudden cancellation of that job could have been connected with the way I have myself found treated because I am a woman but, frankly spoken, I think this would be going too far and leading straight the way to paranoia. More likely all it was was a bad coincidence or, perhaps, even the company trying to keep me as long as possible until there was just no other way then to cancel the job. I guess you guys know Occam’s law? If two possibilities are equally likely in most of the cases it’s the more simple one that’s true. You can spare yourself a lot of troubles and thinking the wrong way if you stick to that one.

However, only so you know the rest of the story. What happened after the first shock was over was of course me trying to find another job as quickly as possible – not so much for reasons of money then way more because I was going mad sitting in that goddess-damned village in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do. I am not a good housewife at all after all (perhaps the true meaning of a “desperate” housewife …). In the end I called another branch office of the same company and asked there and – believe me I was surprised! – they got me a job within two weeks. So here I am now and I am loving it a lot having superb collegues and work that might, again, not quite be a challenge, but that is fun in the end.

It happens though that that new branch office – which is quite a drive from my home yet still better then doing nothing though I can imagine the size of my CO2-footprint pretty well – is situated in Eastern Germany, former German Democratic Republic. It’s an interesting feeling to cross a border that has been closed for decades, separating people from each other, killing people, twice a day. There’s some old watchtower where I cross the border that’s not a border anymore that somehow keeps reminding me every day. Yet as strange as it feels it is also something that gives me hope. I mean who would have thought that I could do this – crossing the border by car without as much as flashing my ID – back in 1988? Nowadays people might find it equally unlikely that one day people (especially Palestinians) might find themselves crossing today’s Israeli – Palestinian border just like that. But perhaps if Germany taught us one thing it’s that miracles like that can happen. And they can happen by little more then the people of a country stepping out and asking for it out loud. I know it’s not as simple as that but bottom line of Germany 1989 is that the people of the German Democratic Republic raised and told out loud that they were fed up with their corrupt government. That they just wouldn’t support it anymore.

In the end no regime in the world – the least tyranns – can succeed without the people supporting them. Even if “support” means no more then looking the other direction. And neither Hamas nor the corrupt political systeme of Israel – wasn’t it more then enough to have Bibi Netanyahu elected once? – could survive if they weren’t backed by their people. If people stood up and proclaimed they had had enough of war and hatred – on both sides of the border, best of all in an movement that touched the whole region – there would be peace. I am 100% sure of that (and I am hardly that sure of anything).

Yet I know it’s wishful thinking. In both places people are to deeply fractionated and fighting each other – a good Israeli friend once said that by the time there was no outside foe of Israel anymore people would turn on each other – there is hardly anything unifying them, in a way not even their enemies. Or would have people said the same thing about Germany in 1989? Would they have claimed people couldn’t team up too? Just how did they do it? How did they make it happen?

Don’t get me wrong: Germany is way away from being truely unified and the schism running between East and West is still giant – after nearly 20 years. There is in fact a growing number of people – Eastern and Western Germans alike – that would like to rebuild the Wall. In a way I can even see why – I have seen villages deserted because industry was closed down and people lost their jobs; I have seen villages inhabited by nobody younger then 60 years – yet still they did it. They made the Wall disappear by the sheer power and force of a grassroots movement. So if it was done once (and in fact it was naturally done more often then the one time in Germany) who says it can’t be done again? In the end one or two peaceful state(s) facing problems is/are still better then what we see today.





  1. whishfull thinking indeed and I whish what whishes have Power (they have in fact) to change things at least sometimes…..but sadly tosay, the comparison is not equal….as Germany was One People divided by external Forces and the eastern part claimed what they want their freedom as the western part has…
    In the other case you have two peoples stucked together in one part of the world they both claim to be their own, divided by cultur often by religion, fractioned b fundamentalists on either side..claiming their Freedom from the other one…so its not the same.
    Still if the ppl would like in a grassroot movement stay up and cheer for peace and freedom, together….it coudlchange a thing….but more likely they would for seperation and domination of the other side as of deep laying conflicts….and why and in what definitions and how they combine and interact, the conflicts i mean…..is a web so complex….who can show it complete?

    btw a word in private…..give me a messenger call please 😉

  2. hey Aracuron,

    great Comment of yours. Thanks a lot.

    one question for you: What is the definition of “external forces”? Officially there was nobody but the people themselfes, which the German Democratic Republic served, dividing Germany back then. Of course everybody knew that the reality was a little different.

    Within the Middle East on the first look you’d say it’s all homemade yet as far as I am concerned I wouldn’t be sure about that anymore: There are so many foreign interests (US American, Iran, Syria, … even European) gravely interfering in the region that I am not sure whether you couldn’t enhance the definition of “foreign force” as for to cover the Middle East issue too.

    What do you think about it?

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