During this time of increased tension in the nearby Middle East, many of us on Ibiza are examining our values regarding religion, security and identity. The globalization of the news brings the suffering of children, Palestinian and Israeli, into our homes. The globalization of the economy causes concern for our future and that of our own children and grandchildren. Globally, the environment is a source of anxiety to anyone who has been paying attention. We are no longer able to live our lives on our beautiful little island without considering our place in a world seemingly at war with itself.
Ibiza can be seen as a microcosm of the larger world. Due to our location we have always had our share of invaders and conquering armies bringing different values, traditions and blood lines. Genetically, these invasions have resulted in a dynamic and diverse population. We are a mix of Spanish, Moorish and Sephardic blood, among others.
A recent study of DNA samples showed that almost 20% of Spaniard’s genes are of Sephardic Jewish origin and another 11% are traceable to North Africa. Our genetic heritage reflects our diverse cultural and relig-ious history.
Jewish, Muslim and Catholic influences have provided Spain and Ibiza with a history and a genetic mix that is truly multicultural. The tensions that exist between the three major Abrahamic religions (Christian, Jewish, Islamic) need not exist on Ibiza. We can accept our heritage and build upon it, teaching our children that differences among people are healthy and that accepting differences in others allows us to be fully human.
Intolerance is based on fear and insecurity. People who are intolerant display their inner weakness for all to see. Encouraging acceptance and dialogue will allow our children to have a future free from ignorance and distrust. The economic and environmental challenges that our children face are formidable.
It is our duty to model tolerance. It will allow our children to have hope and courage to tackle the challenges they face.