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Chapter 15: I Am Not a Prophet

Christopher Reed

The Guardian, London, England

Good evening. The Guardian in England is a liberal, serious ( as opposed to tabloid ( daily newspaper. I also work for a similar paper in Australia, The Melbourne Age, and a similar paper in Canada called the Global Mail.
I was here three years ago, and I’m absolutely amazed with the difference I find today. Astonishing, absolutely astonishing! So much so that I could hardly recognize any landmarks because everything was so different. Does it give you a lot of joy to see the place flowering, or don’t you interest yourself in that?

I am absolutely interested; this place has to become one of the most beautiful places on the earth.

Do you think it will? You have your troubles.?

No troubles.

With the neighbors.?

We enjoy it.

I read in your paper that in your press conference you gave only a one-word answer when asked if you and the neighbors would ever coexist peacefully. You said, “Never.” That’s a long time.

That’s true. In the first place, we don’t have any neighbors here. In these 126 square miles, we are alone, an island in itself. In the second place, I don’t believe in any compromise. If they are right, we will mix with them, we will drop our own philosophy of life. And if we are right, then they have to drop their prejudices. But I don’t believe in coexistence, I believe in existence; either we, or they. Coexistence is a political word, and coexistence is simply a cold war. Just to avoid ( postpone ( real war, politicians go on talking about coexistence. If I love you, we don’t coexist, we exist together. Only enemies coexist. I don’t have any enemies: if they are hostile, that is their problem ( we are not hostile toward anybody.

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