I believe as an American Jew that Israelis and Palestinians do not need to die in perpetuity. I believe that peace is possible, indeed inevitable. Peace will not be easy. It never is. It is easier to hate than to love. It is easier to hate than to stop hating.
I have dedicated my life and my blog to building bridges between the two sides. I am willing to endure the wrath of Israeli supporters who feel I am a traitor to my people as I am willing to endure the wrath of pro-Palestinian activists who believe my commitment to the Palestinian cause is insufficiently pure.
People on both sides are only too willing to tell their co-religionists to keep up the fight. Never give up till the other side is defeated. Never trust the other side. But the problem is that too many of these people live in their arm chair world. They have nothing to lose is someone else sheds blood on their behalf.
But I have lived in Israel and visited many times since I last lived there. I know what is at stake. I know that no matter how well Israel’s economy may function there can never real, full economic development till there is the stability and security that full peace will bring.
I believe in an Israel that embraces all its citizens whether they be Muslim, Christian or Jew. I believe in an Israel in which no one is looked down upon because they arent’ a member of the “right” religion. I believe that an Israel that celebrates its ethnic diversity–rather than fears it–will flower as a country.
Just look at what is happening in Iraq with Sunni killing Shiite. This doesn’t have to be the model for Israel and the Arabs. There can be real peace between them. But first they must turn away from hatred. THe only way to do this is for both sides to compromise; for both sides to accept half a loaf rather than demanding the whole thing. It is hard giving up one’s national dreams. But it must happen. And I will do my best to encourage this in my life and my blog.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.