Home > Israel, Rabbi Ben Kamin > Time has absurd notion that Israelis don’t care about peace

Time has absurd notion that Israelis don’t care about peace

September 4, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

By Rabbi Ben Kamin

Rabbi Ben Kamin

SAN DIEGO — The cover of the current issue of TIME Magazine offers the absurd title, “Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace.”  The story itself, written by Karl Vick, is built on the premise that with “observing two and half years without a single suicide bombing on their territory, with the economy robust,” Israelis “have moved on” and just don’t focus anymore on the Palestinians and the resolution of the issues that have existed since 1948. 

As if anyone but the people of Israel, who have not had a single moment of quietude and have endured invasion, terrorism, suicide bombings, and the world’s contempt for decades, have ever longed for anything but peace. 

The cover text is an affront to the most deeply-head Israeli emotion—and I can speak to this as an Israeli native whose extended family all still live there.  For over sixty years, since the United Nations partitioned the British mandate of Palestine into two states, one Arab and one Jewish, the people of Israel have been trying to broker a peace between themselves and the Arab nations.  In declaring its independence on May 14, 1948, Israelis formally reached out to their neighbors:  Within the very text of Declaration is written:

We extend our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.”

Where is there even a remotely similar outreach or pronouncement in the archives of any Arab state or in the Palestinian Charter?  All that is offered from that side is the hope of destroying Israel, eliminating its population, drowning its children in the Mediterranean Sea.

Hoping desperately for peace, taking unheard of risks for it, Israel remains the only party in the conflict to have ever returned land (as in, the Sinai, twice), or even enter repeatedly in discussions with its sworn enemies that begin with the notion that Israel must divvy up its own capital city?   

At this very moment, the Prime Minister of Israel has entered (yet again) into multilateral talks with the Palestinians—flanked at the White House by the leaders of Egypt and Jordan as well.  The photo-ops captured the irony and the truth:  Israel, alone, singular, at risk, among a roomful of Arab leaders who have not accomplished together what the Jewish state has done better than all of them combined—gather in exiles, plant trees, and pray to bring its children-soldiers home at last.

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Rabbi Kamin is a freelance writer based in San Diego

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  1. R Morgan
    September 5, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Ben,

    Miss you. You are the greatest. Your response is so “right-on”.

    Ronnie

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