Like many others, I have also protested in recent years. And I have written, complained and shouted. I have been furious at things the Netanyahu
government has done and I have desperately been trying to make it do what it wouldn’t think of doing. This time it's different, at least for now, and I find myself sitting and writing words of encouragement and support for the steps it is taking.
Some have been speaking recently with great wonder about a real change Netanyahu is going through, while others only see capitulation to external pressures, which are making him "pretend," play for time, just to make them ease the pressure.
I am not completely optimistic yet, and no one promises us that we are seeing a real changeover here, but we should definitely encourage and urge. In any case, we remain with the surprising facts: The Netanyahu government is resuming negotiations with the Palestinians based on the two-state solution. Most parameters of a future agreement are pretty clear to both sides, including the fact that the division of property will eventually be somewhere in the area of the 1967 borders.
Nothing irreversible has happened yet, but even if some of us find it hard to believe, on the surface it seems that something new is definitely happening. If someone had predicted two months ago that this is what would happen, we would have died of laughter. Of despair of course.
In the wonderful film "Forrest Gump," the hero spends his early childhood with his legs braced in those heavy, rigid metals of polio patients. According to many film commentators he did suffer from polio, according to others he just had scoliosis. As is the case with children, there is a cruel group ridiculing and harassing him.
In a particularly moving scene, almost surreal, the bad guys chase seven-year-old Forrest as he tries to escape from them in a clumsy and pitiful manner of a person whose knees are fixed firmly in kilograms of metal. At that moment his only friend, Jenny, shouts: "Run, Forrest, run!" and he stars running. As he runs, the metals bracing his shins and thighs fall off one by one, like those cars in cartoons which fall apart while driving rapidly. And he runs like the wind, leaving his pursuers far behind.
"Run, Forrest, run!" turns out to be a motif repeating itself throughout the film, and the running saves Forrest's face again and again, and in one opportunity it saves his life and the life of his brother in arms as well. Although he is not the wisest person or the most stirring leader, to say the least, he manages later on to get masses to run after him with absolute loyalty.
The State of Israel
is suffering from a type of political polio. The government has been paralyzed, curbed and fixed for years, with the Bar-Ilan speech
remaining on paper, pale and shamed. The occupation is growing wider and deeper, settlement construction is continuing vigorously, and our economic and diplomatic situation is deteriorating in an intimidating manner. Even our best friends are already pressuring and boycotting.
Although many in the coalition are doing everything to restrain us and prevent movement towards peace, the great wonder is that Bibi has begun moving. And this is the moment in which we must shout, until our throats dry up, "Run, Bibi, run!"
Run, Bibi, because that's the only way you can get rid of the metals of paralysis and fixation. Run and persist, but do it reliably and transparently, and from the bottom of your heart. You are guaranteed that all those curbing you – including the Bennetts
and the Liebermans,
and the Danons
– will then fall on the sides of the road.
Run, Bibi, run, and we'll all follow you. We'll support, encourage and push. Just keep running and save the State from a low point and extinction. Run, Bibi, and don’t stop. We are behind you, and if and when you miraculously succeed in bringing us true peace, all our hats will be taken off in your honor. Just run, Bibi, please run!
Prof. David Harel of the Weizmann Institute of Science is an Israel Prize laureate for Computer Science and a peace activist