Uri Orbach
Photo: Tomer Barzide

Peace of the brave

Uri Orbach hopes that this year Israelis will be able to make peace amongst themselves

This year, I am hoping for peace of the brave. If only this year we will see the establishment of a unity government, but not on the normally unstable basis of withdrawals and disengagements that lead us backward, to nowhere.


This year, we need to establish a domestic peace government. Even leftist parties such as Meretz and Hadash, which normally only join governments that aspire for peace with the outside world, would do well to join. Peace among Jews is an important matter as well.


Instead of screaming “occupation, occupation” all day long, the government and citizens would start to realize that our control of Samaria is not the problem, but rather, our failure to control ourselves; our inability to restrain our gluttony and pursuit of great wealth, our screaming consumer culture with its crude commercials and inferior reality shows, and our adoration of the rich.


All of the above, as well as other elements as well, have nothing to do with occupation; they are all about controlling our own urges.


The domestic peace government will decide where it would be best for us to settle and build communities. Religious schools will broaden their students’ familiarity with Western culture and modern education, while secular schools will deepen their students’ connection to religious tradition and Jewish culture.


In the year of domestic peace, the government’s platform will place education and creation at the top of our agenda. Our resources will be earmarked to schools, the physical and social revival of neighborhoods and cities, and to equalizing the living conditions of Israel’s Arab citizens.


Can we at least have a ceasefire?

The peace amongst us will not terminate debate; rather, it will draw its boundaries - because the year of domestic peace will not be a year where we argue about territorial boundaries, but rather, it will be a year where we agree on human and public boundaries.


In the name of a withdrawal policy, the settlers were uprooted from Gush Katif. They objected and protested, but they did not cross the line to the great abyss. This was a choice of making peace of the brave with the State of Israel, their own state. Yet the courage for domestic peace is also required of those who are certain that everything hinges on our control of the “occupied territories.” This appears to be their way to both display and hide their hostility to the religious, to the settlers, to the rightists, and to anyone who was not made in their enlightened and noble image.


In a society where success and competitiveness mean everything, it is indeed truly difficult to see people who utter words such as “Eretz Israel” and “people of Israel” without chuckling or feeling embarrassed.


Will the shrinking Left and pulverized Right give up their hatred this year? It does not appear that way. Peace of the brave amongst us will have to wait. Yet hopefully we can at least have a ceasefire.


פרסום ראשון: 09.29.08, 14:17
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