Tag Archives: Palestine

The best way for Israel to have a Partner is to be one

One powerful way to demonstrate Israel’s commitment to a future together with the Palestinian People would if Israel took the lead and sponsored a Palestinian State in the United Nations.

 This bold and decisive measure would show that Israel is indeed prepared to have the Palestinian people living in their own land with control over their destiny as a neighbor and partner in peace.

 The original UN Partition Plan called for the establishment of two states. Sadly, its rejection and the ensuing war left the Palestinian State stillborn. The bitter state of affairs has remained. By declaring support of the Palestinian State now, Israel would show its real commitment to a two-state solution.

 In many respects, it is the internal issue that is at the crux of Israel’s problem; Israel has not determined in her own heart the status of the West Bank, aka Judea and Samaria, or East Jerusalem. Until Israel can articulate its position vis-a-vis this land, Israel is unable to move forward, mired in her own internal struggle with what she understands herself to be. If Israel can offer most of the West Bank to the Palestinians, the time to do it is now.

 Recognition of a Palestinian State does not end the conflict between the two peoples. Those who believe only in the eradication of Israel will remain a voice of trouble. However, giving hope to the Palestinian people by supporting them in their homeland, offering hope and prosperity can marginalize these destructive voices. Peaceful coexistence is more important than a perpetual state of hostility that only serves to kill too many of our children.

 This vision of the future will take great time, patience and resources. Too many have a vested interest in maintaining belligerence. Israel must remain vigilant in protecting herself with secure borders and acting decisively in the face of threats to her people or her existence. Supporting the creation of the State of Palestine does not deter Israel from protecting her self-interests. It does precisely the opposite; a perpetual state of war cannot end well for either side, nor can a perpetual state of occupation. The only way to live together is to try, to have the courage and the strength to lead by example and support the legitimate hopes and aspirations of the Palestinian people to have a say in their own destiny and possibly learn to live side by side with their Israeli neighbors.

Anguish and Hope

Like so many others, I find myself in a place of anguish.  The violence perpetrated upon both Israelis and Palestinians is overwhelmingly sad and tragic.  I struggle with the hatred and resultant terror, death and destruction.  Whether the cause is righteous or even justifiable, the price that the innocents pay is too great.  And in the end, we all have blood on our hands, forever changed by war.

 Today, many of us observe a fast.  The 17th of Tammuz is traditionally a fast day for the Jewish people, marking catastrophes and heartbreaks in our history.  It coincides with the fast of Ramadan.  We join together praying that our sadness might transform into hope, that the killing might end, that the hatred might cease, that the opportunity for peace might appear as rays of light shining through the cracks in the broken vessel in which we find ourselves.

 To learn more about this event, look to the website:


 I share the following poem written by two religious leaders from Jerusalem,  Sheikh Ibtisam Mahamid and Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum, shared with me by my colleague, Rabbi David Ackerman.

 God of Life

Who heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds

 May it be your will to hear the prayer of mothers

For you did not create us to kill each other

Nor to live in fear, anger or hatred in your world

But rather you have created us so we can grant permission to one another to sanctify Your name of Life, your name of Peace in this world.

For these things I weep, my eye, my eye runs down with water

For our children crying at nights,

For parents holding their children with despair and darkness in their hearts

For a gate that is closing and who will open it while day has not yet dawned.

And with my tears and prayers which I pray

And with the tears of all women who deeply feel the pain of these difficult days

I raise my hands to you please God have mercy on us

Hear our voice that we shall not despair

That we shall see life in each other,

That we shall have mercy for each other,

That we shall have pity on each other,

That we shall hope for each other

And we shall write our lives in the book of Life

For your sake God of Life

Let us choose Life.

For you are Peace, your world is Peace and all that is yours is Peace,

And so shall be your will and let us say