On Standing for Nothing...
I strongly believe that the reason that Israel has found no peace since her establishment has only minimally to do with the Arabs and more to do with ourselves.
From the very beginning of the establishment of the State of Israel we have been a confused people. We have never, collectively figured out who it is that we are, where it is that we are aspiring to reach, what exactly our national goals are - and as a result, we are beset, both within the State of Israel and without, with challenges that threaten the continued existence of Israel.
A few recent examples:
* FM: Likud willing to make concessions in talks with PA
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom... refused to elaborate on what he called "painful concessions" in a potential settlement with the Palestinians, but added, "it is certain that we won't take an extreme route that that says 'no' to every proposal meant to promote peace."
Shalom also said that "it is inappropriate to declare red lines before negotiations begin, because as far as the Palestinians go, negotiations start there."
Granted, I will admit that I am not in favor of there being any negotiations with the "Palestinians", but if you are going to enter into negotiations, how can you not know at the outset what your red lines are? How can you not know what your limits and goals are? It's not enough to simply state that peace is a goal; peace is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself.
The "Palestinians" know very clearly what there goals are, and what their lines are. What meaningful concessions have the Palestinians ever made in negotiations with Israel? Israel keeps ceding territory, releasing terrorists, providing weapons, allows Hamas (and other terrorist organizations) to run in elections, relinquishes sovereignty in Jerusalem, and for what? For continued promises that the "Palestinians" will stop incitement and crack down on terror - as if that doesn't get old after a while.
* Trend: Israeli envoys marry non-Jews
At least 20 ambassadors, consul generals, and security officers are known to have married Christian women in the countries they serve in... The principal argument is that Israeli diplomats are supposed to strengthen the bond between Jewish communities abroad and the Jewish State... “It doesn’t look good. Which message is this sending out? If Israeli representatives are marrying Christians, how are we to convince our youths to marry Jews?”
(For an insightful analysis of this issue, check out Yehudi Yerushalmi).
The first time I read this article, I was genuinely bothered by this trend, but the more I thought about it, I said to myself, "why not"? After all, what's so bad about these consular & embassy officials marrying non-Jews while abroad? Would it be any worse if they married them while living in Israel? if not, then why shouldn't they be able to do so while abroad?
Who are we? Are we Israelis or Jews?
What was the purpose of the re-establishment of the State of Israel? Was it meant to be a Jewish State or a state (nation) like all others?
What are our ultimate values? Are we a Jewish State or a democratic one? If both, then which takes precedence and priority? Western, liberal, progressive values or Jewish ones?
What are our national goals? Peace? Redemption? A new Middle East? Secure and defensible borders? To be "one nation in the Land"? To create an "ideal society" that will serve as a "light unto the nations" and "to perfect the world under the Kingdom of Hashem"?
Until we can, as a nation, answer these questions, the Jewish People and the State of Israel will know not of peace nor tranquility.
Anyone have any ideas as to how to arrive at the answers to these questions, and what those answers should be?