The following is the first draft of a rant I posted earlier today to a UK-based news media organization.
Thus far in Kfar Saba, we have not directly been affected by the latest round of external fighting and internal violence. We have experienced five (5) missile warnings thus far. Compared to many other communities, we are fortunate.
That said, we are of course concerned about family and friends in various parts of the country. My (life) partner’s eldest grandson serves in an elite combat unit. Her sister lives just streets away from a missile hit two nights ago in Holon, a suburb of Greater Tel Aviv.
And of course, watching the unfolding internal violence perpetrated by small groups of Israeli citizens, both Jews, and Muslims, is heartbreaking given the strives that have been made to ensure harmony between all citizens of Israel regardless of religion, creed, background, ethnicity.
It’s clear that when this current round of external fighting does come to an end, be that today, tomorrow, or more likely next week or the week after given that Israel looks to be prepared to mount an incursion into Gaza, nothing will have changed. The policy will remain a knee-jerk reaction to future developments, there appears to be no middle or long-term planning.
In some ways, if it's possible, the internal situation is more worrying.
In my opinion, Israel lacks genuine leadership. This is not a question of being pro or anti-Netanyahu, rather that Israel has since Ariel Sharon, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and of course Menachem Begin, been devoid of statesmen. We have more than enough politicians. We lack leaders who put Israel and all its citizens first.
Internally the solution would appear to be education, education, education, and the coming together of religious leaders of all faiths and all streams, and for them to act and speak with a single voice.
Israel’s Muslim and Christian citizens in many cases do suffer from secondary services, be they education, health & welfare, employment. Leave aside the rhetoric, these issue need to be rectified. Israel's population of approximately 9.4 M is made up of 74.4% Jews of various streams, the balance, 25.6% are other faiths including Muslims, Christians, and others. I. E. 25% of Israeli citizens are NOT Jewish. They're entitled to the same level of service as Jews citizens – no more no less.
I am regularly accused of being naïve, I have even mentioned this several times on my blog – www.myemeraldcove.com
Nevertheless, it strickes me time and again, that, for example, the world can more or less come together to find a solution to COVID19, but can’t agree on a path to end more than 100 years of conflict. OK, maybe it's not the same, maybe I am not comparing apples to apples, but surely all parties deep down want to move on, want to ensure that their respective peoples have a better life moving forward.
Winston Churchill, although today, at least in the UK is budded a warmonger, often remarked that “jaw, jaw is better than war, war”.
Yes, it takes two to tango and an immense quantity of goodwill and faith, but surely away can and must be found. We can’t continue to repeat this abused waste of life, or resources every few years.
The late Shimon Peres more than 30 years ago had a vision of a regional (middle eastern) economic community that would rival the EU, the US, and China. That dream is possible, we have seen it take root in the past year with the so-called Abraham Accords.
I am not religious, far from it, with age I have come to understand the notion that “religion was created by man to enslave man”. Nevertheless, with a leap of faith by all parties, things can change.
There is, to my mind a powerful, meaning full line said by Mick (Crocodile) Dundee, in the movie of the same name “Well, you see, Aborigines don't own the land," replies Mick. "They belong to it. It's like their mother. See those rocks? Been standing there for 600 million years. Still be there when you and I are gone. So arguing over who owns them is like two fleas arguing over who owns the dog they live on."
Just think about the words and how they apply to this region.