The latest events in Israel, especially those of last week, raise some tough questions regarding the politics of peace.
A week ago I came across a widely shared photo on Facebook depicting an African American comfortably laying his head to sleep on an Orthodox Jew’s shoulder inside the NYC subway. In light of the stabbing of a 19 year old unarmed Israeli soldier as he was sleeping on a bus this past Tuesday, an interesting comparison was created; a popular Internet meme depicts the original photo side by side with a photo at the murder scene of Eden Atias Z”l. The core of this comparison is evident and makes a chill run through my body.
On Wednesday, Palestinians were interviewed by international media, complaining that a Price Tag offense by Jews was committed in the isolated town of Sengil. As the blame was directed towards Jewish settlers, a volunteer policeman, Liad Shemesh, claims it’s a whole different story. On his Facebook account he suggests the burning of the house was a reaction of zealous Muslim neighbors against its owner who is suspected of being a prostitute.
On an interview with Channel 2 news, Ben Rhodes, Assistant to President Obama and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting, extended his condolences to the Israeli people on behalf of the US president over the murder of Atias, remarking on the bravery of the Israeli citizens who are paying this price for their security .When asked about the disagreement between Israel and the US on a deal with Iran he declared that the first step towards an agreement with Iran wasn’t achieved yet. Moreover, he believes reaching such an agreement will halt and roll back some of the Iranian nuclear program elements. Witnessing such a high profile process, the question is if he really believes his own words.
While the sides disagree as to the cause of the stalled talks, a letter from December 2009 points to the problematic stand Kerry holds as a mediator. His past support, even if rendered innocently, to a doubtful range of people, amongst them BDS leaders, raises concern as to his qualification to practice as a fair negotiator. This, together with his slip-up on an interview broadcasted worldwide, referring the Israeli Prime Minister by his nickname, Bibi, and immediately taking it back, brings up a question; does this familiarity necessarily indicate his obligation towards Israel, or rather a disregard towards the insistence of Israel’s PM warnings about Iran’s progress with its nuke capability?
Anti-Semites usually claim Jews run the US, not to mention their domination of the whole world. If that’s the case, probably there was no need to negotiate with Iran on its nuke program. However, it’s high time Abe Foxman will not be on the vanguard of Jewish American voice supporting a stricter line of action towards Iran. Such a change will rally the real notion of “Tikun Olam”.
When your Facebook feed is more concerned with the latest sexual indiscretion, there could be only two excuses: either the public truly resents the celebrity allegedly involved, or in a worse case, it’s just a slightly less painful topic to deal with, while we are actually repressing thoughts of our much worse daily life in the shadow of Palestinian violence. Such a reality has to have an end.
In Israel, we are used to laugh at the Russian president’s narcissistic behavior. Nonetheless, according to some Russian news websites, when faced with terror threats with the Winter Olympics just around the corner, the Russian President exemplifies true leadership; signing a new bill requiring the relatives of terrorists to pay for the damages caused by their attacks. Maybe exactly such an unprecedented policy will make those who raise their children preaching jihad, think twice.