Michel M.J. Shore

For Unity’s Sake, Not to Weaken, But Strengthen the Nation!

My son-in-law bridges two worlds. He was born on a secular kibbutz and subsequently embraced a dati way of life. My son-in-law has built a bridge between two worlds.

Meditation and contemplation has led him to understand the need to reach consensus on principles and values as a common denominator to both worlds, for the good of both, as a whole.

The common denominator ensures security, well-being and human rights-based respect and dignity for all inhabitants of Israel, that removes ego and self-interest from the equation for the better good of all. The recipe must be to leave one’s ego for the good of the nation as a whole. These are the principles which he embraces.

The generation of those in their 40s and 50s, as a whole,  would have a chance to have their say. For this, some would bow out, for others to begin a new life for the nation, based on hope, recognition and acknowledgement of each, of the other; And, a new beginning that does not need terror or war to unite but a  vision of peace, to give impetus to a better today and an even better tomorrow.

The main points of my son-in-law’s insight are as follows:

“The modern state of Israel is a relatively young, old state; and, in certain ways, it is still forging its identity.”

“Just as individuals need growth and maturation, Israel possesses ancient historical wisdom from its ancestors; that  it gradually incorporates into its growth and maturation, as a new, young modern state.”

“The existential crisis in which Israel finds itself has to do with behavior between its citizens and inhabitants, in its culture of dialogue between its inhabitants.”

“Just as a young person finds his or her path to adulthood through maturity; so does a nation or a state in forming its identity.”

“As most parents come to realize, the teenage years are subject to storms and conflicts.”

“To my understanding, that which we are currently facing has to do with behavior in public spaces and, why is that the case? Growing up on a kibbutz, the communal circle of influence had dominance over the formation of the structure, of who we became.”

“We are now In an era, wherein for most of Israelis, the family circle and universal circle play dominant roles  (in action and reaction).”

“The identities have been forged in close-spaced interactions, in the public domain; and, this is where sectarianism collides. What I am expressing is that the culture of behavior and discussion is apparent in its current struggle. It is typical of  of teenage behavior, not acceptable in the company of adults.”

“And, it is Incumbent, not only for soldiers of all ranks, but for all members of society to do their part, as members of a whole, cognizant of the whole, for the good of all.”

“When studying a page of Talmud, the subject of discussion is not that of one opinion, over that of the other; but the subject of discussion is for its own purpose; that is for the subject, in and of itself, not of one person over that of another.”

“The structure of Israeli politics, since its inception, is sectoral and based on representational democracy to the extreme, in which different sectors, of the very diverse society, hold specific governmental branches as hostages for their.own sectoral ideological purposes.”

“Unity in diversity sounds like a paradox; it is not. Unity is easy without diversity.  To have true unity, in challenging situations, requires accommodation for diversity and acceptance to coexist. That requires accommodation of all sectors in their multiplicity.  The Knesset is a public space in which the outcome of multiple sectors collide!”

“The nature of discussion in the Knesset must become based on an outcome of Nasei ha’Din, Nasai Emet, v’ Nasai Shalom. Thus, doing justice, by which truth is evident, for the purpose of a peaceful outcome. That takes full consideration of the good of the people, as a whole. Representational democracy, as manifested in Israeli politics, as a miflaga, means separation; Thus, segmentation.”

“Why do public representatives align themselves mostly with sectoral concepts, rather than unifying themselves for the public good as a whole? When is the voice of the golden mean, or the voice of potential consensus, going to be heard and acted upon for the ultimate good of all?”

My son-in-law asked the questions, in summary, awaiting the response of public officials!

How long must he wait; and, will there still be time to answer and act on the need for Israel, as a whole? The time and public space is here and now. The question begs for an answer.

About the Author
Michel M.J. Shore is a retired judge of the Federal Court of Canada and recently made a home in Israel. He is the writer of several published books and poetry collections.
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