I believe

Still reeling from the election blow, we confront the immediate reality, while straining to keep the future in our hearts as a vision, a direction.

Netanyahu just proudly announced that he is not afraid of the media. So if you’re not afraid, what are you? If I remember correctly, you’re the prime minister whose vision of the future is “to live by the sword, forever…” This is what you declared. If that’s your vision, for us, Bibi, I’d hate to see your nightmare. Maybe we can become your nightmare, Mr. perennial Prime Minister.

For what it’s worth, here’s my current dream…..

In the coming weeks, some twenty of the leaders of Labor, Meretz, the two Arab parties, and Gantz’s Kachol-Lavan will take a small hidden spot in the Galilee to spend three days there.

A comfortable place, with good food and discreet hosts. The representatives’ goal is to create an alliance that will win the minds and hearts of the majority of the Israeli public. Success of the venture will be due to the essential decency of the future-possibility to be created by this new Alliance. The people gathered there will be rethinking the inner heart-commitment to their possibly common path. To create what isn’t there, yet.

When a quarterback throws the football a long way down the field, there is no one at the spot to which he aims. There is only the possibility of the receiver getting to that spot, which comes from the quarterback’s belief in the receiver. He serves the pass-receiver, believing in him. If we progressive Israelis have something to offer the people who live here, we have to learn how to approach the other.

During their three days together, the Galilee representatives will be more interested in what they have in common than in figuring out what will cause people to vote for them. Initially, there will be an in-depth getting-to-know-you process. Then, the event’s first question will be: What do we believe, individually, and where do we intersect with the others gathered here? What are my core values, and in what areas could I be flexible, so that this alliance will work? Finally, What are we prepared to do in order to make this a reality….how will we speak with and listen to our colleagues when we return to our lives?

In the recent disastrous election, had these four parties joined forces, they would have had 57 mandates, four short of a majority of the Knesset. Around 140,000 people would have had to choose differently in order to prevent Likud from carrying the day. If some version of my dream were to be the beginning of a shift, the people at the event would be challenged to swallow egos, do the hard work, the heart work. And then to emerge from the Galilee with a brighter possible future for all the people who live here.

We can turn things around in Israel. When you miss a turn on the highway, you have to go south in order to get going north again. But if we can seize this moment, our children and grandchildren will hear happy stories, tales of wrongs that were put right, as we tuck them into bed.

Yoav Peck

About the Author
Yoav Peck, a Jerusalem organizational psychologist, is director of the Sulha Peace Project. Born and raised in New York/New Jersey, he holds a BA from Berkeley, and an MA in organizational psychology. He made aliyah in 1973, and was a member of Kibbutz Kfar Hanassi for 15 years, and has been living in Jerusalem since '88. He has three kids, and three grandchildren.
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