Elkana Bar Eitan

Israel/Palestine – The Day After

Many people including myself are struggling with the question — What would the “day after” look like?

I would like to share my simple answer to this difficult question.
But before that, I suggest that we go back in time and try to learn from the mistakes made in the past.
Born in Jerusalem in 1985, I have positive memories of spending time with Arab neighbors in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron.
In 1993, the Oslo accords were signed.
Although I was a kid at the time, I was very interested is the news and I remember clearly what didn’t make sense to me at the time.
I didn’t understand how a peace deal can be made when the outcome is that the two rival parties disconnect even more than before.
Despite the international excitement and Nobel prize ceremonies, the following years were terrible.
Israel faced nonstop terror attacks mostly targeting innocent civilians. Hundreds of children, women and elderly were killed while eating at restaurants or driving in public transportation.
At the same time huge development was underway. New roads and bridges were built. The goal was to completely disconnect between Israeli and Arab populations.
According to the Aslo accords, Jews were no longer allowed to enter Palestinian controlled cities and Palestinians could only enter Israeli communities if provided special entry permits.
How this made sense to anyone is beyond me.
Over the next 2 decades, Israelis and Palestinians grew apart from each other. Children born after 1993 never saw each other. They grew up on different sides of the wall.
In 2005, Israel evacuated the Jewish communities in the Gaza strip and left the Palestinian Authority with full control of Gaza. Again, the idea of disconnecting led to a disaster. Hamas took control and turned the beautiful beaches and farms to a terror base.
On Oct 7 2023, we witnessed the peak of this division. As thousands of Palestinians stormed the Israeli communities slaughtering, raping and kidnapping innocent civilians in the worst terror attacks in the regions history.
The victims were found in terrible condition. The level of hate a sadism brought back the horrors of the Holocaust.
At this moment Israel must focus on one thing only – eliminating the existing threats and bringing back the hostages.
Israel’s goal for the ‘day after’ should be to achieve true peace with our Arab neighbors.
True peace means full normalization.
Simple as that.
Israelies and Palestinians should be able to travel freely in-and-out of every city in the region.
Yes, this includes Gaza for Israelis and Tel Aviv for Palestinians.
There should be no physical borders between the river and the sea.
No more checkpoints.
No more bypass roads.
There will be no reason for them.
The Palestinians will have a demilitarized state based on the A areas.
There is no reason for them to have an army as Israel never initiated war.
The vast majority of Israelis want peace.
International forces can guarantee this.
If the current Palestinian leadership cannot lead their people to this peace agreement, we will wait until new leadership arises.
In the meantime, we will fight.
We will fight to protect our people.
War is ugly. But sometimes war is necessary.
Terrorists will be extinguished.
Extremist will be deldt with fiercely.
There will be no acceptance of calls for genocide of the Jewish People.
Hopefully the Palestinian people will understand that our children’s future depends on their ability to make change.
Accepting that Israel has a right to exist and is here to stay is the first step.
Understanding that both people can live side by side in peace is the second step.
In my dreams I have a clear vision for that day. I truly believe it’s possible.
Together, we can achieve this goal.
About the Author
Elkana is an entrepreneur and business manager with a deep passion for education. Since 2007, Elkana has been in the field of experiential education and social entrepreneurship, focusing on community building, social awareness, humanities, and Jewish identity. Elkana currently resides in Eshhar, together with his wife, two daughters, and son.
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