Peace is not a four letter word

I just read another Op Ed by a conservative Israeli columnist, Isi Leibler; “Most Israelis and Jews are under no illusions;” ,

that in a thorough and well argued manner put peace between Israelis and Palestinians to sleep, stated how most Israelis are not interested and no longer believe that it is achievable, defined why the State of Israel does not have a peace partner and how the American Diaspora is hugely supportive of Netanyahu with the exception of the far left and a liberal media that is losing its own constituency.

It is possible to argue all these points individually or even collectively but that I’m afraid is neither going to change or prove a damn thing. There are deeper arguments to be made about human rights and demographics and the continuing weaponization of Iran and its proxies and the increasing instability of the Middle East. Then there is the religious argument that rings true for Israelis and Jews around the world that our Holy Books, (the Talmud and Midrash) should lead us to seek peace as a sacred goal unto itself; see Tal Becker’s “Is the Peace Process Over?”; .

As for politics it depends how one reads the tea leaves and of course which leaves one is willing to read. It has been my great advantage to spend a lifetime reading and learning from the right as well as the left. Sometimes I find points of connection as well as all the obvious points of contention.

Living here in America in 2012 has given me a catbirds seat to the combat between two branches of our government pitting our President against a Republican led House as well as a strong and vocal minority continuously spitting bile against him in the Senate. Here we can’t even create a viable third choice other than sitting on ones hands at home on Election Day.

There is a different calculus in Israel with new parties emerging and the likelihood of a new coalition in the fall even if it is led by the old Prime Minister. I think my conservative friend got it right: The tragedy is that the desire for general security has fully trumped not only the peace process but the investment of Israelis in the continuing creative process necessary to propel a people beyond its magnificent economic development, (don’t mention the costs of housing, food or other services), to look in the mirror at Herzl and Ben Gurion and Rabin, (as well as at icons from the right), and continue the struggle for all that makes the Jewish people into “a light unto the Nations.” It is only the achievement of peace between two ancient peoples that will enable the State of Israel to maintain its security, to flourish with its neighbors and to carry the torch of Godliness forward and share it with the world.


The words here represent the beliefs of the author and should not be construed as the policy of the Interfaith Community for Middle East Peace.

About the Author
Larry Snider is President of the Interfaith Community for Middle East Peace, an NGO based in Philadelphia that brings the faiths together to learn about and from each other and to build a new constituency for Middle East Peace.