In a nation perpetually teetering on the edge of an abyss, the conduct of one in its highest ceremonial office should resonate with the weight of the times. Israel’s parliamentary democracy bestows upon the president, elected by the people’s representatives, a symbolic role of unity and continuity. One would expect President Herzog to transcend the trivial, his presence a beacon of solace and cohesion, not conflict.
Yet, we are confronted with an image that defies such expectations: an inscription on an instrument of war. In times of conflict, the cry for national unity can, paradoxically, slide towards the fringes of extremism. Patriotic fervor can blur the line between love of country and the rise of nationalism that flirts with totalitarianism.
This is the Israel we know, a land where the echoes of a struggle for survival too often mingle with the chants of nationalism that, if not tempered by reason and morality, threaten to mutate zeal into intolerance. What we expect from our elected officials, especially from a figure like Herzog, is that they embody the collective wisdom of our nation, a sanctuary for families quaking under the sound of missiles and mourning the lost.
Our nation, born from aspirations of freedom and peace, cannot afford to lose itself in rhetoric that, while galvanizing, also blinds. We must never forget that Israel’s true strength lies in its ability to uphold democracy and humanitarian values, even in the face of adversity. It is a delicate balance, where every gesture and every word must be weighed against the consequences they will carry for future generations.
As we support our soldiers, the sentinels of our security, we cannot forget the faces on the other side, etched with the same fear and hopelessness we have come to know all too well. In our hearts, we understand that they, too, are woven from the same complex and fragile human fabric. It is a recognition that demands more than diplomacy; it requires a vision that transcends the vicious cycle of retaliation and hatred.
Therefore, Israel’s leadership, embodied in Herzog, must reject the temptation of superficial politics and embrace the far more arduous but nobler task of building bridges, even invisible ones, that may one day support enduring peace. May the state of Israel, our home under the sky that has witnessed so much sorrow, find a path so that war becomes a memory and not a prelude.