“Don’t tell me what to think or do. You’re completely out of touch with reality.” That’s what both the Left and the Right seem to say to each other.
Their vision of the other also — they think — absolved them from listening to the other side. And moreover from becoming more moderate and together living in harmony and peace — שלום.
“I’m right and I know it and you are so wrong and you don’t even know it.”
You know how people exaggerate, in opinion, in emotion and in volume, when they think that no one sees or hears them? Most Israeli politicians sound like that. Fodder for the other side and daily bread for journalists.
My favorite book on “How to make a good relationship even better” has in the section on discord a sentence like “Crazy as it may sound, your partner could be right.” Lovely!
In a good couple, there doesn’t need to be agreement on everything. But the sides listen to one another and eventually balance each other. This isn’t a matter of compromising. Rather, of becoming less extreme.
- Women should not be banned from politics. Women and men are not the same.
- Muslims living on the West Bank are not the enemy. They can’t yet be trusted as all for nonviolence towards Jews and democracy.
- Netanyahu is innocent until proven guilty. We need to plan and commit to what to do if he would be found guilty.
- Freedom of the opinion and the press are paramount to democracy. Anti-Zionists don’t deserve a space in the Knesset or publishing.
- Donald Trump’s team so far has made many symbolic gestures towards Israel (except about Jonathan Pollard). Trump is not to be trusted, a shameless bigot, con artist and lover of dictators.
- There should be a complete separation between religion and state. Judaism should color all of Israel’s public life.
The first Israeli peace process should be between all Jews. Then the creation of peace with the other nations will unfold organically.
The survival of (especially Ashkenazic) Jews often depended on how well we could find (and correct) fault. But for internal harmony, we need to start listening to the good and excellent in our opponents’ opinions.