In a Palestinian village, the silence of the early hours was shattered by a cruel attack. Israeli left-wing activists, defenders of peace, were brutally assaulted as they slept. Among them, Sasha Povolotsky, now marked by bruises and scars, bears on his body the weight of intolerance.
It’s a scene that evokes the rawness of violence, a violence that doesn’t choose sides but feeds on hatred and fear. Povolotsky, injured and shaken, was taken to Emek Medical Center, stitches in his flesh, but the deeper scars remain unseen.
Israel’s police are investigating, yet the assailants remain at large. This act is not isolated; it’s a reflection of the perfect storm created by a right-wing policy led by Benjamin Netanyahu, a policy that fosters divisions, sows discord, and reaps violence.
In the Palestinian homes of Al Farisiya, where the activists sought refuge, fear has settled in. Settlers, driven by blind zeal, attack and terrorize. And Israeli society? Often it watches in silence, as if the noise of the assaults doesn’t reach its ears.
Netanyahu and his far-right group don’t just watch; they incite. They don’t see the occupied territories as homes of lives but as pawns in a power game. And as they play, violence grows, uncontrollable.
This reality starkly contrasts with the teachings of Judaism, a religion that preaches peace and understanding. Leaders like Martin Buber and Abraham Joshua Heschel, Jewish thinkers, advocated coexistence and mutual respect, values now overshadowed by the current Israeli leadership.
What would Buber and Heschel say upon seeing their people divided by walls of hatred and fear? They, who believed in the power of dialogue and empathy, would be heartbroken by this reality.
It’s time to question, to look within and without, and to ask: what kind of society are we building? A society that shuts itself in, ignoring the suffering of others, cannot thrive.
The path Israel is now on is twisted and dangerous. It deviates from the fundamental principles of Judaism, humanity, and compassion. Every step in this direction takes us further from peace and closer to the abyss.
Netanyahu and his circle promote a distorted view of reality, where the “other” is always the enemy. But this view is a perilous illusion, a lie that blinds us to the truth: we are all human, all deserving of respect and dignity.
Israeli society must awaken and realize it’s being led down a path of destruction. It’s not too late to change course, to choose a path of peace and reconciliation.
The story of Israel and its people is one of overcoming and resilience. But this story is now at risk. Violence and segregation threaten to tear apart the social fabric that holds the nation together.
Activists like Povolotsky, wounded and shaken, are symbols of a larger struggle. They represent the hope of a future where Palestinians and Israelis can coexist, where fear and hatred are replaced by understanding and empathy.
Israeli society must rise up, speak out, and act. It must reject the politics of hatred and division and embrace the teachings of its sages. It must remember the fundamental values of Judaism and use them as a guide to build a fairer and more peaceful society.
The path to peace is difficult and full of challenges. But it’s the only path that can lead Israel to a secure and prosperous future. It’s a path that must be walked with courage, determination, and above all, hope.
Thus, it’s time to act, to make the voices of reason and compassion heard. It’s time for Israeli society to reaffirm its commitment to the values of justice and humanity, values that are the true essence of Judaism.