By Dovid Efune
For those of you who haven’t already seen it, the cover of this week’s TIME magazine depicts a Star of David made out of daisies, with the prominent story by Karl Vick entitled, ‘Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace.’
There is so much wrong with his article that one would need to write a book to adequately address all the factual inaccuracies, misunderstandings and misrepresentations that are incorporated in the full two pages that the story takes up. However I will do my best with the limited time and column space that is available to me.
While Vick may be correct that there is an overwhelming sense of numb indifference that seems to have settled on the Israeli populace, and it is true that Israelis have made great strides economically, to claim that Israelis don’t care about peace is downright libelous. Vick portrays Israel as a utopian beachfront paradise and references the fact that the sun happens to be shining as well as quoting the ramblings of a disillusioned real estate salesgirl as evidence of his warped theory.
If anyone has any doubts about the Israeli desire for peace, let them ask the parents of Gilad Shalit and their many thousands of supporters as well as the families of many other captured or killed soldiers who suffer the agony of their loss on a daily basis. Vick truthfully points out, there have been no suicide bombings in the past two and a half years, but speak to the parents and relatives of the Mercaz Harav victims, inquire from the friends, neighbors and communities of the six young orphans of Talia and Yitzhak Ames who were mercilessly riddled with bullets in last week’s shooting attack if they care about peace. Check with the victims of the bulldozer attacks, and rocket trauma in Sderot and Ashkelon and listen to what they have to say about their desire for peace.
Did Mr. Vick ask the countless Israeli mothers whose sons serve in the IDF and suffer continuous sleepless nights as they patrol borders and dangerous checkpoints? Does he genuinely think that the good weather compensates the agony of losing a loved one?
Prayers for peace are recited by Jews three times a day, and the more secular Israeli declaration of independence includes the following paragraph:
‘We extend our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.’
The fact is, that Israelis want peace more than anything else, and as for Vick, he has made the elementary mistake of confusing ‘peace’ with the ‘Peace Process.’
Vick may be correct that many Israeli’s don’t care about the ‘Peace Process’, as Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman pointed out this week, they have been experimenting with land for peace deals for way too long, the result every time, is more lives lost, more war, more suffering and more Palestinian Arab demands.
With other issues to contend with, such as threats from Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, Israeli’s have more immediate problems to deal with than an American President’s egotistical refusal to acknowledge the concrete lessons of history. Yes, they may not care about Obama’s ‘Peace Process,’ but they certainly do care about peace.
Israelis know that the ‘Peace Process’ can’t possibly solve the Arab Palestinian problem, as Vick himself points out in the last column of his article, that Jews were being attacked by their Arab neighbors when the Western Wall was still buried under a pile of rubble, long before the Six Day War and the term ‘occupation’ was coined.
Israelis know that the ‘peace process’ is a sham when the Fatah (‘moderate Arab’) constitution, under the title ‘Goals’ reads as follows:
Article (12) Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.
And under a section entitled ‘Methods’:
Article (19) Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People’s armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.
Israeli’s are happy, as Vick quotes a poll, because they have learned to value life in a place of the world where so many glorify death. Israeli’s are happier because they are learning how to dream and how to live despite the daily hardships, through sheer resilience and love of life.
Israelis are merely making the best of a bad situation while waiting for new leaders to arise with new solutions for peace. In the meantime, Karl Vick should go the way of Octavia Nasr and Helen Thomas and bow out of the world of journalism for good.
The Author is the director of the Algemeiner Journal and the GJCF and can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org