Short, because my time pre-Shabbat is limited this week, and not because there is little to write about — there’s plenty.
Sweet because I begin with a great piece by commentator George Will — “Skip the lecture on Israel’s ‘risks for peace.'” He speaks on our behalf with exquisite understanding:
“In the intifada that began in 2000, Palestinian terrorism killed more than 1,000 Israelis. As a portion of U.S. population, that would be 42,000, approaching the toll of America’s eight years in Vietnam. During the onslaught, which began 10 Septembers ago, Israeli parents sending two children to a school would put them on separate buses to decrease the chance that neither would return for dinner. Surely most Americans can imagine, even if their tone-deaf leaders cannot, how grating it is when those leaders lecture Israel on the need to take ‘risks for peace.’
“During Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s July visit to Washington, Barack Obama praised him as ‘willing to take risks for peace.’ There was a time when that meant swapping “land for peace” — Israel sacrificing something tangible and irrecoverable, strategic depth, in exchange for something intangible and perishable, promises of diplomatic normality…
“The creation of Israel did not involve the destruction of a Palestinian state, there having been no such state since the Romans arrived. And if the Jewish percentage of the world’s population were today what it was when the Romans ruled Palestine, there would be 200 million Jews. After a uniquely hazardous passage through two millennia without a homeland, there are 13 million Jews.
“In the 62 years since this homeland was founded on one-sixth of 1 percent of the land of what is carelessly and inaccurately called “the Arab world,” Israelis have never known an hour of real peace. Patronizing American lectures on the reality of risks and the desirableness of peace, which once were merely fatuous, are now obscene.” (emphasis added)
After Shabbat there will be more to say about Quartet plans for “peace” negotiations and the issue of our hitting Iran.
For now I leave you with a link to a lovely video about the atmosphere, with regard to Jewish-Arab relations, in Hadassah hospital. I’ve written from time to time about how a visit to one of our hospitals most vigorously puts the lie to charges that we are an apartheid state. This video is from the video newsmagazine “Israel Up Close”: http://www.israelupclose.org/