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"Only a true peace with neighboring peoples can
render possible a common development of this portion of the earth as a vanguard of the awakening of the Near East."

Martin Buber, Speech 1945

This is an open forum. The opinions herein expressed may not be shared by all members or friends of Brit Shalom.

Losing Our Innocence
Today, Ariel Sharon will be elected prime minister of the State of Israel. And with that, it is reasonable to say, Israel has finally grown up. This is her Bat Mitzvah. Mazel tov! Now it is time for the serious chores of adulthood. As a nation state, she has ventured beyond the threshold of infancy. Fled are the days when it was beautiful to think of Israel as a Jewish country. Gone are the times when we could do nothing wrong. Vanished are the days when the Jews were toothless and threatened and the world's sympathy was strewn our way like cheap confetti. Gone - in the ineluctable smoke of army barrels.

Who is afraid of Palestine?  
One might think that Israel's worst nightmare is the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. Such a state would endanger Israel strategically. It would impede Israel's defense, especially during a ground battle. Everyone knows how narrow the Israeli territory would be. Militarily, it would be suicide. Or so one might be led to think. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.

On Jewish violence

For the first time this Pesach, I had difficulty reading some passages that recommend destruction of Israel's enemies. Perhaps it felt wrong because it was too close to reality. Perhaps history was repeating itself. It definately felt too close for comfort.

A view of the task of Brit Shalom, 2001

The original Brit Shalom and its IHUD Party were on the whole remarkably unsuccessful in obtaining their goals. This was perhaps due to the fact that their goals were indeed too lofty and that they failed to take into account the geopolitical reality and the national aspirations of both nations. So what are the differences between our approach and theirs?

Why Brit Shalom? 

Why, one may ask, is there any reason to propose a "Union" or "Federation" in Israel/Palestine? Why on earth is there any reason to believe that this solution will be successful? There is not even sufficient goodwill on either side to ensure a separation, why propose such an intimate approach between these two mutually repellent populations?

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Brit Shalom