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Yael Dayan, former Knesset Member [Labour] and daughter of Moshe Dayan.
Photo by Rhonda Spivak.

Yael Dayan with her mother Ruth Dayan, Tel-Aviv. photo by Rhonda Spivak

Dayan with her grandaughter.
photo by Rhonda Spivak


by Yael Dayan, January 19, 2011


[ Editor's note: Yael Dayan is a former Member of  Knesset [Labour], is active in Peace Now, and is the daughter of  late General Moshe Dayan. She is currently the chair of the Tel-Aviv-Jaffa City Council]]


Tu'bishvat is approaching.  No excuses are left-other than what seemed to be "the last opportunity" is around the corner. We have to ask ourselves-'we' being the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority, how honest are we in our rhetoric about peace.

Is it a question of the limited price we, Israelis, are willing to pay or is it a deeper fear of settling a dispute which will rule out a variety of options like an armed struggle ending in victory, additional territorial gains, perpetuation of the status of a victim or underdog or a vague illusion that time is working for either side positively.

The entire world, other than the people involved seems to understand that the only win-win path to take is a Two State Solution. Israelis and Palestinians live perhaps under the illusion that being less decisive now, gaining time, postponing a commitment may bring about some additional points, another half-inch on the map, one more U.N vote, a very dangerous and impossible calculation that exposes fears and schemes and can only mean a regression away from a settlement and a step nearer to bloodshed and loss of control.

The right wing Israeli government is busy securing the results of the next elections, counting on military strength as a unifying factor a poor substitute for moral strength and justice and the weak Palestinian authority is underestimating the commitment of President Obama to peace, testing how far he will go in pressuring Israel. Rather than count on the generous result of Peace they set the preconditions to it.

We, the Peace Camp in Israel and The U.S. Europe and the moderate Arab states have failed to be loud, militant, stubborn and unyielding. There is no time to lose and no options to choose from. The moderate Arab world has presented a plan-the Arab League plan, the Saudi one. Rather than grab this roadmap ,endorse it-and see the immediate results it will produce we are back into self created traps, semantic and mostly hypocritical demand to be recognized as a Jewish State…,not having asked us Israelis if this is how  do we define ourselves, and where  was Democracy hidden, and why did we not ask this of king Hussein and Sadat  and what are we recognizing them as-Moslem homeland of the Palestinians? How harmfully creative we manage to be in order not to do what is right and just and transparent.

There is a price to pay, as high as it may be politically, economically, and ideologically it will always be lower than  what war is costing. Israel is strong enough to pay a high price, as the cost that the present status is claiming on our democracy, value  system, centrality in the Jewish world - is such that we cannot afford or tolerate.

Delays, false excuses, a Coalition that cannot share a huge ship without drowning it –not to speak of one honest agreed upon statement signed by the Prime minister, his Foreign and Defense Ministers makes one wonder about two tragic directions;

–Do the Palestinians really want a State of their own? And, does Israel really seek Peace? If they do, as they declare-with the U.S as a most honest broker, don't we understand that the next move-if it is not done immediately toward the negotiating table, will be into the shelters and the trenches…

There is no way to love Israel and reject the peace proposal, no way to support a Palestine and reject the same Two State Solution.. Democratic USA and the European Union know it is time and what is at stake is more than a "local conflict". A solution will also redefine the free world and shared  responsibility and priorities.




[Reprinted with permission]

What is it that motivates us to unite in prayer for rain but not to unite in prayer for real peace?

A major obstacle preventing Palestinian and Israeli peace is that our leaders do not genuinely speak of peace and have a mind-set that is based in anger.

They are so wrapped up in their negativity that they are incapable of coming together for peace and compromise, although they cover up their negativity by telling themselves that they do support peace, when they really do not.

I have always believed Israelis and Palestinians need a psychiatrist more than they need a nonpartisan negotiator like the US to bring them together. The truth of our conflict comes out in our actions more than in our words. We should all be laying back on couches as the psychiatrist brings out our deepest fears.

I follow Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on Twitter. Most of the time his posts remind me of how hopeless Palestinian and Israeli leaders really are. He speaks about peace, but too often his words reflect the opposite.

Recently, on his Twitter page, he wrote: “Praying for rain unites Jews, Muslims and Christians.” He didn’t mean it as some major revelation about the historical relations between Palestinians and Israelis. It wasn’t a policy statement, nor a determination for peace. It was a subliminal gesture on his part that revealed what our problem really is.

DEEP DOWN we – Palestinians and Israelis – want everyone to come together. It makes us feel good. But we don’t want to pay the price for peace, which is compromise, and that leaves us with conflict. Rain is not conflict. But rain is one of those troublesome necessities of life. We need rain but we also fear rain, which can easily become thunderstorms, hurricanes and floods.

Rain can symbolize both a natural growth and a fierce natural destruction.

How come I never read Ayalon write on his Twitter page, “Respect and generosity unite Jews, Muslims and Christians.” Or “real peace where Israelis and Palestinians compromise and recognize each other unites Jews, Muslims and Christians.”

Ayalon’s Twitter post is so revealing because it represents exactly what is wrong with the relations between Israelis and Palestinians.

We look at the natural order of the world and spend all our time trying to change things that cannot be changed. We spend all our efforts rejecting the very answers and solutions that can bring change.

We can’t do anything about the weather, but we can do much to stop the violence. We can stop the killings. We can stop the hatred. We can stop the building of settlements. We can stop the firing of rockets. We can stop the assaults on civilians. We can stop the attacks on soldiers.

We can’t start or stop the rain.

So why do we pine for that which we can’t have, when what we can have sits right there under our noses? What is it that motivates us to unite in prayer for rain but not to unite in prayer for real peace? There are seven answers to that question, the psychiatrist might explain. Pining for rain is so much easier than pining for peace, at least according to the seven deadly sins that plague humanity – wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony.

Wrath: The eternal flame that brings Palestinians and Israelis so closely together. We often try to inflict more pain than what has been brought on ourselves.

Greed: The refusal by Israelis to surrender settlements and Palestinians to surrender a demand for the right of return.

Sloth: Peace requires real work and we have tired from failing over the years.

Pride: Wanting to look good to our people rather than doing the right thing and making them angry.

Lust: Israeli rejectionists see the West Bank as the wife of another man, and Palestinian rejectionists covet failed peace as their desired goal.

Envy: We hate what the other has.

Gluttony: We feed ourselves rhetoric that makes us fat with a false sense of having achieved something. We consume ourselves with a false belief that we are better than the other, and close our eyes to our own roles in the tragedy we all help to create.

I am sure that when Danny Ayalon wrote his Twitter post, he wasn’t thinking of all this. But I wish he did. The only thing we should allow to unite Jews, Muslims and Christians is praying for peace.

Ray Hanania is a Palestinian American living in Chicago.Hanania was  named Best Ethnic American Columnist by the New America Media in 2007, and received the 2010 Sigma Delta Chi Nat'l Award for column writing.





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