For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Dr. Aaron Lerner IMRA
04 November '10
Old joke: A lion and lamb share an exhibit at the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem illustrating the prophetic vision of the Messianic era. Each morning, before visiting hours, the carcass of the lamb from the previous day is replaced by a new live lamb.
Real poll results: Telephone survey 18-20 October, 2010, of adult Israeli Jews by the Dahaf Institute for The Peace Index under the auspices of the Evens Program for Conflict Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute.
12. What is your opinion of the following statement: The Palestinians have not accepted the existence of the State of Israel and would destroy it if they could?
Agree 80.4 Disagree 17.8 I don't know 1.5 Refuse to answer 0.4
13. What is your opinion of the following statement: Even if a peace agreement is signed, the Palestinians will never accept Israel's existence and would destroy it if they could?
Agree 74.1 Disagree 21.5 I don't know 3.5 Refuse to answer 0.9
We may have a president who thinks that a piece of paper signed at an impressive ceremony on the White House lawn (best if followed by Nobel Prizes) is the best guaranty of Israel's security. But the Israeli public doesn't buy into the fantasy.
The Israeli public is anything but naive.
They expect their policymakers to, indeed, keep in mind that the Palestinians, and for that matter, the Syrians, will never accept Israel's existence and will destroy it if they could.
And that means that any proposed arrangement or agreement must be considered and reviewed from the perspective of a worse case rather than best case scenario.
Simply put, policymakers have to assume that the other side's goal will be to exploit the deal to facilitate the ultimate destruction of the Jewish State.
In terms of Syria, that means not taking the reckless simplifying assumption of many in the Israeli military that Syria would never ever attack Israel if they possessed the Golan because they would have no reason to. (Yes, it sounds silly but that is the argument for why the Golan can be relinquished).
In terms of the Palestinians, it mean, first and foremost, taking into account that regardless of what the Palestinians may sign before a sovereign Palestinian state is created, that that sovereign Palestinian state would continue to exist, under international law, even if it abrogated every letter of the agreement.
It is, indeed, a harsh reality.
But it is better to set policy based on reality than fantasy.
We can't afford to be the lamb in the Biblical Zoo joke.
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I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"