We are living through a very tough time in Israel: Relentless terrorist attacks are spreading fear and increase tensions with our Arab neighbors and division among ourselves. There is, of course, the temporary solution of separating the two communities, but in the long run, the only solution that will work is if we rise above our division and form Jewish unity. This will not only solve the internal division among Jews, but it will also dissolve the Arabs’ hatred toward us.
When we malign each other, the nations malign us. It is not even a conscious process for them. All of a sudden, they “realize” that everything is the fault of the Jews and blame every woe and misfortune on us. When it comes to the Jewish state, they add to it the sentiment that everything is the fault of Israel.
The current wave of terrorism is also the result of our division. I understand that it is very difficult to nurture unity and cohesion with someone who believes in everything that you oppose, and vice versa, but we really have no choice. The condition of unity above division, or as King Solomon put it (Prov. 10:12), covering crimes with love, is inexorable and irrevocable.
The false vilification, vile incitement, and countless bogus libels should not worry us. We need not worry about what others think of us. We can be certain that they do not harbor good thoughts about us, and nothing we might say will change that. Instead, we should focus on uniting our ranks so tightly that we will truly become “as one man with one heart,” just as our ancestors did when they forged our nation.
If we foster unity, we will not need to fight against enemies. It is not that we will defeat them easily; it is simply that there will be no war between Israelis and Arabs. They can impose war on us, but if we unite, we will impose peace on them.
We complain that we want peace but we have no partner on the other side. We do not need a partner because if we make peace among ourselves, we will have no enemies. The world is at war with us because we are at war with each other.
Our calling as Jews is to set an example of peace above division. We have mastered division; now it is time to master peace. If we accomplish this, we will be a light unto nations.
For more on the link between Jewish unity and antisemitism, read my publications The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, Historical facts on anti-Semitism as a reflection of Jewish social discord, and Like a Bundle of Reeds: Why unity and mutual guarantee are today’s call of the hour.
Israeli security forces argue with Palestinians near the house of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh who was killed during an Israeli raid in Jenin in the occupied West Bank, in Jerusalem May 11, 2022. REUTERS/Ammar Awad