After a fourth election in less than two years, Israel has become the world’s laughing stock. But for the State of Israel, it isn’t funny. The country is paralyzed in many respects, from offices that require ministers, to large projects that are stuck due to indecision, through Covid vaccines that must be bought. Indeed, this is the nature of the Jews: an obstinate people. Nevertheless, if we use our obstinacy correctly, we will turn it into resolve to unite above our differences, which in turn will lift us to unimaginable achievements.
There is a reason why the Jewish people are so obstinate. They are descendants of people who would not relinquish their views and tried everything they could to crown their opinion over the people of Israel. Having exhausted themselves trying, they finally realized that the flaw was not in their own view or in the opposite view, but in their own nature, which sought dominion and separation instead of collaboration and union. They realized that life can be complete only when there are two sides that complement one another, so the other view is actually a complementary perception and not an opposite.
This realization of the ancient Hebrews created a unique nation whose bond was not biological but rather ideological and spiritual. Even more important, their union marked a way for all of humanity to unite despite biological, ethnic, cultural, religious, and racial differences. Once the Hebrews chose union over separation, every dispute became a reason for strengthening their bond rather than for shredding the nation. Moreover, since the original Jews came from the Fertile Crescent, the cradle of most of today’s nations, the bond they had formed became a proof that peace among all nations is possible, and that there is even a method for achieving it.
Today, when Israel is engulfed in perpetual political frays that begin to resemble those of our forefathers, we should realize that it is a calling to employ the same method that they used—to realize that differences are not reasons to break up, but to strengthen our unity. We will have no relief from internal enmity until we realize that we cannot defeat one another since the war is not meant to be won, but to yield cohesion.
When we finally realize this and achieve union, the world, which now derides us, will look in awe at the miracle of the Jewish state. It will want to emulate our method. This will mark the final victory of peace—which comes from the Hebrew word “complementation”—over war. The politics of the obstinate, therefore, should not be about being more obstinate than the other, but about rising together above intransigence and forming a genuine bond.
[[People wait in line outside at a polling station to cast their votes during the Israeli Parliamentary election. Reuters]