It has been more than two months since the general election in Israel took place. Although the results showed a clear winner, and no one disputes the integrity of the election process, the tensions in Israeli society seem to be growing all the time. There is talk of civil disobedience, apprehension of politicians who incite against the government, and repetitive mentioning of the words “civil war.” A well-known journalist even said that nothing will change until a lot of metaphoric, and even real blood is spilt.
As has happened many times before, the people of Israel’s worst, if not only enemy is internal division, internal hatred. No ruler has ever vanquished us unless we first annihilated one another. We are at a crossroads once again, and once again, we seem to be choosing the path of pain.
The fact that we all know our history and what has been our bane throughout the ages, makes no difference. No argument or reasoning will convince us to make concessions, or even negotiate with our dissenters. Our attitude has always been totalitarian: Either our rivals accept that we are right and relinquish all their claims, or we fight them to the death.
Politicians who expressed one opinion only a few years ago, now express the complete opposite opinion only because their position has changed from being in the government to being in the opposition, or the other way around. Every issue—from Israel’s judicial system through its economy to its security and defense—is subject to political position. Considerations of the best interest of the country simply do not exist anymore. Even if the country falls to pieces, “leaders” will not give up until they are king of the hill, even if the hill is a heap of smoldering ashes.
When the only considerations are what serves my ego, of course it is impossible to let anyone rule but me. If I am not the prime minister, I will interrupt and interfere in any way I can. This is the prevailing mindset.
I remember that years ago, I was slightly involved in the Israeli political system, but for years now I have refrained from any involvement. The only result of political meddling is that it puts the country at risk, and I want no part in it.
Our enemies rejoice at the sight of our internal hatred. Like the Romans did two thousand years ago, they will use our inner fragmentation and drive us out of here. As has happened so many times before, we will, God forbid, be exiled.
Throughout our history, our people have been exiled, slaughtered, burned, and tortured to death. All these torments came to us for our inner hatred. Nevertheless, we have refused to accept that our only road to happiness and peace is the road of loving one another.
Even though our nation conceived the ideas of love of others, charity, and mutual responsibility, we have always shunned these notions. Instead, we agreed to love only those who thought like we did and lived like we did. We have set an example of both mercy and cruelty, but in our annals, the latter has always ultimately won.
King Solomon said, “Hate stirs up strife, and love will cover all crimes” (Prov. 10:12). We are great at carrying out the first part of the verse, but we are awful at following its latter part.
We cannot hope to agree with one another; this will never happen. Our only hope is to learn that despite our disagreements, we are one nation. Unless we understand that just as brothers do not murder one another simply because they disagree, neither must we. Otherwise, we are headed for death and exile.
Israelis wave Palestinian and Israeli flags, during a demonstration at Habima Square in Tel Aviv. Less than three weeks in office Netanyahu’s right-wing government has launched proposals to weaken the Supreme Court by giving parliament the power to overturn court decisions with a simple majority vote, to give parliament control over the appointment of judges and reduce the independence of legal advisers to the government. (Photo by Eyal Warshavsky / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)