But the most important thing is the fact that despite the terrible holocaust, in which the Palestinian Mufti – your brother, Hajj Amin al-Husseini – took an active part, and despite the wars and the terror between the wars that you have imposed upon us, we have established a democratic and developed country, and we have proven to the whole world that we need you, our dear neighbors, about as much as we need a headache.
We have managed very well without you, and according to all the signs, we will continue to manage not at all poorly without you. You have nothing to offer us besides the poverty, unemployment, corruption, backwardness, violence and neglect that characterizes your societies and countries. Believe us, nothing, absolutely nothing, makes us want to connect ourselves with you. Do you want peace with us? We’re willing – but what do you offer us in return? What will you give to us in exchange for our agreement to get into the same picture frame with you and to sit around the same table with you?
Peace with you will come only after we see that you really want peace. As long as you encourage and arm terror organizations who act against us, incite against us in your media, erase the State of Israel from the geography books in your schools and act against us in international arenas, why should we believe that you indeed want peace? A peace agreement should be a recognition of actual peace in the field, for one important reason: when we see how you behave with yourselves, no one in Israel believes even one word of yours, because you have no idea what peace is. If you want peace with us, show us please that you have some concept of the term “peace”. Begin with making peace within your countries, continue with peace between your countries and then perhaps we will believe that you know what peace is.
And if anyone thinks that our requirement is absurd, because there will never be peace in the Arab world, this is the proof that we are right. There is a saying in Arabic “Faqd a-Shay la y’atiha” – “He who has nothing, cannot give to someone else.” How can a nation that has no notion of peace, give peace to others?
In conclusion, dear neighbors, we – citizens of Israel – want very much to live in Peace, in a region of peace where you and we enjoy it together. But we do not think that there is any point in signing an agreement with someone who today is here and tomorrow is in a grave, and his successors won’t honor his signature. When the Middle East becomes a region of peace, give us a call, perhaps we will join the peace that you will begin in the Middle East. until then please leave us alone.
Signed: Mordechai Kedar, and many, many more citizens of Israel.
Originally published at Middle East and Terrorism. Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav.