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Enough of peace platitudes

This ongoing wave of terror reminds us of bygone days. The smell of Oslo is in the air, somber songs on the radio, and special news broadcasts on the TV. The faces of young Israelis, painfully beautiful, smiling bashfully in photos plastered on the front pages of newspapers.

It feels as if negotiations with the Palestinians just started today. Like lost trekkers in the jungle, we are stumbling amid the bushes and snakes, returning about once every decade to the familiar clearing in the trees, which had been our original starting point. Perhaps we should stop and ask “why” before embarking on the same bloody journey again.


A distorted, false, fantastical meaning of the word “peace” has become firmly fixed in our collective consciousness. Striving to attain this poisonous and dangerous fantasy, which is killing us one by one, is both irrational and insane.

Amid our blissful delusion, every now and again reality comes knocking and offers us an alternative. It’s important to examine it and start talking about a different kind of peace. A used peace; a sweaty, anxious, tense Israeli peace, but one we can trust. We can call it the “stop dreaming” peace.

Here’s what will happen here when the “stop dreaming” peace erupts here: We won’t drive to Ramallah to pick strawberries. Not even close. We also won’t suntan on Gaza’s beaches, and anyone who gets lost in the Samarian hills can still expect a lynching at the hands of Palestinian peace activists. Palestinian Authority schools will continue disseminating antisemitic venom, and while Jewish fathers stand above the graves of the sons and daughters, the residents of Gaza will hand out candy. Islam hasn’t changed in 1,400 years and it won’t change for us. There will continue to be terrorist attacks. In other words, when you’re older, my dear child, you’ll still have to do the army. You can take that to the bank.

But there will be another side to the “stop dreaming” peace. Yes, life is not a picnic, but sometimes it is. We will live in security. It won’t be 100% security, because that doesn’t exist, but it will be sufficiently reasonable. The “security situation,” from our perspective, will continue to be a threat, but it won’t be more dangerous than the “situation on the roads.” There will hardly be a place in Israel where a Jewish girl won’t be able to walk alone at night.

The economy will flourish. The average Israeli will live well. It might sound imaginary, but he will travel to Dubai on vacation. The Israeli shekel will be the strongest currency on the planet. Nations of the earth will look at us with envy as we overcome economic crises and continue marching forward. Tunnels will be dug under the streets in Tel Aviv for trains.

The leaders of the world will court after their Israeli counterparts. Students will come to study here; tourists will come to buy here. All will admire what we are building.

This isn’t even a fraction of the blessing the “stop dreaming” peace will usher. Don’t worry though, we won’t change. We’ll still drink our ground coffee with almond milk and complain to the heavens about the price of fresh pineapple.

If the last paragraph gave you a sense of déjà vu, you are right. Reality hasn’t just offered us an alternative, it was the alternative. For 10 years we lived in the reality of the “stop dreaming” peace, 10 good years that ended in June 2021.

Instead of a poisonous fantasy about “peace” with an American accent and the aroma of zaatar, perhaps we should simply wake up. That “Peace” is beyond the horizon and that’s where it will always stay, but we can have the alternative today. “Stop dreaming” now.

{Written by Arnon Itiel and reposted from IsraelHayom}

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