Think of this as a thought experiment:
It is easy to look back and say that decisions taken right after the 6-Day War were ill-guided and started us down a slippery slope to disaster regardless of whether you are a hawk or a dove. It is easy to look back and say that Oslo was either a fumbled promising new beginning or a disaster waiting to happen. The past is over. Windows and doors that may have been open have since closed, perhaps not locked, but closed.
Within Israel and without, there are many who cry out for something new: a new initiative, a new start, to restart the old, to add fuel to the peace-train and put it into gear and chug along the tracks once more. Sounds nice. Sounds progressive.
Even if we know the path ahead is a steep incline upward and our train is not the little engine that could.
So here is my proposal – let us all, those on the right and those on the left, get together and make a revolution. . .
Let us vote in Zehava Galon as our next Prime Minister.
I have been suggesting for some time already that I’d like to see her really take responsibility for the keys to our ancient indigenous homeland. In a little while I will tell you why and why that does not make me a traitor or naïve or anti-Zionist.
Zehava loudly proclaims that Bibi is not interested in peace with the Palestinians. (So-called Palestinians, or Arabs who now call themselves Palestinians, is how I refer to them. I’m happy to call them Plishtim, if you prefer, the Hebrew origin of the name, meaning “invaders”. But nobody asked me nor are they likely to.) Anyway,
Galon loudly proclaims that Bibi is not interested in peace with the “Palestinians”. She has a point. But my point is that it is so easy to judge from the sidelines and I would like to give her the mandate to make peace and see how she does.
Galon’s Idea for Peace
The Meretz Party platform is on their website and it clearly delineates the 4-point plan Galon supports, and I quote (and please do not have hysterical paroxysms – give me a chance to explain):
- Declaration by Israel of immediate de facto recognition of the Palestinian State.
- Diplomatic negotiations without pre-conditions between Israel and Palestine over a 4-5 year period.
- Establish a regional quartet — including Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan – who will provide support for the Israelis and Palestinians “by means of guarantees that maintain regional parity”.
- Israel declares its willingness to enter into negotiations along the lines of the Saudi peace proposal and the ultimate goal is “bilateral negotiations with Palestine and in negotiations aimed at achieving a comprehensive and final regional peace”.
I wonder when the last time this “plan” was updated. It seems to imply that the Israel-Palestine conflict is the cause for regional instability; however, given the conflict that has blossomed in the Arab Spring, I think it is about time to revise that view.
Furthermore, I hope the points above are not in the particular order expected for implementation, because recognition of a Palestinian State would be the end of negotiations even before they began. Besides, I wonder where she would put the borders of this State she would so generously de facto-ly recognize. And herein lies the reason I would give her the task of making peace between us and our esteemed neighbours:
It is one thing to make nice, to shake hands, to smile for the cameras with Abbas and his cronies while declaring your unwavering wishes for peace and empathy with their situation. It is something else again to be the one who has to put your John Hancock on the papers sealing Israel’s fate forever.
How Would Galon Make Peace?
I guarantee that if all the responsibility was hers, she would think twice, thrice and more, before signing on any dotted line. After all, we have had the Oslo experience and the Gaza withdrawal experience to teach us a thing or two about trust, one-sided actions, and hopes for a better future. Galon is not stupid – she knows she can say and write whatever she wants when it is not her name on the documents. For her to do something different, something new and innovative, she would have to sign an actual peace treaty and not a blueprint for negotiations which is what Peres and Rabin essentially signed. She would find herself in a kind of alternative universe!
I can’t even imagine what it must be like to carry the weight of our people’s future on one’s shoulders. And I have the feeling that if someone offered Zehava the chance to take on that Herculean task, she might actually desist, saying: “Hey! Don’t look at me!” It’s so easy to be brave when you know you will never amass the support necessary to be offered the keys to the Prime Minister’s Office. So let’s do something surprising:
Those of you who are doves, vote for Meretz next election to give yourselves a chance to put your beliefs into action. And those of you who are hawks, vote for Meretz next election to get the doves off your case. For I do believe that Galon will hit the same brick wall on which Olmert and Barak (and Clinton) smashed their noses. Then, nobody will ever again be able to say that we don’t have peace because of Bibi, because of the “fascist” right, because of the settlements, etc etc etc.
I don’t think she would risk the lives of her grandchildren, so I say – let Zehava Galon show us what the real obstacle to peace is. If it brings true peace, I’m willing to be proven wrong these past few years. And if she cannot deliver the goods, then all Israelis will finally unite in solid support of our country.
This post was originally published on Israel Diaries.