7 Promoting the Development and Application of Models for International Policies of Peace
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"Nonviolence is the weapon of the strong" (Mahatma Gandhi)
"The choice is either nonviolence or non existence." (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
At the same time, when people strive for real inner transformation and change of attitude, we need to lead international campaigns and diplomatic endeavors to grant a reevaluation of policies for the entire region and also to create a protected climate for such inner proceedings as well as new outer conditions for peace and co-operation in the country. As life has to go on, the need for protection against destructive powers that are not willing to submit stays a must. At the same time the Israeli government has to stop its arbitrary acts and provocations against Palestinians, to give them equal rights and support linked with very tough conditions and rules concerning the threatening of peace and life from any side. It was non less then the great Belzer Rebbe Yssachar Dov Rokach who in his traditional talk at the end of Simchat-Torah in 1996 warned against a growing tendency toward greater militancy on the part of the Haredi public, saying that to live by the sword is a rule granted to the descendents of Esau, but not to the B’nei Israel – even more Israel should not at all provoke the gentiles, lest its state will get into increasing trouble and isolation.
That does not mean we should offer one-sided agreements, while others stay a threat and offense to our lives and security. Of course we have to confess and admit our own mistakes and equally ugly steps against our Palestinian brothers and sisters and to make a commitment about a definite change in our attitude towards them, but that does not imply tolerance against outlaws and offenders to body and life.
Also we have to stop the endless circle of revenge and mutual destruction. By clinging on revenge, we only copy the acts of aggression and violence from the side of our offenders thus allowing our morality to go down to their lowly level. Also violence and destruction never helps or can be a solution; It does not make a violent or pride person afraid or fearful or to submit, but rather the opposite. It causes ceaseless misery and anger and provides the ground for increasing hate and the recruitment of growing numbers of terrorists. If we are clever enough to reflect, we will see that they also unconsciously expect us to submit or to run away as a consequence to their abuse and offense. But as we do not submit or surrender to violence and threat, they also won’t. Therefore what should be the help of killing and destruction?
Also we have to understand that ideas cannot be fought and defeated by violence. And fundamentalism – no matter if Palestinian, Christian or Jewish – is an ideology, an “idea”. It is a perverted form of religion. Hence ideas, which cause trouble, can only be overcome by ideas, which proof to be saving and protecting our lives instead of destroying. Only ideas and principles, which enlighten and ennoble our human nature, can be regarded as being truly superior and more sublime. As Gandhi said: “Nonviolence is the weapon of the strong.” Only by returning to the source of life, which is the Living G-d, we will be able to root out our self-sufficient wrong attitudes and become a light and model for Peace. “The choice is either nonviolence or nonexistence” (Martin Luther King Jr.)
Of course it is needed to invade the Palestinian territories and to exercise severe control as long as terror from there against Israel does not stop, but killing and destruction cannot be the way!
By refraining from killing and destruction, Israel will not only proof a higher moral standard but also win the sympathy of the civilized world. Then world conscience will make evident the evil spirit of the destructive forces of the Palestinian fighters and finally bring it to fall. We should learn to fight with the weapons of the sovereignty of wisdom and spirit and not with weapons of hatred and revenge of lowly tempered unintelligent people. We have the example of the Tibetans who by avoiding violence have gained the sympathy of the whole world. And we will see: in due time the Chinese tyranny will be exhausted.
On the basis of wise policy, we also should openly deal with our needs and make clearly visible the one-sided offense of our obstructers before the whole world. And we will see how it will turn towards our side. Otherwise we do not only stir negative emotions, but even an uprising of still undefeated Anti-Zionism.
Even beyond that, Israel could become a shining example and model for the whole world in teaching reconciliation and peace to the nations.
I fully agree with a remark, which Deputy Foreign Minister Rabbi Michael Melchior made on April 15, 2002 in Washington: “Without secure borders for the Palestinians, there can be no secure borders for Israel; without dignity for the Palestinian people there can be no true dignity for Israelis; and without peace for the Palestinians, there can be none for Israel. And these truths hold today.”
As Rabbi Melchior stressed further: Israel’s struggle is a struggle to uphold and defend civilization (within and beyond its borders). “Civilization is the recognition that certain values - human life, truth, tolerance, love of parents for children - are sacrosanct, and that no goal or political objective can justify violating them. But today we face an enemy that has declared civilization its enemy. And there is no value, however sacred, that the scourge of fundamentalist terrorism has not trampled underfoot.”
This project is to be developed and realized only in cooperation with members of the Knesset and the architects of the Peace Treaties and the “Road Map” (UN, US, EU and Russia), on the ground of international diplomacy.