It's Not a Dream

Roni Keidar, Other Voice

June 24, 2013  

In a democracy, everyone has the right to express his or her opinion and everyone has the right to listen or not. But you, MK Avigdor Lieberman, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, in your position, if I happen to like it or not, whether you are found guilty or innocent, you have to think very carefully and weigh heavily every word you say. “We should conquer Gaza again”, you say. Have you really considered what that would mean?

I live on the border of the Gaza Strip, in Netiv Ha’asara, on the other side of the wall live many men, women and children who want to live, not just to exist but to live. For without the people in Gaza having a life, let it be clear to you and to all, neither will we. For my sake and for theirs I want the hammering of the rockets, the missiles and the mortars to end and the blast of the shelling to stop.

Mr. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it is time long past to switch the disk, to start thinking in a different way. Instinctively the thing to do is to retaliate with violence, to conquer, to “clean up” but did or will that ever bring to solution? I think and believe not.

We know well and succeed more often than not to find whoever is behind the various terrorist attacks and/or those behind the launching of the rockets and missiles. We can definitely be just as good at reaching those who want to talk, to change, to live, and make no mistake they are there. Can you say in earnest that you have really tried to find them?

There are solutions. Last night around round tables, in 12 locations in Israel, people sat and discussed various initiatives of peace and there are such… There were those who supported a solution of two states for two people. There were those who supported a one state solution for two people. Advantages and disadvantages of each were discussed. Have we, as a nation ever tried to negotiate with other neighbors, but really tried, determined to reach a successful solution for both people? I think we have not.

I am aware of all the slogans and I know that I am not the only one responsible for the situation we are in but I do believe that it is in our power to make a difference in a different way, by means of negotiations and understanding and not by violence. People say I am a dreamer. Oh no! The dreamers are those who think that by bombing and/or conquering Gaza, again and again, the Palestinians will eventually come on their knees and beg for peace. That is not going to happen, not that way. The dreamers are those Palestinians who think they can drive the people of Israel into the sea. They are dreaming, not I.

My dream can be a reality and has a chance to succeed. Believe you me! Try and you will see. When I say try I do not mean to sit on either side of the table and as soon as one side says something the other disagrees with, get up and walk out. I mean that if you cannot agree on a certain point; continue in search for a way you can agree upon. That to me is negotiations and it is possible.