David Eden: We can rebuild trust and hope
Aside from Hillel Schenker, David Eden is another chaver who blogs for the Times of Israel. The following is from the beginning of his latest piece, recalling a more promising time (the 1990s):
“We can rebuild trust, we can rebuild hope“
. . . I remember the “peace caravans” organized by Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) that took Israelis into the territories to meet with Palestinians, under a banner of reconciliation. I remember when families, and summer camp kids from Ramallah, Nablus, and Jenin would come to the beaches of Tel Aviv, Netanya, and Caesarea to frolic in the surf, and picnic on the shore. I remember when people from Jerusalem, Ashdod, and Beer Sheva would go to Jericho to enjoy the garden cafés and the fresh tropical fruits, and to the seashore restaurants in Gaza for the fresh grilled fish. I remember Israelis going to the markets of Tulkarm and Kalkiliya to buy vegetables and furniture, and Palestinians from Gaza and Beit Lehiya going to the malls in Rishon leZion and Rehovot to shop and enjoy the air conditioned movie theaters. I remember the hope, and I remember the optimism. Back then–- was it only 20 years ago, already–- many Israelis and Palestinians looked upon each other with the hope and trust that together we would find the way to have Israel and Palestine develop and progress next to each other in peace and cooperation. We were going to work together, build together. We were beginning to trust one another.
Yes, rejectionists on both sides actively opposed reaching a peaceful end to the conflict, and two states for two peoples. In Israel, at rallies held by supporters of the right, Netanyahu would speak while people raised photo-shopped placards of Rabin as a German SS officer. A settler in the biblical city of Hebron committed a mass murder of Muslim worshipers in the city’s historic mosque, killing 29 and wounding 125. Nationalist rabbis issued edicts that IDF soldiers were forbidden to obey government orders to remove settlers. Extremist rabbis pronounced ancient curses calling for pestilence and death for Rabin, and then were “shocked” when one of their flock actually assassinated Rabin.
There were also attacks on Israelis by Palestinians, both from Gaza and from the West Bank. Bus drivers were attacked while driving, resulting in the deaths and injuries of many passengers from the ensuing catastrophic accidents. Following Rabin’s death, the caretaker government led by Shimon Peres imposed a closure of the occupied territories, cutting the access of tens of thousands of Palestinians to workplaces in Israel. Suicide bombings became an instrument of choice, with bombs going off on city buses in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and elsewhere, and other attacks in malls and restaurants. In the following elections, Peres, who had presented himself as continuing Rabin’s path, was expected to easily win. He was defeated by Benjamin Netanyahu, whose platform promised an uncompromising fight against the terrorists, and that Israel could wait for a partner for peace. There were many who cynically, but sadly, said that the real winners in the elections were Hamas and the other rejectionists. …
Read more: We can rebuild trust, we can rebuild hope | David Eden | The Blogs | The Times of Israel http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/we-can-rebuild-truest-we-can-rebuild-hope/#ixzz3GAc3fWL4