Voice of the Jewish News

Voice of the Jewish News

IN THE week that UJIA led a large delegation to Israel’s north, where Jew and Arab live side-by-side, Arabs in Jerusalem and the West Bank shot and stabbed up to 20 innocent people and a survey claimed almost half of Israeli Jews would rather all Arabs be expelled.

How far have we come from the Declaration of Independence, for many still a living memory, when the founders set out their State of Israel? To remind ourselves, they said it “will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel.”

When, in 2004, former minister Avigdor Lieberman proposed “separating” Israeli Arabs from Israeli Jews, he was denounced as a racist. Now, if this survey is to be believed, he has widespread support.

Nobody should be surprised. Two Palestinian intifadas had already led to increased separation, with checkpoints and barriers. The most recent convulsion will lead to more.

Writing late last year, Jewish Leadership Council chairman Mick Davis said: “The conflict cannot be ‘managed.’ It is impossible to calibrate an inherently unstable equilibrium.” He added that there was “a cry for leadership that will not simply seek to manage the status quo but will seek a path to a future worth living in.”

This week, amid the savage Palestinian attacks, US Vice-President Joe Biden met Benjamin Netanyahu. One wonders what future he saw – for both sides.