Friday, May 20, 2011


Earlier this month, I celebrated a birthday. I was born just a month before the Six Day War, in 1967. I remember learning about the great victory this was for Israel: the nation, not yet 20 years after its establishment, had bolstered its security and laid to rest any doubts about its will and intent to survive, even if surrounded by hostile foes.

Forty-four years later, many of the same challenges to Israel and the region still exist. Over these ensuing decades, there have been continued ups and downs for the Jewish State - continued strife and additional wars, the strain of its sibling-like relationship with the U. S. (and all the love and baggage that goes with any such relationship), and especially the internal and ongoing challenge to live up to being a country that exemplifies Jewish values (including yet not limited to justice, righteousness, mercy, and pluralism - social, political AND religious) that should be applied to ALL the permanent residents within its borders.

Part of the historic controversy regarding Israel's place in the world has been brought out by President Obama's remarks just yesterday. In proposing Israel's "pre-1967 borders" as a guideline for resumption of talks with the Palestinians, Mr. Obama has raised concerns (rightly or wrongly) among people who note that no previous U.S. president had yet used that term.

As has been pointed out, the overall concept offered in the President's speech regarding a two-state solution with mutual respect and security doesn't differ much, if at all, from the generally accepted norm - yet again, it's not so much what you say, but rather how you say it (and more so, how it is heard).

Well, I guess the resolution of the Israel-Palestinian situation won't necessarily be found in this current year...yet with patience, trust, and the true desire to create a better world, perhaps in our lifetime...

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