Little Salam or Who Is Afraid of Peace

 

At a playground in West Philadelphia, my granddaughter Leora played with another little girl, her name was Salam. She spoke to her father in English (with an American accent) and he answered with a strong foreign accent. My first reaction, upon hearing the little girl’s name, was “what a lovely name.” Then I started thinking about our area and about peace.

Until recently I didn’t realize that peace has suffered such an enormous fall from grace. But first came the day of the Israeli elections on March 17th, 2015 when the candidate Bibi Netanyahu forgot that he was also the nation's prime minister and warned "his" supporters against fellow citizens: the Israeli/Arab voters. Then last October, the same Prime Minister announced at a Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Meeting that "we will forever live by the sword.”

it has become clear that peace is no longer relevant, and every time we say "Shalom" we don't mean it. Even worse, from what I see peace has turned into a cynical political word. For example, in response to an essay about Women Wage Peace, which I had written and posted on Facebook I received quite a few disturbing comments.

In that essay, I stressed the fact that since its inception in 2014, shortly after the end of Operation Protective Edge, Women Wage Peace has insisted that it did not wish to identify with any political party. It started as a grassroots movement which aimed to gather under its umbrella as many women as possible, and it has purposely remained within the consensus focusing only on universal, seemingly non controversial, values. It should have worked: is there a woman who’d admit that she doesn’t want peace?

It didn't: in response, one woman whose profile photos featured her with a smiling baby, argued that “wishing for peace (shalom) has become just a way of laundering words.” She also insisted several times  that “to say here (in Israel) that peace is not a political matter is either stupid or ignorant.”

It is disheartening that so many people here are willing to give up on peace and are even afraid of it.  However, it is scary that young women, and mothers, are resigned to a  future in which their children would have to live on their swords as well.

Several members of a Religious Feminists  group wrote that a post about peace and women should  be removed. It seems that in today’s political climate it is wise for Women Wage Peace to erase  the objectionable first word from its name and to get rid of the third. For the time being it can l keep the word “Wage.”

Like many other universal values and principles in Israel today (among them, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and thou shall not covet), peace too is out of favor.

I wonder how many Israeli or Palestinian babies who are born today are given the name Salam/Shalom. But at least I could always find solace in the fact that across the Atlantic ocean in the largest democracy in the world  little Salam still plays with my Israeli granddaughter.

P.S I checked and "peace"  is not one of the key words that the Times Of Israel provides for its  bloggers.

The post appeared in the Times Of Israel

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/little-salam-or-who-is-afraid-of-peace/

 

 

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“When I want Something I Get It:” Benjamin Netanyahu

The idiom “a picture is worth a thousand words” was reversed yesterday at the Israeli Knesset, and a brief (six words) sentence in Hebrew “when I want something I get it”  became stronger than thousands photo opportunities.

Our prime minister spoke yesterday, for the first time, like a true leader, with conviction and passion. I was almost proud of him.

But unfortunately Benjamin Netanyahu’s desires are not about ending world hunger or bringing peace to our region.

If, as he himself admits, our leader is relentless, even unstoppable,when he wants something,  my only conclusion is. .

Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/when-i-want-something-i-get-it-benjamin-netanyahus-desires/ 

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David Or Daveed: The Truth About Women Wage Peace

A colleague told me once that when his first son was born he wanted to name him David. However he didn’t like the way Americans pronounce Biblical names, so he consulted several sources and discovered that the closest  transliteration of the Hebrew name was Daveed. The next day when the nurse entered the hospital room and saw the name on the baby’s crib, she said “you sure spell David strangely."

I was thinking about this amusing anecdote when I heard that, after their meeting with Sara Netanyahu, the four leaders of Women Wage Peace were labeled  "left wing activists" in two different newspapers. This is another example in which, despite the effort we put into our words and our actions, we have very little control over the way other people perceive us.

Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/david-or-daveed-the-truth-about-women-wage-peace/

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It's Time To Listen: Women Wage Peace

Yesterday on  9th of Av, in the tent of Women Wage Peace, there were more fasting women than usual, as women fasted to commemorate ancient and recent national tragedies.

Some calamities are inevitable, when we lost the brakes in our car on the highway in Italy, we knew that we were going to hit the car in front of us.

But the last war, known by the euphemistic name Operation Protective Edge, was not one of those tragedies.

Few days after the beginning of the war in July 2014, in the Israeli Arab town of Tira, more than thousand people gathered at the center of town taking part in the demonstration: “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.” They were speeches pleading that it was still not too late to stop the war, many people carried  signs in Hebrew and in Arabic. One woman stood next to  the stage throughout the event, holding a  big sign in Hebrew “Jewish and Arab women refuse to be enemies.”

The women of Women Wage Peace want to make sure that this time, someone will  actually see the signs, listen to reason and take actions.

Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/its-time-to-listen-women-wage-peace/

 

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