Hope is deeply ingrained in the Israeli consciousness, along with resilience, creativity, progress, democracy, self-criticism, and decency. There is sometimes unavoidable friction among them, but cumulatively they make Israel a unique modern miracle among nations. May 8, the 60th anniversary, offers the lesson of Israel's experience to the world.
Israel's Left and Right argue and re-argue about how to relieve Israel of the burdens and threats from Gaza and the West Bank, and Iran. These arguments, however, are largely subsumed by hope, hope without much evidence to support it. There's quite a difference between constructive optimism and potentially lethal leaps. Still, the strengths of Israel's other national characteristics are what makes hope possible. For example, Colette Avital, a Labor Party Knesset member, argues:
At the end of the decade, the traditional disagreements between left and right have lost much of their relevance, as a majority of Israelis support the end of occupation and the creation of a Palestinian state. Moreover, the debate on the path to follow seems to be over, too. Unilateralism is largely discredited as an option. Our negotiating partner is our partner, however imperfect. Israelis may be less hopeful than they were, but they are more realistic in their demands. They know the limits of military power. What's more, they know that time is running out. It may just be that sense of urgency that will make an agreement possible at the end of 2008.
One may be excused for dismissing this hopefulness. But, it must be realized it is deeply felt by a broad range of the public in Israel and the US, and comes more from strength than from weakness of spirit. Hope is what Israel is, ultimately, about. Israel's national anthem is Hope, Hatikvah. That Hope is based upon the diaspora's return to Israel to live in peace and progress.
Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH