Summertime in Israel

Dear Friends,

It’s summertime in Israel.  The sun shines every day (sometimes a little too much!).  In Jerusalem, thousands of people from all over the world – and all over Israel – are viewing nearly 200 films at the 28th annual Jerusalem International Film Festival.  And, a few blocks away, hundreds of rabbis and lay leaders are studying Torah in the unique and enlightening, spiritual and intellectual atmosphere of the Shalom Hartman Institute.

At the same time, many politicians and pundits continue to warn us of the “diplomatic tsunami” that will hit us in September when the U.N. recognizes (again) the existence of Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza.

Are we in denial?  Should we be more worried about the political tsunami which is coming our way?

There is another point of view which we must consider, a point of view that one can hear in Israel – unilateral declarations won’t bring a peace agreement. Just as the unilateral disengagement from Gaza a few years ago did not bring peace, neither will a unilateral declaration by the Palestinians bring peace.

Therefore, I join those who still say that the only real solution to the conflict in our region will come through diplomatic negotiations.  Both sides have avoided genuine dialogue in favor of political posturing for too long.  It is time for our leaders to return to the negotiating table to enter into serious, systematic and substantive discussions which, with painful compromises from both sides, will bring about a lasting solution.

L’Shalom,

Rabbi Dr. Ron Kronish

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