There is a story in the Talmud of a man who was walking along a road, and came upon an elderly man planting a carob tree. Seeing how old the gardener was, he asked him, "How long does this tree take to bear fruit?" The old man said, "70 years." The first man asked the gardener if he expected to live that long, and the man replied, "What I am planting, I am planting for my children, just as others planted for me."
The stakes are high. While many persist in comparing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a schoolyard brawl, Israelis and Palestinians are struggling with matters of life and death. The question of the possibility of peace holds existential ramifications.
Dear Friend of Israel,
Peace Now again?
No, not again: Peace Now still. Indeed, in words we rarely allow ourselves to use, Peace Now, now more than ever.
Winter approaches, and the days grow shorter. The world becomes darker and feels colder.
Soon, Passover. I've long believed that being Jewish is a calling-a vocation, if you will-and if that is so, then Pesach is surely an extraordinary contribution to the vocational education of the Jews.
Last month, on September 11th, we sat down to begin drafting this letter to tell you about the vital work of Americans for Peace Now (APN) and the Israeli Peace Now movement.
Dear Friend of Israel,
Christians of the West have long been the unnamed third party to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Most obviously, the ancient Church assumption that Jewish exile from the Jewish homeland was a proof of claims for Jesus still casts its shadow. Similarly, European colonialism, with its Christsanctioned underpinning, spawned what Edward Said called "Orientalism," a permanent factor in Palestinian dispossession from lands on which they resided for centuries. In effect, Jews and Arabs confront one another in a corner, the walls of which neither created.
From where we sit as longtime activists in Israel's struggle to define who she is, this past summer was an astonishing time. What began as a protest over the price of cottage cheese grew into mass demonstrations across Israel against the rising cost of living and our increasingly inadequate social welfare system.
Dear Friend,When I was a teenager, I told my dad I wanted to be an actor. In response, he gave me the only piece of advice he ever offered me--"Learn to play the accordion." And he was serious. He said, "You can always make a living with an accordion."
When we at Americans for Peace Now discuss the necessity of the two-state solution for the
future of a Jewish and democratic Israel, we typically do so in geopolitical and security terms. We talk about
the occupation as a terrible liability that damages Israel's democratic character, its international standing,
and, obviously, its ability to live in peace and security with its neighbors.But the impassioned case that we
make for peace for Israel stems from our caring about the future of the Jewish national home and its adherence
to Jewish values.