On Purim, this year let's take off the masks..


On Purim, we play dress up, we wear masks, we pretend to be people we are not. Leaders of nations that need peace like we need oxygen for breathing don’t have the privilege to play with masks. But here we are, at the end of the nine-month period allotted for the peace process to bear fruit, and politicians are still playing games of chance with their peoples’ future.

Prime Minister Netanyahu talks about a two state solution, but continues to build settlements and legalize illegal outposts in the West Bank, where the future Palestinian state is to be established. His own cabinet ministers undermine the two-state solution with inflammatory public statements, including personal attacks against Secretary Kerry. Netanyahu fails to rebuke his Knesset members and allies when they say that they will never support a territorial compromise or that there will be only one state from the river to the sea. Israelis are wondering whether Netanyahu’s two-state talk is genuine, or if it is just a mask, another Purim-spiel.

Sure, posturing is an integral part of negotiating, particularly in the Middle East. And of course, the Palestinians, too, are wearing masks. But at some point, if there is to be sincere peace negotiations, the masks must come off. People must look each other in the eye, honestly, and interact with the real facts and the real people behind the masks.

As kids, we wore these horrible plastic masks with eye holes through which one could see almost nothing. They were sweaty, hot, and nearly blinding. Imagine wearing that for 60 years. It’s time to take the masks off and talk sincerely about the real problems that Israelis and Palestinians must face in order to achieve peace. Americans for Peace Now and Israel’s Peace Now movement have always focused on the truth, working to unmask the anti-peace policies that politicians try to hide from the public.

Your support helps us reveal the truth, expose the lies and distractions, and focus leaders and their public on real solutions that make peace happen.