“The first step might be to stop using the debilitating word ‘peace’”


The Israel writer Etgar Keret on the ongoing, increasingly bloody Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

A few months ago, my 8-year-old son took part in a ceremony in which all the pupils in his class were given a Bible to mark the beginning of their Bible studies. When the ceremony was over, all the pupils climbed onto the stage and sang a popular song about — what else — the yearning for peace. And at the end of the song, “God Gave You a Gift,” the children asked God to give them only one small gift: peace on Earth.

[…] I think that my son is the second generation, if not the third, to be indoctrinated with the view that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been imposed on us from above. A bit like terrible weather, which we can talk about, cry about, even write songs about, but which we can’t do anything to change.

Keret talks about interviewing Benjamin Netanyahu a few years ago, who “admitted that he wasn’t doing anything to resolve the conflict because the conflict was unresolvable… Netanyahu, a courageous former officer in an elite combat unit who had faced impossible odds in battle, thinks like my son and his classmates do when it comes to peace.” Keret writes:

That’s why the first step might be to stop using the debilitating word “peace,” which has long since taken on transcendental and messianic meanings in both the political left and right wings, and replace it immediately with the word “compromise.”

[LA Times]