On 3/12/13, I met with theRabbi Meir Azari, Sr Rabbi of the Daniel Centers, in Israel, a Progressive center for Reform Judaism . Their mission is to provide Reform Judaism as a concept to a community of younger Jewish members, Independent of government support and sponsorship. As part of their Mission Statement, and their view of Politicians,they quote MAIMONIDES, ( the philosopher, who codified Jewish Law in the 12C AD) I quote: A public leader should have these attributes; wisdom, humility, reverence, love of truth, love of humanity and a possessor of a good name. Thus the Daniel Centers strive for the Public Good
Considering that Yair Lapid, the recently elected Journalist , TV Anchorman and author, was elected to Israel’s Knesset and is a member of Rabbi Azari’ congregation, lends meaning to our discussions.
We spoke about the mentality of the various Israeli population centers. Their character, what shapes their point of view, their politics. The National character, though shaped by everyone’s Army experience, is not so pervasive in later life, though it’s true , connections and jobs are made through the Army ‘s network. But, like all people once you have a child and become a parent your days as an adventurer and risk taker are diminished. Israeli’s mostly have the European mindset, they like to sip coffee from china cups for hours on end and socialize with their friends, There is consensus and hope that the government will address the people’s needs. And also, seek to make peace.
They speak of the Tel Aviv mentality, symbolized by the out stretched hand. PEOPLE LIVING BY THE SEA HAVE A VAST HORIZON UNCONSTRAINED BY WALLS OR IDEOLOGY, IT IS EASY FOR THEM TO DREAM OF PEACE, Rabbi Azari, thought the people of Ramallah were similar in their prospective of the World. They looked toward old Beirut and have longings to reinstate their culture, which we noticed from our bus trip thru The West Bank in January. There was a fast paced consumer driven component at work in Ramallah. THEY HAD SHOPS LIKE OURS OR OTHER EUROPEAN NATIONS AND RAWABI, THE TOWN ON THE HILL, IF A REALITY, IS HAILED BY BOTH SIDES,
The real problem is Gaza, given the tools to build and plant and manufacture, they chose war. They have had the opportunity to build yet they prefer rockets. The PLO does not accept them. The Israeli’s in the Southern Territories would accept them, but there is a power vacuum, who do you speak with, who chooses peace over war?
As we concluded our talks, we left , acknowledging that eventually, the people of Both Israel and Ramallah, ” Would accept the CLINTON INITIATIVES. ” THERE IS HOPE THERE IS MUCH WORK TO BE DONE DIPLOMATICALLY. PEOPLE ARE LONGING TO MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE: PEACE.