Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An Israeli Wake-Up Call

Israel is waking up. Rabbi Donniel Hartman of Jerusalem's Hartman Institute issues a call for Israelis to engage with the Palestinian bid for statehood. Hartman declares the Abbas UN bid a game changer. Israel needs to step into its own power  and deal with the new reality.

Of course, Hartman couches his call for a reappraisal of Zionist aspirations in classic Zionist language. It is the sovereignty of the State of Israel that changed the course of Jewish history - not the unprecedented success of American Jews or the changing attitudes of the world; the only time he relates to the Jewish community is as a forum for complaining - Israel is the source of strength; Jews get together to complain and so on an so forth.

But this is just the language he uses. The content is a brave call for Israelis to engage with their Palestinian neighbors. Hartman has previously spoken out in support for Arab self-determination such as his clear support of the Arab spring  (Hebrew). This was at a time when the Israeli and American administrations were still expressing concern over the changes in the Arab world.

Good for Israel's two leading newspaper websites, Haaretz and Ynet, for publishing Hartman's article.

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