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  KD MAGAZINE!                    ב"ה   
 
 
     
 

Peace for Peace
By Rabbi Shea Hecht

Contrary to what you read in the media, since its founding in 1948, the State of Israel has tried every which way to make peace with her neighbors. And still gives much more than it gets when it comes to peace.

 

For the longest time I've been saying that when it comes to the Middle East the only way is "Peace for Peace." Nothing else will work. Not land for peace, not prisoner releases for peace or any other concessions for peace.
 
This week the reminder that 'peace for peace is the only peace that will work' hit closer to home than usual for me.
 
My rabbinic responsibilities found me traveling to Israel with a friend this week.
 
I for one feel, that a trip to Israel and a visit to Jerusalem is like coming home; it's my city and my people. Going there is like visiting relatives.
 
When one makes a trip to Israel the security issue looms big. It is something of concern to both the travelers and their families. A trip to Israel usually elicits blessings for success and safety. And so it was when I took my trip.
 
The plane landed, we took a taxi to Jerusalem, checked into our hotel, went out on the balcony to enjoy the beautiful Jerusalem weather. That's when we heard the sirens.
 
We went out to the street to find out what was going on and there were police checkpoints all over the place.
 
Back in the lobby of the hotel there were 40-50 people standing and watching the news on TV.
 
It wasn't much of a welcome to the holy city of Jerusalem to learn that a shooting took place just a few blocks away in a sacred place of Torah study; eight young students were killed and many more injured. They were slaughtered in cold blood by someone who lives in East Jerusalem - someone who shares the city with them; by a man who made money off the boys by driving them to school; and that he used that time to case the institution whose security he breached.
 
When our plane landed and the taxi took us to Jerusalem I couldn't get over all the growth. It was great to see the accomplishments and expansions since I last visited. All the positive things I saw just intensified the shock that I got when I learned that eight young lives were snuffed out. Will our neighbors ever let us live in peace?
 
Israel tries to set up security to protect her citizens.
 
They put up a wall; obviously the walls are not high enough
 
The make roadblocks; clearly the roadblocks are not strict enough.
 
They have document checks; evidently the documents are not scrutinized enough.
 
After a troubled Shabbos, I traveled on a short domestic flight from Ben Gurion airport to the city of Eilat.

 

The woman in security, after asking me a whole slew of question - though she saw my religious garb and hat, yarmulke and tzizis - still made me write some words in Hebrew because I chose to communicate with her in English instead of Hebrew.
 
This made me realize, once again how the Israelis are on top of the security situation. They take their safety seriously; still it's not enough.
 
How can we trust those living inside and outside our land and who are bent on annihilating us? They say it; they act it; they hit us every chance they get.
 
Public Security Minister Avi Dichter said Saturday night that Israel should create laws allowing for the expulsion of terrorists' families, even if they have Israeli citizenship.

 

I've heard it been said that perhaps we should consider expulsion of all Palestinian families since we can never be sure who will be the next to kill us. They say that the UN created Jordan to be a Palestinian state; let them use it.
 
One has to agree that there is logic to these radical solutions.
 
My time spent in Israel drove home once again that the only way for Israel to be safe is with peace for peace. The Muslim occupants in Israel have a long way to go before they can be allowed sit down at a peace table.

 

There can be an end to all of this violence. It is called peace for peace.
 

***

Rabbi Shea Hecht's website: www.sheahecht.com


 

 
   
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