Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Revolution in Values

Protest in the Rose Garden
By Ari Shavit
What do we need to do these days? Not much. To prevent the renewal of war in Lebanon and to win the war should it begin anew. To avoid the outbreak of war with Syria and to win a war against it should one break out. To prevent Iran from developing its nuclear capability and to deter the country should it become a nuclear power. To build the Israel Defense Forces from the foundations up, as fast as possible. To rehabilitate the political system immediately. To come up with a leadership from thin air. To formulate, overnight, a national strategy. To carry out a regime change. To initiate a revolution in values. To reestablish the Israeli republic.
. . . . .

However, renewal of Israel's power cannot take place without ethics and without truth. Without modesty and without substance. Without restoring faith and a sense of responsibility. Therefore, the Prime Minister and Chief of Staff of Arrogance must both go. Not only because they have been wrong all the way. Not only because they have been wrong, have been deceptive and have cooked up a disaster. But because getting rid of both will distance us from the distorted values that both of them represent. Separation from both of them will detach us from the evil spirit that tricked us for years.

Dear Mr. Shavit;

Your conclusion, that the answer to Israel's long term survival is dependent upon a "revolution of values", is one that is long awaited. In truth the values have always been with us, and a majority of Israelis have remained true to them over the years.

The vast majority of Jews who live in our country came here because they wanted to live as Jews in a Jewish country. The vast majority of Jews still have some form of positive affinity to Jewish values and traditions, despite 60 years of systematic delegitimization by the Israeli establishment, government and private. The vast majority of Jews who live in Israel believe that democracy is the preferred form of government, even if they harbor suspicions that the current Israeli form of democracy is not working. Without a doubt every Jew in Israel wants to live in a society where law & order reign, but a law and order judicated by courts which reflect their values and enforced by agencies dedicated to protecting the citizens not the regime.

In truth Mr. Shavit, the values in question are the same values the tens of thousands of young adults who were crowded into Kefar Maimond believe they are fighting for. The "Orange Revolution" challenged the Israeli society to reform its political process to one where politicians are accountable to the electorate not the party hacks or money-men; where judges are chosen by the people by from some closed self-selecting elite; where police officers embody law and order, not that they are above the law.

True, the "Orange Public" believe that all the above should, where possible, draw its inspiration from the rich sources of Jewish tradition, but the core values are common to the vast majority of Israelis, religious or secular in their life style. They believe that the Jewish People have a reason for existing. They adhere to the idea that the nation of Israel has an intrinsic connection to the Land of Israel from Kiryat Shmoneh to Ashkelon, from Rosh Hanikra to Eilat. But I've met non-observant Jews from Haifa, Beersheva or Nahallal who agreed with all the above as well!

The events of the past year, and especially of recent weeks have opened the eyes, minds and hearts of many people too long closed to new ideas. People, like you, who see where the self-destructive short-sighted mimicking of other societies is leading us. Perhaps never before in the history of the renewed Jewish presence in the Land of Israel is there a greater likelihood that Jews of all walks of life, from all corners of this land are likely to join together to formulate a new convenant as a nation!

All that is needed now is the spark ... a call to action!

All that is needed is a vehicle ... one that transcends partisan politics!

Who amongst us is willing to rise to the challenge and initiate the revitalization of Jewish life in the Jewish state of Israel?

Are you?

Thanks for the heads-up from IRIS Blog