The past two weeks have been tense for all of us who care about Israel.
A series of incidents — beginning with the terrorist attack that killed two Israeli police officers outside the Temple Mount — threatened to upset the political balance and drive Israelis and Palestinians back to days when bloodshed was the daily news.
Indeed, as of this writing, none of us can be sure that the relative calm that we have become accustomed to has returned. The political situation remains unstable. Nerves are still raw. There are still those who are looking to create more facts on the ground or stoke more violence.
I can tell you from my conversations with our colleagues and partners on the ground that Israelis are experiencing this fear every bit as much as you and I. At the same time, they are not letting their fear stand in the way of continuing to press for our values.
The NIF community in Israel has something to offer at this moment. We can and must help Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem better understand each other. We can and must bring Jewish and Palestinian Israelis together and foster a sense of solidarity. And we can and must continue to advocate for religious freedom and equality, even when the public focus has shifted to security matters.
In the past two weeks our colleagues have done all of these things — from the incredible reporting of Ir Amim, to the advocacy efforts of Sikkuy, to the preparations for next week’s Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance — we are doing everything in our power to press ahead.
In moments when violence threatens to overtake everything else, it is too easy to lose sight of the reality that, in the long run, it is the actions of the many individuals who make up Israeli civil society that are the best hope for realizing an Israel that is at peace both at home and with its neighbors.
The Future of Israel, Inevitably, One State
The current projections of birth rates in Israel among the Arab and Jewish populations indicate that the Arabs have lost their strongest ultimate weapon in their war against Israel, the Population Bomb. Data shows that the Palestinian Authority records residents that emigrated in the last decades as still included in the population figures. The Jewish population exceeds the Arab population significantly in all of Mandatory Israel plus the Golan and minus the Gaza Strip. In addition, The Jewish birth rate is now higher than the Arab birth rate resulting in a continually increasing Jewish majority.
When this becomes clear in the next several years it will end proposals of a two-state solution. It is inevitable. It is true that Israelis have an obligation to improve the economic, social and political condition of the Arab population. Arab communities must receive a much larger share of the National budget to improve their living conditions. Discrimination must end. All citizens of the State of Israel, whether Jewish or Arab, Christian, Moslem, or Jew, must have the same rights and privileges. The Palestinian Authority will be superfluous and must be dissolved.
The education of all Israeli children must include certain elements now missing in many schools: Hebrew and Arabic instruction, a history of the last century that is mutually agreed to by Arab and Jew, etc.
The safety of my family must come first.
When I know they are safe, I will turn to helping all other citizens my country, starting with the most needy
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