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Op-Ed: Baseball, Apple Pie and Hudna

What I?ve just gotta know is, in the mad rush for peace, did anybody bother to read the thing? Well, I did. I perused the approximately three hundred and fifty words, and not one of them is positive or even alludes to peace or hope.
Published: Thursday, July 03, 2003 10:52 PM


What I?ve just gotta know is, in the mad rush for peace, did anybody bother to read the thing? Well, I did. I perused the approximately three hundred and fifty words, and not one of them is positive or even alludes to peace or hope. Don?t believe me? Read the little defected gem of a document for yourself at http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=17425. Don?t be daunted, it?s not like the text is full of complex legalese or anything. The words are as straight as the path of a sniper?s bullet and nothing we haven?t seen or heard before. Here?s just a sampling of terminology: intifada, martyrs, blood, confrontation, Zionist occupation, Zionist enemy, Zionist aggression, Jihad. Bloody boring, isn?t it? How can US Secretary of State Colin Powell, or any other United States government representative, call the hudna ?a positive development?? The answer is that accountability and responsibility went out of style with mom?s apple pie. No one has the time for it anymore.

Contemporary America?s fatal flaw is that she has a colossal appetite and loves a quick fix (especially before elections). The U.S. approaches political, economic and cultural challenges with about as much finesse as a famished Mack truck driver would when devouring a Big Mac. Wars are won (or perhaps lost?) through ?shock and awe?. Consumer goods are prefaced with the terms ?extra-strength?, ?super-plus?, ?heavy-duty? and ?fast-acting?. American jargon is peppered with words like, ?extreme?, ?intense?, ?awesome?, ?ultimate?, and ?maximum?. Ironically, even leisure time is consumed at a reckless clip with fast cars, violent films, extreme roller coasters and spectacularly and intensively competitive sporting events. Perhaps it?s fitting that the world?s last superpower of this era revels in its titanic status.

The cardinal rule in America is to move on, move forward, and no matter what, just keep moving. There?s a constant striving for the outer limits. But, be careful America, as you may just get there sooner than you think. And what will happen when you finally manage to exceed your limits? Well, regardless of what the future may bring, at the end of the day in America, one can still count on the lady at the check-out counter to smile and say ?Have a nice day.?

What America manages to cover-up with a smile, the Arabs manage to shroud with a veil. If Americans are afraid to pause and look back, the Arabs are loathe to stand up and look forward. But, therein lies the common denominator. Both cultures hide from the truth.

If voluntary blindness and denial plague both Islam and the West, then what is it that impairs Israel?s vision? I mean we?re a nation that enjoys an eclectic cultural mix of West and East, as well as having experienced a profound historic sampling of both triumph and defeat. We, of all people, should have gotten it right by now. So, what gives?

I believe it?s eye strain...

In our rather naive, but earnest quest for historic continuity and worldly perfection, we ran a red light. Perhaps in our striving to see the good in the world, we bypassed the truth and our responsibilities. Probably the hardest concept for a Jew to grasp is that some things simply can?t be fixed, as they?re just plain evil and need to be destroyed.

Until we can absorb that painful truism, Israel can look forward to more terror, a lack of effective leadership and America?s micro-management of our affairs.
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Ellen lives on the Golan Heights with her husband and six children. She is a painter, writer and founder of helpingisrael.com. She can be contacted through her website http://www.artfromzion.com.