--I am worried about our tendency to adopt a fatalistic, pessimistic perception of history. Because once you adopt it, you are relieved from the responsibility to see the better aspects and seize the opportunities when they arise.
Barak made the statement in an interview with the NYTimes’ Tom Friedman. As Friedman writes, the unspoken question in the mind of every Israeli—that you need to answer correctly is, “Do you understand what neighborhood I’m living in?” If Israelis smell that you don’t, their ears will close to you.
Hawks, like Netanyahu, answer it their way, certain that nothing can ever alter the unchangeable hatred of the Jewish state. In contrast, the Yitzhak Rabin school of “bastards for peace,” believes that you should test, test, and test again to find a Palestinian partner for a secure peace. Thus, Barak’s statement represents the Rabin school.
With few exceptions, it’s rare to see philosophical statements comparable to this from American politicians regarding most any important subject, whether government, education or even universal healthcare. Instead what we get too often is a party line, closed, unthinking and too often unwilling to test and keep testing.
There’s a lot of pessimism out there. What would happen if . . . ?
Flickr photo: cvrck1