Do Israelis care about peace?

As Israelis are about to begin their High Holiday season — one of introspection, resolutions and repentance for religious and secular Jews alike — TIME magazine gives us a cover story entitled “Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace.”

TIME slanders Israel for Rosh Hashana

TIME slanders Israel for Rosh Hashana

The article itself is so stupid as to be not worth refuting. Those Jews, it points out, haven’t changed much since the Middle Ages:

In the week that three Presidents, a King and their own Prime Minister gather at the White House to begin a fresh round of talks on peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the truth is, Israelis are no longer preoccupied with the matter. They’re otherwise engaged; they’re making money

They make their case by quoting a couple of Israeli political analysts — no, actually, they are real estate salespeople — who say with authority,

“The people,” Heli says, “don’t believe.” Eli searches for a word. “People in Israel are indifferent,” he decides. “They don’t care if there’s going to be war. They don’t care if there’s going to be peace. They don’t care. They live in the day.”

So much for TIME.

But what can it mean to say that Israel doesn’t care about peace? In 2006, there was a smallish war in Lebanon. 121 Israeli soldiers were killed. These soldiers have families, it is a small country, and most Jewish Israelis serve in the IDF. My own son is a reservist in a combat unit, and he will certainly take part in the next Hizballah war, which is generally regarded as inevitable.

In 2006 42 Israeli civilians were killed and 4,262 wounded by Hizballah rockets (figures here). Hizballah is known to possess at least twice as many rockets and long-range missiles than in 2006, and it’s expected that the next war will also involve Syria, which has thousands of weapons aimed at Israel as well. The government expects that home front damage and casualties will be much greater than 2006.

So, we are expected to believe that Israelis don’t care about peace?

As is so often the case, there is a semantic problem here. The word ‘peace’ is ambiguous, and people like TIME’s writers tend to conflate different meanings. Jews love to draw distinctions — the Talmud is full of them — so I propose a distinction and a new word to illustrate it.

‘Peace’ will continue to mean what it has always meant: an absence of war, a state of quietude in which people are free to follow economic, creative and spiritual pursuits without fear of someone trying to kill them. A state, in other words, which Israel has not known since its founding, but which 99% of Israelis profoundly wish for.

There is, however, another concept for which I will coin a new word: poose. ‘Poose’ will mean the thing that Israelis don’t much care about, the state in which Israel agrees to give up enough territory, security, sovereignty and autonomy that the Palestinian Arabs will agree to take it — and Barack Obama will be happy.

Not many Israelis are yearning for poose, because they know that the Palestinians have no intention to give them peace. Palestinians prefer poose, because poose will make it easier for them to get what they really want, which is the replacement of Israel by an Arab state.

Poose is what Israel got in South Lebanon with UNSC resolution 1701 in 2006, an agreement which was supposed to end the war and prevent Hizballah from rearming, but which instead prevents Israel from preventing Hizballah from rearming.

Poose is also what Israel got from the Oslo Accord, which brought Original Terrorist Yasser Arafat back from exile, funded and provided arms for the murderers he dispatched, and ultimately gave birth to the second Intifadah in which more than a thousand Israelis (and many Palestinian Arabs) died.

Poose, in other words, brings war. No wonder Israelis are opposed to it!

Recently, the US Agency for International Development paid an Israeli organization called The Geneva Initiative to develop advertisements featuring Palestinian figures calling for Israelis to trust them. “We are partners for peace,” they say. “What about you?” But the nature of Palestinian demands makes it clear that what they are offering is poose, not peace.

Here is one of the ads, featuring Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. Erekat speaks English, and there are Hebrew subtitles. But in order to illustrate the difference between peace and poose, Elder of Ziyon has inserted English subtitles that express Erekat’s true, pooseful, intentions:

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