Many times I have discussions with various friends in the United States, in Europe, and in North Africa. We analyze many situations that occur in the news, sometimes about happy events and sometimes about delicate matters which sometimes upset one or the other friend. In such a case we prefer cutting our discussion short, in order not to poison our friendship. I learned this from my grandparents and my father who used to tell me: “Make a hundred new friends every day and don’t make one single enemy in a year.
One of my friends told me about the situation in Israel. In this regard he said that the Americans or the White House inflated the crisis about Jerusalem into an international and religious crisis in order to make peace. Another told me that this was in order to please the Arabs, so as to soften their attitude. There are many versions.
In my view, today we cannot trust any source; even if we deem it reliable, knowing that every source has its own agenda. Having lived through World War II and passed through many different situations, I can only judge by my own experience that life presented to me and that I can identify myself with. I recognize that this thinking is not always correct. Sometimes, by listening to our heart or to our instinct we are lucky without knowing why. Everyone calls the lucky situation by a different name. I call it faith and destiny.
We can argue without an end, without being able to reach any solution to a problem. I feel that any debate is positive, as it allows us to give to everyone the chance to express himself. To declare that the time for arguing is over is counterproductive. I firmly believe that the White House, including the Vice President knew about the construction of the 1600 housing units beforehand. To make a crisis about this construction could create the opposite and regrettable reaction that no one wanted. After all, Israel is one of our best allies, as Obama, Secretary Clinton and Vice President Biden have said repeatedly. If this is our ally, what would it be if it were our enemy? Would we strangle the Jews as Hitler did? It is important to know that this neighborhood was a Jewish neighborhood before the Jordanians destroyed it and killed its inhabitants. No one complained when Yitzhak Rabin revived this neighborhood, which now houses over 20,000 Israeli Jews.
On Friday March 19, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who at President Barack Obama’s behest gave Netanyahu a 43 minute dressing-down over the phone last week, told BBC that pressure against Israel paid off, and that Jerusalem will now be willing to compromise. Madam Secretary, what you just said here lacks diplomacy.
Mr. President, it is about the character of our generous nation that I am writing these lines. You were asking in a recent speech: “Can America still meet the challenges of our time?” One generation of Americans, which I witnessed, saved the Jews from the concentration camps and now you are telling us that you have “launched a political war against Israel in the interest of promoting peace” in the Middle East? I don’t believe this will work, as it took France and England 100 years to make peace. Let the Jews live in peace and let the Arabs reach peace without our intervention. As my father, who was an arbitrator in our community in North Africa used to say: “Let them know each other better, they will eventually get along just fine”.