A Concert for Two Peoples

I have always believed that there is no military solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and I have uttered these words repeatedly over the years. Today, it has become clearer than ever that it is insufficient to pay lip service to this idea without examining the consequences of it.

We must seek and rediscover our own morality and remember that it mut go hand in hand with strategic thinking, since our existence can only be assured through the establishment of a genuine alliance with the Palestinians. The Jewish people should be able to accomplish this, belonging both to the Oriental and Occidental worlds. As obvious as it is that military action will destroy any attempt at a genuine alliance, it is unfortunately just as clear that such an alliance cannot result solely from political negotiations. The time has come for us to launch what I would call the politics of de-politicization.

An unhealthy relationship has been allowed to develop between life and politics; we must lift the veil of political conflict in order to bare the real interests of both peoples—whose destinies are inextricably linked—in order to accept and make known the true bonds of these two peoples and their interests. This cannot be done only by explanation, because explanation alone cannot undo the work of political thinking—we must create individual bonds and maybe even institutions that are entirely apolitical and which would accord supremacy to the demands of life over the demands of politics.

If walls are built by politicians, then it is up to us to create a cultural underground where we can all meet and communicate freely. If lives are taken on either side, it is our duty to bypass the never-ending cycle of retaliation by establishing cultural ties with those who are willing to seek constructive solutions and listen objectively. Cynicism and fatalism are worse than ineffectual in a situation that continually worsens in the absence of positive action.

This is why I have invited these wonderful Israeli and Palestinian musicians to share the stage with me today. By playing together, they do not attempt to ignore the differences between them or pretend that they do not exist. What they demonstrate is not an alternative solution to the conflict but the fact that, when Israelis and Palestinians join forces, the result is not mutual destruction but rather mutual enhancement.

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