Responsible people should stop listening to, and taking instructions from, self-serving malicious instigators who are ignoring the fact that they may ruin themselves and destroy the future of Israel. Op-ed.
We are living in difficult times and many individuals are desperate to find out if there is hope for building a better future for the country and for all its citizens.
The short answer to this important question is: “Yes”!
To make it happen, it will take a comprehensive approach and effort by many good people to build bridges between groups with different points of view. As long as they remain willing to listen to the other side, they can address their differences in ways which will be acceptable to most people, even if not perfect.
The following are some ideas that may help facilitate this challenging task:
It is important of educate ALL members of Knesset and government ministers:
1. to communicate and advance ideas in a wise, diplomatic and simple way;
2. to know relevant information about Jewish and Israeli History.
Irrespective of their background and official tasks, learning to advance ideas with wisdom and diplomacy will enable them to work effectively with each other to the benefit of the nation. Being well-versed in the justness of the State of Israel’s existence and broad aspects of our history will arm them with answers to challenges in Israel and abroad that have nothing to do with the limited area of interest that they are tasked with. Knowing the answers will establish their credibility and protect their reputation.
Examples of valuable and relevant information about the State of Israel and its rich history can be found at:
1. www.standwithus.com/booklets – This major Israel education organization has multiple valuable and free booklets. Some of them are available also in: Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish, and other languages.
2. Great answers to anti-Israel challenges can be found at the comprehensive “Jewish Virtual Library” in English at www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org and at the following direct links:
Click here for the “Myths and Facts” book in English
Click here fo the “Myths and Facts” book in Hebrew:
Click here for the “Myths and Facts” book in 11 different languages:
3. Click here for the “Hasbara App” which was initiated by “Hatzad Hasheni” and is available in English and Spanish.
4. Click here for the important educational organization, “Open Dor Media”.
Or click here for a site which will empower you with educational tools that bring the best of Judaism and Israel into your living room:
At Unpacked, you will find short videos that explore big questions and dissect complex topics. You’ll get all the information you need to easily navigate through these complicated issues and develop informed opinions about Israel and Judaism.
Knowing the relevant history will help the Israeli leadership, students and adults, as well as non-Israelis, to stand firmly against propaganda, deception and misinformation. It will also help them understand that they have a “skin in the game,” and that “Hasbara” (Sharing Historical Facts) by itself, is not enough.
The following are several ideas that responsible people, especially those in decision-making positions, need to advance:
- Malicious and deceptive publications must be exposed and discredited, so that no one takes them seriously. These deceptive books and booklets should be removed from the schools.
- There must be a special program explaining the connection of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel.
- Jewish and Arab students must understand that peaceful coexistence and mutual respect will benefit all.
- Students and adults must understand that they have a “skin in the game.” The enemies of Israel do not care if their targets are religious, secular, left leaning, right leaning or just simple good people, because they do not distinguish between good Israelis or bad Israelis. They want ALL Israelis dead or enslaved!!
- This personal risk extends to peaceful Muslims, Christians, and others who live in Israel or abroad. Terrorists do not distinguish between ethnicities or religions when they kill.
- We must advance proper education in the Arab sector of Israel. Incitement and misinformation should be removed from the Jordanian, Palestinian and other curriculums which are being used to teach Arab and some Jewish students in Israel (financed by the State of Israel). Israeli and foreign aid for the various educational institutions must be carefully monitored!!
- Reintroduce Tanach (Bible) study in all Israeli schools. This will help both Jewish and non-Jewish students understand the long history and the connection of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel.
- Archeology and ancient documents are very powerful, as they cannot be denied in respectful conversations.
- Educate the educators so they can teach these valuable curriculums. To help attract quality teachers, provide them with a competitive salary and safe environment in the schools, which will incentivize the teachers to remain in the field of education.
- Identify and educate potential school principals to be experts in managing staff and implementing these educational programs in their schools.
- When negotiating with the haredi leadership, emphasize that it is in their interest and in accordance with basic Jewish Law that students who learn Torah also gain the ability to provide their families with adequate financial stability, and not depend on handouts from the Government or charities. If their supporters will not be poor and oppressed, everybody, including the religious politicians, will benefit from their wisdom, success, and wealth.
- Allow certain people to choose an alternative to regular military service via “civil service,” free of any religious objections. Some of these students may choose to become teachers in challenging areas in which many students need support. Once widely advertised, all service to the country will be deemed significant, important and of benefit to everybody which will help diminish some of the resentment on both sides.
- Stopping incitement and promoting understanding and dialogue between the religious and secular populations is crucial!!
In summary, if all these programs are implemented in a wise and cooperative manner, different sectors of the Israeli public will buy in to the benefit of all citizens.