Israeli public life has many very Sincere Friends of Peace. “Peace Now,” the Meretz Party, many members of Labor, the most influential Israeli newspaper (HaAretz), and many smaller groups, all compete with one another, year in year out, demanding that the Israeli government make more concessions to the Arabs so as to achieve peace. And as for Jews in the diaspora — the U.S., Britain, continental Europe — well, it seems that currently the loudest voices (though not necessarily the most numerous or the most thoughtful) chime in: peace now, make more concessions, abandon the settlers on the West Bank — peace now !
Even people like myself who are unaffiliated with such groups can rejoice in the colorful diversity that such organizations contribute to Israeli and Jewish society. Of course I do not rejoice in the ultras, those who work for the destruction of Israel, but, surely, those are a different kettle of fish altogether.
But to come back to the major “peace” groups. Anyone who has watched them for many decades, as I have, must have noticed a little detail that seems to have escaped them altogether. That detail consists of an absolute absence of any similar peace movement among the Arabs. Even allowing for the fact that there is very little of a functioning “civil society” in Arab societies that would allow for unofficial political movements, it is nevertheless true there is some variety among Arabs in their views concerning Israel. Insofar are we can judge from public opinion polls and expressions in Arab writings and speeches, this variety runs the gamut from the most extreme hostility (Hamas) to somewhat milder hostility.
But, whatever the details, the broad picture is evident. There is no “Peace Now” among Arabs. There is no “Arab Voice for Peace.” There are no “Arabs for a Just Peace.” There is no AStreet that would urge concessions to Israel. Nothing of the sort.
My dear Sincere Jewish Friends of Peace: can you detect a little problem here somewhere ?