Saturday, July 11, 2009

"dedicate peace efforts to Ze'ev's memory"

I apologize to everyone for being a few days behind in my writing about Ze'ev; I am presently in the last stages of a project to bring a group of European imams and rabbis to New York and Washington from July 20-23 as part of an ongoing efforts on behalf of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding to promote better relations between Muslims and Jews worldwide.

As the family in Afeq well knows I have been a peacenik my whole life and Ze'ev and I often had heated, though wonderful and enriching, discussions back in the 1970's about my efforts to reach out to Israeli Arabs like Father Elias Shakour of Ibillin, just up the road from Afeq. I know that Ze'ev longed for peace with every fiber of his being and that by participating in the upbuilding of Israel as he did, he did far more to contribute to the eventual coming of that day than whatever my own tiny efforts may have accomplished. Ze'ev, like many Israelis, sometimes told me that I was naive about the realities on the ground in Israel and Palestine and he had a point there as well. But I believe that both Ze'ev and I and all of us are animated by the same goal--bringing peace and security to the people of Israel as well as to the Palestinians. We may choose different paths to reach that goal, depending on where we choose to make our lives and the attiutudes we imbibed from our parents and our life experiences (that of Ze'ev and Penina having been so much harder, so unimaginably harder, than my own). Yet we are all on the same team, be oto ha tzevet.

So I am going to dedicate my efforts to strengthen ties between Jews and muslism worldwide to the memory of Ze'ev Sharon z"l, a proud Jew and a fighter for Israel and to the memory of Avinoam Sharon, who was taken from us all much too young by the same terrible conflict, and to the future of all of our children and grandchildren--my beautiful little Israeli nieces and nephews, that we may all live to see the coming of peace and that the little ones will grow up safe and free.

Love to You All,


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