A Prayer for Netanyahu


Benjamin Netanyahu

Dear Premier Benjamin Netanyahu,

I am humbly writing to you as I am extremely concerned by increasingly frequent reports (such as this)  seem to point at an authoritarian and fundamentalist drift in Israel.

More than half of humanity today believes in a god that comes from the Judaic tradition. Christians of every color or type, Muslims of every race all recognize in Jerusalem a place in their hearts that is beyond words. It is a space that connects life and its meaning, every gesture of a day, every space of the soul.

That is why the life and prosperity of the Jewish people are important, for everyone, for all non-Jews who feel blessed to have been enlightened in some way, no matter if distorted or correct, by the words from the god of the book of the Hebrews.

Thus, even those who do not believe in the god of Moses and Abraham do not remain silent before the miracle of the slaves who seek and obtain freedom, before the god who refuses his sacrifice of human life in order to have only a symbolic lamb.

This is why Israel is important for all, to preserve the body and reality of the Jews for the sake of all humanity. But this is precisely why Israel cannot be just an issue for Jews. The push to transform the Jewish state from secular to religious concerns everyone, and certainly even more so it matters to the faithful of the god of Abraham and Moses. We all want to be his adopted children.

Great religious faith is certainly a grace, for those who have it, and the flourishing of faith in Israel will have its reasons but confusing them with Israel’s politics risks endangering the nation.

Today Israel is in a very fortunate situation, very much unlike the past decades when a new-born nation had to fight for its very life and survival against droves of sworn enemies.

The protests of the Palestinians have ceased to be welded with the cause of the Arab countries. The Palestinians therefore are no longer a matter of life and death of the nation but a matter of negotiated national compromises and public order.

Many Arab countries are opening up to a normalization of relations. Israel, with very strong ties to Europe and the US, is at the center of what could be a revitalization of the Middle East. Never in its short history has the moment been so fortunate.

But there are certainly problems as well. Many non-Israeli Jews, right or wrong, are growing more distant from mounting fundamentalism in Israel.

Surely, if Israel now shuts down and transforms itself from what it was, it is and it is becoming, then the country maybe will be taking a very risky path for itself and for billions of its adopted children.

You sir have immensely contributed to the growth of Israel and to the improvement of the international position of Israel in the region. This is a stepping stone for a huge positive change for peace in the area and in the world. Yet all of this could be tarnished and be spoilt if some present drifts are not reined in. As you well know, the welfare of Israel is also the welfare of the world. We will all pray for you and your country.

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