Why blog?

I have decided to write a blog about the pursuit of peace in Jerusalem. Nothing too ambitious. And surely there’s enough out there in cyberspace on this theme. Why add yet another piece to the raucous babble of incessant argument? Surely there are already more commentators on the Middle East than we could possibly read?

I guess the answer is that although I make no claim to be an authority, I feel compelled to raise my voice in the service of peace. As I see the situation go from bad to worse, and the only thing that seems clear is that we, both Israelis and Palestinians, miss almost every opportunity to make peace, I cannot stay silent any longer. I feel a moral obligation to speak out against injustice and refuse to be complicit in the actions taken in my name but which I cannot condone.

The famous passage in Ecclesiastes suggests that for everything there is a season and a time, and amongst other things, “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” My oldest daughter is towards the end of ten days of silent meditation in a Buddhist monastery in northern India. I am awed by her choice to immerse herself in silence and to connect with herself and beyond herself in such a deep and intense way. For her, it is a time to keep silence.

For me, here and now in Jerusalem, however, it is not a time for silence. It is time for me to speak out. Sharing some of my thoughts and musings may not be the most effective form of protest ever taken. I have no intention of limiting my protest to these pages. But it must be true that sharing my ideas with others will be more effective than keeping them to myself. As one form of action I wish to launch my voice into space, and engage others with my thoughts.

I hope someone will be listening.

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