“You promised a dove.” Those words were written by the Israeli poet, Shmuel Hasfari, in his song “Winter ‘73”. Some interpreted them as a sort of eulogy to peace. A peace which was promised to a generation of Israelis who only found themselves disappointed time after time at the ever eluding prospect of peace with the Arab world.
The song was written around the same time as the Oslo Accords were signed between Israel and the PLO – a time of great hope for this generation – the kids of ‘73. But soon they were devastated once again. With the outbreak of the second intifada, many gave up hope for the prospect of peace. Some pointed their fingers at the Israeli leadership who failed them. Some blamed the settlement movement and others pinned the failure to attain peace on the Palestinian’s lack of determination.
Dr. Einat Wilf, a former Member of Knesset, grew up as a member of the Labor Party and was an ardent advocate of the two state solution. She believed that if only Israel and its leaders would propose the right deal, at the right time, we would have peace. We would have that allusive and elusive “dove”.
The kids of ‘73 had a childhood full of hope and aspirations. They grew up to peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, and the Oslo Accords. However, the failure of those Accords, the atrocities of the second intifada, and stalemates upon stalemates in the peace process caused many in that generation to abandon hope.
Dr. Wilf join us today to talk about how her experiences both in and out of politics shaped her perspective on the peace process.
**Correction: The massacre perpetrated by Baruch Goldstein in Hebron in 1994 took place in The Cave of the Patriarchs (not in Rachel’s Tomb as stated in the episode)
Photo credit: Iliya Yefimovich