I Am Jewish. And What Are You?

The last few weeks I’ve felt very Jewish. Being at the service of the Jewish state has always been my life’s work. But, in recent months it seems that everyone wants to better understand what it means to be the “Jewish State” and why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists that Palestinian recognition of this fact is essential for peace. As I met with numerous delegations – ranging from the members of the US Congressional Black Caucus to British journalists to students of diplomacy from Georgetown University – I found myself repeatedly asked to address this issue. So, when Chancellor Angela Merkel came to Israel, I published a piece in Die Zeit designed to answer this question specifically. The piece was later published in The Jerusalem Post and it served as the basis for an interview on Israel public radio’s current affairs program.

On this issue, which is frequently misunderstood, I argue that “Palestinian recognition of Israel as the  homeland of the Jewish people is not a condition for peace – it is the very essence of peace.” I explain that “Israel does not need Palestinian recognition in order to know what it is.” But rather, “the Palestinians need to recognize Israel as the Jewish state for their own sake and dignity and for the cause of peace.” [...]

Click here for the complete article by Einat Wilf.

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