Donniel Hartman’s latest article on Rosh Hashanah illustrates how we may apply the Jewish concept of repentance to the Middle East peace process:
As we begin what may be our last effort at a political solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, it is essential that we internalize our belief in the possibility of change. The Palestinian people and Authority have much to give account for and much which is in need of significant change if we Israelis are to believe peace and security can coexist. However, it is critical that we not look at past behavior as predetermining future actions. It is time that we free ourselves from the traumas of the Second Intifada and the response to our unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. To believe that Palestinian society can never change is not only a self-fulfilling and destructive belief; it is also antithetical to the concept of tshuva. We must believe that nothing is inevitable, that no future is predetermined and that people of good will can indeed both transform themselves and in so doing, transform our future.