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Positive Change Is Coming to Israel

By Leah Garber

“Ani v’Atah”|You and I (Will Change the World)

You and I will change the world
You and I by then all will follow
Others have said it before me
But it doesn’t matter
You and I we’ll change the world

You and I will try from the beginning
It will be tough for us, no matter, it’s not too bad
Others have said it before me
But it doesn’t matter
You and I we’ll change the world

You and I will change the world
You and I by then all will follow
Others have said it before me
But it doesn’t matter
You and I we’ll change the world

– Arik Einstein, z”l

In recent years, much has been written about politics in general and Israeli politics in particular. Unfortunately, little of it has been positive or hopeful—until now.

Next week, the State of Israel will mark an important milestone in the state’s political diaries: For the first time in the country’s history, an Arab political party will be a member of the government coalition set to be sworn in on Sunday.

A quick recap: In March of this year, Israel held its fourth inconclusive election in two years. As in every previous vote, no party won a majority in the 120-seat parliament. There is hope, however, that the threat of a fifth election may be averted thanks to a partnership forged between incoming Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and incoming alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who will co-lead a so-called “change government,” a coalition of eight parties that holds views across a wide spectrum.

A few days ago, I chatted with Aziz, a Palestinian born in East Jerusalem, who expressed hope that Jerusalem would be united into a shared home, safe and welcoming for Jews and Arabs alike. He also expressed his aspiration that with our common strength, we can change the world together.

I do not know if the salvation of the world will come from Jews and Arabs alone, but I sincerely hope that we can save ourselves from ourselves—and together, ensure a better future for all our children. Long before Arik Einstein told us in song that “you and I will change the world,” Theodor Herzl, in his 1902 legendary work, “Altneuland,” told us: “If you will it, it is no dream … whereas if you do not will it, then all I have told you is a legend, and a legend it will continue to be.”

Shabbat shalom.

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