Naomi and I have just returned from a brief visit to Australia where, amongst other engagements, we were privileged to meet again with one of Israel’s greatest friends, John Howard, the former Australian Prime Minister who plans to visit Israel in the near future.
Much has happened during the two weeks we were abroad and I am looking forward to resuming writing once I catch up with my backlog. By then, we are likely to have a clear understanding of the direction in which the talks with Palestinians are heading.
Alas, despite magnificent speeches and enthusiastic editorials, I fear that it is delusionary to imagine that we can achieve peace with a partner like Abbas. Despite statements tailored for Western audiences, he displays no genuine inclination to promote peace within his own constituency where he remains aligned to the policies of his predecessor Arafat, and personally identifies with incitement against Israel. In the unlikely event that he underwent a genuine change, there is little cause for optimism that his own Fatah forces – not to mention Palestinian public opinion – would reject terror and hatred against us. And that does not even take account of the pivotal role of Hamas as Iran’s surrogate in the region.
Nevertheless, on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, we remain confident and resolute about the future and count our blessings that we are the most fortunate generation of Jews since the Exile 2000 years ago.
May our prayers be answered and may our leaders be endowed with wisdom and integrity. May it also be a year of peace and security for the State of Israel, good tidings for the Jewish people and may all good people throughout the world be blessed with serenity, happiness and fulfillment.
Naomi joins me in wishing you and all your loved ones Shana Tova – a year of good health, happiness and tranquility.
Ketiva ve’Chatima Tova!
Isi and Naomi Leibler