Dear Mr. Vick,
It is my understanding that you live in Jerusalem and act as correspondent for Time Magazine. Based on what you wrote in your last article in the September 13 issue of Time, I find this hard to believe.
How can you live in Israel and insist that Israelis are not interested in peace? You are wrong to assume that Israelis are no longer preoccupied with the idea of a lasting peace between them and their Palestinian neighbors. Furthermore, Israelis are quite aware that their current PM is, for the third or fourth time (possibly more) in the short history of the State of Israel, going back to the negotiating table along with the leader of the Palestinian Authority. This is all in order achieve some degree of peace between us and the Palestinians. We may be a bit more wary of the success of this venture; you might even call us skeptical. However, in our defense, I have to say–been there, done that, got the t-shirt; several times in fact. So it is a bit understandable why Israelis are more hesitant to believe that this time the peace talks will actually come to fruition.
I guess you expect us to apologize for the fact that despite most Israelis are a bit preoccupied with their day-to-day life. Too bad that in real life, people still need to make a living. You also seemed to be upset that “peace” was not ranked number one, but number five of “the most urgent problems facing Israel” according to Israelis. But I want to ask you–wouldn’t you be concerned about your child’s education (#2) or the fact that hard crime is on the rise in the state in which you reside (#1)? I don’t think most Americans would rank the war in Afghanistan as the most urgent problem in the US; but Bush seemed to think that unless Afghanistan was taken care of, the US would possibly be facing a repeat of 9/11. Just because peace isn’t ranked number one doesn’t mean it is not “critical” (to quote President Obama).
Israelis want peace. Period. Even right-wing “settlers” would love to be able to drive home without getting shot at point-blank range. Forgive us for being a little wary this time around. How about you live through an intifada or have your brothers’ fight against terrorists who fire rockets at Israeli cities before you go around making such arrogant claims.