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BLOG 231 December 22, 2014

“Where goest thou?” The famous quote from the first century inquired about the Apostle Peter’s awareness of his destiny. The Christmas season raises the question again. An attempt to grasp the where future is going is important –for nations, politicians, and ourselves. Where are we headed?

The ISIS terrorists have no good answer. The bravado of last summer has turned into silence. This past week the Kurds opened a major corridor without any help from the Iraq government. Since the USA entered the conflict, the Islamic militants have lost leaders, troops, and momentum. The wars is not over, but ISIS must realize it’s all going south.

And now to Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must also ponder the question of where the nation is headed politically. Political rivals like Gideon Sa’ar, Yair Lapid, Isaac Herzog, Avigor Liberman, and Tzipi Livni are all breathing down his neck and ready to take his position. National elections in Israel will be held in March and the race is on.

The problem is that many believe Netanyahu is married to the status quo and will do nothing to resolve the Palestinian problem. Bibi seems to believe time is on their side and appears to have dug in his heels. The personal charge against him will be that he resolves nothing and time is not on Israel’s side. The European nations are gradually inching closer to support for recognition of a Palestinian state. The last Gaza War brought blood shed and terrorism back into Jerusalem streets. Israeli citizens worry that they are only living from one crisis to another. Doing nothing resolves none of these pressing issues.

Many analysts within Israel worry that the coming election may be a real Quo Vadis? experience for the entire nation. Israel is standing on the threshold of  making decisions that could affect the entire future of the country. Citizens are weary of constant terrorism and warfare. On the other side, Arabs aren’t making any gestures toward peace. In these blogs I have argued many times that the Palestinian world’s only interest is the entire destruction of Israel. Palestinian Authority President Abbas does not want a resolution to the conflict.

The unexpected direction this quagmire has taken is pushing Israel toward a ghetto status. Such narrowness is the exact opposite of what the country’s founders intended. Citizens must recognize their dilemma.

Israel could be facing the evolution of a religiously guided dictatorship with an oppressive nature that quashes both the Palestinians and internal Jewish opposition. Hard to say, but a Post-Netanyahu era is a genuine possibility in March. In other words, the coming election could turn into a battle for the soul of Israel.

Tolerance is being forced to the limit and in such a climate the forces of change become unpredictable. In such moments, the haunting question becomes Quo vadis.

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