Jewish National Fund - We Only Have ONE ISRAEL

Har Homa: Let's Build A Scientific Institute There

by Stef Wertheimer
Tefen, Israel

We haven't yet realized that the world has changed, that conditions have changed. We have achieved military ascendancy, and it is high time we went on building the country as a country, rather than as a military unit operating from one operational mission to the next

Har Homa. Once again they're fighting over the border. This time it's a hill. And at the U.N., everybody's voted against you. There's another way out. This obstacle can be turned into an advantage. But let's return for a moment to the question regarding what it all stems from.

It stems from the fact that we and the Arabs haven't yet changed the order of our national priorities, and we still believe in the combination of politics and the military as the only solution. And this is at a time when the enlightened world has long identified a different combination of politics and economics. The modern solution is: Politics and economics, with the aid of defense. And the difference is immense.

If the leaderships were to adopt such an order of national priorities, then the conflict would turn into a cooperative project for both nations. Instead of housing construction on Har Homa, we'd build a university, scientific institute, or industrial park, in the service of both nations. And then we'd abandon the war over the border, over a hill, and turn to the struggle, or more correctly the competition, over international markets. The stature of leadership is measured in its ability to find positive solutions rather than create conflicts, which are difficult to resolve afterwards.

And maybe we all aren't to blame. The two major parties have focused on and placed it at the top of the list of national priorities. Defense in the defense sense of power. We have grown up on militaristic solutions and territorial thinking. It is with considerations such as these that we have gone to the polling booths, and in this manner we have chosen the two parties according to the number of militarists standing at their heads.

The leadership, along with the entire nation, continues to deal with defense 90 percent of the time, while only 2 percent is devoted to the economy and industry. Thus, we again and again find ourselves battling over some more or less sacred site, over another hill which turns into a sacred site with the passage of years, while the real holy work lies in the development and advancement of the country by means of modernism, science, culture, and industry.

The massive boom of construction in Jerusalem, mainly for housing, does indeed enable a demographic-geographic solution, but it serves the same militaristic line. At the same time we should be building industries that would provide jobs and create mutual interests for both nations.

We haven't yet realized that the world has changed, that conditions have changed. We have achieved military ascendancy, and it is high time we went on building the country as a country, rather than as a military unit operating from one operational mission to the next. We must change the dialogues and the subjects that appear at the top of the news on television and radio, and inside the Knesset. Peace can be brought about through the economy, culture, and industrial parks. It is important to settle the hills, mountains and valleys with people who believe in industry as a means to achieving peace. This will enable us to really make the connection between the concept of "defense" and the concepts of "industry" and "productive endeavor."

The war over global markets constitutes no less a challenge than the war over another hill or mountain. If it is possible to build a research institute or other industrial park for the benefit of both nations on the hill in dispute, this is preferable to another security fence. Cooperative construction for us and for our neighbors, the development of an integration between the two nations, these and these only can endow this hill with any value and bring about a real and lasting peace.

Har Homa mustn't become a wall between the two nations. Hopefully it will become a park, a university.


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