A founding father of the state of Israel, David Ben Gurion knew that the right way to treat desperate people is to turn them into builders not murderers. He did not seek to stroke the feelings of revenge that the emaciated Holocaust survivors living in Displacement Camps (DPs) felt. Nor did he treat them as damaged victims.
Read his words. It is frighteningly prophetic amidst all the carnage and hot tempers of today.
|"On December 18, 1946, in a closed meeting of the political committee of the Zionist Congress, Ben Gurion argued brilliantly against colleagues advocating terror. His words could not be more relevant today. He began by saying, "One thing is prohibited under any circumstances - murder. Murder - means spilling of innocent blood. Murder - No. I have to tell you that a soldier is a volunteer. I know what it means to be a soldier. The role of the soldier is to kill and be killed for a just cause. . . . But there is something else that is called murder. And there is not one of us who may permit it, and we may not give anyone permission to permit it, especially when it is done in our name." . . .|
Ben Gurion believed that terror is self-destructive, especially to the youth engaged in it. "We may not permit within our ranks the demoralizing education of 'only thus,' only with the gun, as it undermines the foundation of our movement," he asserted. It is also wrong to underestimate the people's ability to combine building with self-defense: "As to the question, raised in the Congress at the end of the political debate by one of our best men: "How can we combine these things? - I must answer that we were forced to combine them in reality...I went to plow with a rifle on my shoulder in Segera."
Indeed, the alternative would result in the emergence of a generation which would lack the ability to handle peace: "Imagine: A miracle would happen tomorrow and we would receive a state on both sides of the Jordan, and all the earthly kings would ship Jews to the Land of Israel, and there will no longer be a basis for terror. I know that a few hundred or a few thousand Jewish boys and girls would be the most miserable. They have no other interest in life except to shoot people. They have not been educated for anything else. They will have no meaning to their lives. As this was all their purpose, dream, pathos and song." ...
"If you tell the youth . . . that the only thing to do is to shoot, it could no longer do anything else. It would be the worse exploitation of our brothers and sisters...who after 70 years of work in the land of Israel there are still poor neighborhoods to take their children, who do not have enough to eat, street children, and ...make into murderous bands with the help of the theory 'Only Thus!' (with a gun)."
I highly recommend reading the entire article.