Yossi Sarid svarar Elie Wiesel om Jerusalem

”For some reason your historical survey missed an event of the utmost importance, namely the destruction of the Temple. If we are already citing events that happened here 2,000 years ago, let us recall the Sicarii, who blinded by religious zeal murdered opponents within the Jewish community and brought on us the disaster of our 2,000-year exile. We have no choice, you and I, but to ask whether history is now repeating itself.

You, my dear friend, evoke the Jews’ biblical deed to Jerusalem, thereby imbuing our current conflict with messianic hues. As if our diplomatic quarrels weren’t enough, the worst of our enemies would be glad to dress this epic conflict in the garb of a holy war. We had better not join ranks with them, even if unintentionally.

The fact is and always will be that this city is holy to everyone – such is its blessing and its curse. That’s why the solution to the Jerusalem problem can’t wait for the end of the Middle East conflict as you suggest, because it will have no end if its resolution is postponed until ”the Israeli and Palestinian communities find ways to live together in an atmosphere of security.”

”Jerusalem is above politics,” you write. It is unfortunate that a man of your standing must confuse fundamental issues and confound the reader. Is it not politics that deals with mankind’s weightiest issues, with matters of war and peace, life and death? And is life itself not holier than historical rights, than national and personal memory – holier even than Jerusalem? The living always take precedence over the dead, as must the present and future over the past.

There is nothing in our world ”above politics.” Yes, politics creates problems, but only through it can those same problems be resolved.”