6/22/2014—Ever since the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers last week, I have been thinking about what this act means for the prospects for peace. On the immediate level, it makes peace impossible. Israelis overwhelmingly feel exactly what the title above says. In the longer run, it is one more hateful act by people motivated by religion that delegitimizes religion in the eyes of the world.
I hope for the safe return of the children and that may happen. But thinking of the brutality that takes place on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is important to remember how peace happens. In every conflict you can think of—Ireland is a good example—unthinkable crimes have been committed by both sides and both sides have responded by saying, “You cannot make peace with these people.”
But peace still comes, still can come. Maybe it just comes from exhaustion. Maybe, unfortunately, the brutality of both sides convinces both sides that peace is necessary, so that even vicious actions lead to better results. The point is, you make peace with enemies, not with friends.