“This year we experienced something other than togetherness. We also saw how occasional bones of contention can make our most bitter and divisive issues resurface. We argued over the people’s army and to whom it belongs and why it is in reality only half-the-people’s army. We struggled over who will share the economic burden, who is inclusive and who is not. We disagreed about the nature of public domain, what it means to be Israeli, how to define loyalty and what are the rights and duties apply to those sectors in Israel’s society that have long ago outgrown their minority status.
The disagreements attest to the fact that Israeli society is ready to take a hard and daring look at its soul and its future. They reflect the good will and ambition shared by Israelis of all stripes: Arabs and Jews, ultra-Orthodox and secular, rightists and leftists – they all want to partake in shaping Israeli society. These disagreements are not the enemy – they are an essential mainstay of our lives – as they pave the way to our joint future here.
But we do indeed have a common enemy that threatens our shared future here and the future of our children – the zealots. The fight against those who burn down mosques; those who spit on the face of an 8-year-old girl; those who join forces with the worst of our enemies and undermine Israel’s right to exist; those who view women singing in the IDF as the equivalent to an anti-Jewish decree; those who contaminate the legitimate debate over the powers of the Supreme Court with dangerous mudslinging; this is not a struggle between leftists and rightists or between Arab and Jews. This is a joint struggle that pits all segments of society against the zealots and radicalism.
We have a responsibility; I believe that we are up to the task; we must ensure that the flame of Zion and Zionism becomes an eternal light.”