According to the Jewish tradition, we usually say on Rosh Hashana eve: « May the year end with its curses and begin with its blessings. »
If we had to take stock of the year 5775 just ending, the list of the curses which marked it out would be long. Today, the world is no more pacified than it was a year ago. Far from it. But each of the crises and wars it is faced with is a major challenge we are compelled to take up.
The attacks of last January in Paris, perpetrated by islamists to threaten the foundations of the European identity, namely press freedom and secularism, have made us aware that we share a set of values we must fight for.
The waves of refugees fleeing ISIS or the bloody Syrian dictatorship, arriving constantly at the gates of Europe, start rallying States and populations moved by the scale of that tragedy.
In Israel, after the disappointment caused by the failed elections, the left, still in search of a leader, tries to gather its forces, through the action of tenths of NGOs that fight constantly against the rise of racism and of intolerance amidst the Israeli society, and against the continuing occupation. In spite of the unanimous condemnation of the murderous attacks of this summer by the political class, the Jewish terrorists responsible for the deaths of a Palestinian baby and of his parents are still out there, even though they have been identified, according to the minister of defence—new evidence, in case we need it, of the difficulty of this government to deal with its own extremists, while encouraging them.
In the field of world politics, the fourth Netanyahu government cannot pride itself of a single success, and Israel is more and more isolated on the international scene. The year ends without any resumption of negotiations with the Palestinians, who keep winning symbolic victories in their fight for the recognition of their State. The relationship with the American administration has deteriorated after the personal commitment of Prime Minister Netanyahu against the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program—which he failed to block in the Congress, in spite of the mobilization of the right wing of the American Jewish community and of his Republican friends. Moreover, the European Parliament, by its decision to require the labelling of goods produced in the settlements, while opposing all forms of boycott, has reasserted its determination to make a distinction between the occupied territories and Israel, thus reintroducing on the map the « green line » Israeli governments have tried to erase for many years.
As for us, we have continued all year to gather our forces in Europe by organizing meetings—like the one that took place last January, with Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Alain Finkelkraut and Bernard-Henri Lévy, who were among the initial signatories of our Call to Reason. We have published numerous statements in order to condemn, in Europe, the attacks against democracy and Jews saddening Jewish communities from Paris to Copenhagen, and in Israel, the colonization that led to a Jewish terrorism. We took note of the agreement implementing controls on the Iranian nuclear program, preferable in our view to any other solution, hoping that this return to diplomacy will appease tensions in the region.
Thanks to your support, we will continue our action in 5776 to let the voice of reason be heard, calling for a serious resumption of negotiations, with a binding commitment of the international community, in order to reach a solution of the conflict on the basis of two States and to put an end to colonization.
Meanwhile, we wish Shana Tova to all of you. May 5776 fulfill all your wishes and bring—finally—peace.