Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his nation it was important to remain strong and any signs of weakness encourage those who seek war to pursue that path. “Over the years,” he said, we have learned that the olive branch of peace will be achieved only if we remain strong, only if we are prepared to defend ourselves…” He insisted that Israel has repeatedly extended its hand in peace and “our hand is still outstretched.” His metaphor is interesting, a hand extended in peace with guns behind it to ensure the offer will be accepted–but, on whose terms?
There are many ways in which leaders and nations demonstrate “being strong.” Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King did it through non-violence which demonstrated the power of peace and love rather than the power of guns. If Israel is truly committed to peace, it will recognize legitimate rights of Palestinians just as they expect Palestinians to end any thought of destroying Israel. Sometimes, the olive branch and ACTIONS are the only thing required to achieve peace.