While Waiting for Israeli Election Results – Thoughts on ‘Optimism’ and Important Articles to Ponder

March 17, 2015

The only poll that matters is the one taken today, on election day. Then what matters is who President Rivlin will ask to form a coalition government and how the parties will line up, which could take weeks.

In the meantime, here are some thoughts about optimism and pessimism and a few articles I recommend.

The alternative to Hamas is Abbas. He is a serious man who has declared himself in favor of peace and compromise, of a demilitarized Palestinian state and against terror…There are always skeptics in life…To be an optimist you have to work very and have a lot of patience. It’s more natural to be a skeptic, be on the safe side…But in my experience in life I feel that being optimistic is wiser and more realistic…Optimists and pessimists die the same way. It’s how they live that’s different.” -Former President Shimon Peres addressing Israeli High School Students

“Some people see things as they are and ask why. I dream things that never were and say why not.” -Robert F. Kennedy

“A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn’t see the clouds at all – he’s walking on them.” -Leonard Louis Levinson, writer

“An optimist is the human personification of spring.” -Susan J. Bissonette, writer

“A pessimist finds difficulties in every opportunity; an optimist finds opportunities in every difficulty.” -President Harry S. Truman

“Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.” -Nelson Mandela

“B’Yisrael ye-ush lo optsia – In Israel despair is not an option.” -Yaron Shavit – past President of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism and military commander of Milluim in North Israel

5 Recommended articles:

1. The American Jewish Community Is Fracturing. What's Causing It? Steven M. Cohen, The New Republic. Professor Cohen is among the most respected demographers of the American Jewish community. http://www.newrepublic.com/article/121304/generational-divide-american-jews-israel

2. Amos Oz – Last Chance for a Jewish State,  The Los Angeles Jewish Journal. A landmark speech delivered before the eighth international conference of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. http://www.jewishjournal.com/opinion/article/transcript_of_amos_oz_remarks_to_inss

3. LIVE UPDATES: Some 26% vote before noon; Likud ‘worried by high Arab turnout’, Times of Israel. http://www.timesofisrael.com/ballot-stations-open-as-israelis-choose-new-leadership/

4. Israel’s New Political Center, New Yorker, Bernard Avishai. http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/israels-new-political-center

5. Bibi's Opponent: 'I Trust the Obama Administration to Get a Good Deal', Atlantic. Jeffrey Goldberg notes in an extensive interview with Herzog that unlike Netanyahu, the Zionist Union head “is clever enough to talk about the US-Israel relationship with discretion and nuance.” http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/03/goldberg-isaac-herzog-interview-on-iran-and-obama/387628/?utm_source=btn-twitter-pin

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