Believing in our right to the Land of Israel doesn’t make anyone a fascist

Words delivered at the memorial service for Ariel and Lily Sharon, February 15, 2019.

March 1, 2019 02:31
2 minute read.
Gilad Sharon speaks at the memorial service for Ariel and Lily Sharon.

Gilad Sharon speaks at the memorial service for Ariel and Lily Sharon.. (photo credit: LIOR GOLDSTEIN)


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Many straight lines can pass through two points. We all agree on the future point, the goal we want to reach: a good life in Israel for the Jewish people and for those who tied their fate to ours. What we don’t agree on is the way to arrive at that point. And that’s fine. Some people want to get there from the Right, others believe the best way is to come from the Left, the far Right, or the far Left. They’re all legitimate directions, all straight lines. So we argue, we vote, and we move forward together.

Rows upon rows of headstones stand over the graves of soldiers in the military cemeteries. Not one of them indicates whether the soldier lying silently in the ground below was right- or left-wing, religious or secular, lived in the city or the country. Every option is represented there.

We are surrounded by millions who hate us and want to see us dead, and they couldn’t care less about our political opinions. To them, we’re all the same. And if, heaven forbid, they should succeed, we will all share the same fate.

The problem the extremists on both sides suffer from can be summed up in no more than a few words. Those on the Left, who consider themselves liberal, are indeed liberal – as long as you agree with them. Those on my side sometimes feel they have first-hand knowledge of God’s will, so that anyone who disputes them is automatically an enemy of God.

Believing in our right to the Land of Israel doesn’t make anyone a fascist, and being willing to make do with less of that land doesn’t make anyone a traitor. They are all patriots who love the country, each in their own way.

The chatter on social media is vulgar and violent. It is infiltrating and polluting our life. A little civility, a little tolerance, never hurt anyone. We can debate each other, we can disagree, but in the end we’re all in the same boat.

Marit Danon, the loyal secretary to five prime ministers, worked with my father for five years. She never voted for him. He was well aware of that fact, but it didn’t make the slightest difference to him. For her part, Marit loved him with all her heart, knew he was doing what he believed was best for the country, but continued to think otherwise. Neither of them ever doubted the patriotism of the other or imagined they were less devoted to Israel. They worked together and held different opinions, and that’s all there was to it. It was as simple as that. Rational and normal.

As I said, many straight lines can pass through two points.

Translated by Sara Kitai.

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