Looking for the ‘25th hour’

Former chief peace negotiator and head of numerous influential boards, Attorney Gilead Sher’s only lament is that there is not enough time in the day.

FOR GILEAD Sher, the most difficult professional moment is realizing that even the judicial system can fail to serve justice. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
FOR GILEAD Sher, the most difficult professional moment is realizing that even the judicial system can fail to serve justice.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
 What issue gets you out of bed in the morning? The consistent, irritating daily voice telling me that I should not get into my running shoes this morning.
What issue keeps you up at night? The missing 25th hour in the day.
What’s the most difficult professional moment you’ve faced so far? There are these frustrating moments when you realize that the judicial system is incapable of providing justice precisely in the cases that it is most required.
How do you celebrate your achievements? With a big smile, subrogated by comprehension that our moments of satisfaction are passing rapidly and the next challenge lies already ahead.
If you were prime minister, what’s the first thing you would do? Memorize the 1948 Israeli Declaration of Independence and draw my work plan with a view to implement its principles.
Which Israeli should have a movie made about him/her? My father, Yoel Sher, who at 81 is the most Israeli, cosmopolitan, humanitarian, courageous, warm, knowledgeable person I have ever known. A truly devoted Zionist with outstanding integrity in public service and a life story that reads like a script.
What would you change about Israelis if you could? I would add compassion and tolerance to the characteristic set of Israelis’ virtues.
IPad, BlackBerry or pen and paper? All of the above.
If you had to write an advertisement to entice tourists to come to Israel, what would it say? There should be something in the air above Israel and the water we drink that make this modest 0.11 percent of the world’s population so extraordinarily unique. Israel excels globally in science, research, art, technology, innovation, music, entrepreneurship, desertification, business, immigrant absorption and so forth. And we live longer: Israel has the fourth-longest life expectancy in the world. Where else would you find an accumulation of such phenomena? What is the most serious problem facing the country? Withholding the risk to the Zionist vision in the form of a binational state, the demographic threat, and the “right of return.” Ensuring the future of the State of Israel as the secure, democratic nation state of the Jewish people, based on humanitarian values and liberalism.
How can it be solved? Israel must adopt a proactive policy to delineate its borders so that they will reflect its foundations: a democratic state with a Jewish majority.
It should therefore advance simultaneously with two major policy efforts that support one another: One is to pursue a negotiated solution with the Palestinians, and the other is to take constructive, independent steps whose purpose is to delineate a border and to promote a regional situation of two states for two peoples. If the negotiation attempt fails to result in understandings with the Palestinians, Israel must start to implement the independent steps in a gradual, controlled and intelligent fashion.
In 20 years, the country will be: The Jewish prayer book contains a modern prayer – written only 65 years ago – for the well-being of the state, and it reads: “Establish peace in the land, and everlasting joy for its inhabitants.”
Then, too, there was no peace, but the phrase carries with it throughout the years the hope that the situation will change. In 20 years, let us hope that we will peacefully and securely live our life as individuals and as a nation among nations, an or lagoyim (“light unto the nations”), equal and liberal society.
Name: Gilead Sher Age: 60 Profession: Attorney.
Chairman of the Board of Sapir Academic College, Former Israeli Chief Peace Negotiator, Head of the INSS Center for Negotiations (CAN ), Former Head of Bureau and Policy Coordinator of Israel’s prime minister, Co-chairman of Blue White Future.
Place of Birth: Kibbutz Mahanayim Current Residence: Caesarea