Yariv Oppenheimer: “I fear for what will happen if we hand over Hebron.”
Former Peace Now director in a conversation with Rabbi Chaim Navon
Raphael Levy | November 10, 2019
OTS Derech Avot Boys’ High School in Efrat hosted a discussion between former Peace Now director, Yariv Oppenheimer, and the rabbi of Modiin’s Kehilat Shimshoni, Chaim Navon. The yeshiva high school explained that the pair was invited as part of the school’s activities to learn about and commemorate the anniversary of the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
In his opening comments, Oppenheimer gave his opinion about how the Religious-Zionist camp acted before the disengagement from the Gaza Strip, and also expressed his fear for the future. “One cannot ignore the fact that the Religious-Zionist camp reacted maturely to the disengagement, but I fear for what will happen if we hand Hebron over to the Arabs.” Rabbi Chaim Navon replied: “Religious-Zionists began a process of introspection, but the Left-wing’s accusations did not cease for one moment, causing the process to come to a halt.”
Asked to comment on the public confrontations taking place in the public sphere at this time, Oppenheimer surprised the students when he expressed his opposition to operating public transport on Shabbat all over the country. “As soon as there is a dominant sector in a particular location, we have to respect it and therefore I have no wish to begin public transportation on Shabbat all over the country.”
Continuing on from Oppenheimer’s comments, Rabbi Navon noted that despite the feeling of the public, “our situation is not as bad as we make it out to be, even though there are certainly issues that need to be addressed. There have been long periods of time in the history of the State of Israel when there was extreme tension and disagreement among the people. Yet now, the division between Right and Left is far better than what we feel it to be.”
In their concluding remarks, they both wished to convey a message that it is possible to have a fierce, ideological, value-laden disagreement but to listen to one’s opponent, have a respectful dialogue and avoid any kind of physical or verbal violence.