I don't think I'm alone in saying that the role of the Jew this week was to explain himself. That's certainly what I ended up doing alot and from the looks of everyone with a voice or a blog or an email list or a column in a newspaper or magazine, we were doing a lot of explaining. We were explaining ourselves from the left and from the right and from the middle and from the edges to the center of exasperation. We were explaining ourselves on every continent, in every country, in every language, to each and every generation.
The Israelis themselves have a special word for explaining--hasbarah--and even that strategic use of information has been scrutinized and criticized beyond recognition for whatever it is it may officially or unofficially be trying to convey about the Gaza Flotilla 2010.
With the Rachel Corrie heading for Gaza as of this writing, its passengers having rebuffed a joint Israeli-Irish compromise to sail the vessel to Ashdod's port for inspection, Gaza Flotilla 2010 will continue to sail along into the Turbulent Waters of Explanation.
And as I prepare for Shabbat, I have one conclusion: the explaining doesn't help solve the problem at hand.
Two States, the only solution which requires no explanation but talking and risk taking and negotiation, is the only reliable answer to this week's events.
Israel is the only body that has the power to say and its Prime Minister should have the courage to say:
"We get it. We want peace. We'll lift the blockade of Gaza now. We'll sit at negotiations now. We will support a Palestinian state on modified pre-1967 borders. Let's agree to free each other from this terrible mess and work together to build a peaceful region."
They could even say, "We sailed into a trap. You got us. You drew us in and made us look bad. Well done! A victory for you! But in declaring two states dedicated to living side by side in peace, we both acknowledge battles we've won but this is a war where we are both declared the victors. A war that ends with two states."
The explainers will say, "But they want our eradication! They'll never accept our right to exist! The rockets will continue!"
And if they do, well, we know what Israel is capable of responding with. More pain. Which will require more explanation.
Two states needs no explanation. It's an action that is 43 years overdue. And if the Palestinians reject it now, let them explain themselves for a while.
I'm tired of talking.