So much hate, so many bombs, missiles and bullets -- yet we have barely managed to scratch one another. The subjective feeling experienced by the members of both nations is absolute fear, not only of dying, but also of being eradicated as a nation -- a longtime Jewish fear, transferred in the past 35 years to our Palestinian neighbors.
Simple arithmetic shows that neither side is going to be erased that quickly. If this war will end only after one of the sides has been destroyed, the two nations would have to repeat the cycle of violence of the past year and a half for 1,500 years. And that wouldn't do it, either. In the meantime, more Israeli soldiers and new Palestinian suicide bombers would have been born. Therefore, despite the fear, we really have nothing to worry about. As far as history is concerned, both sides can bleed the other dry for ever and a day, and still continue to survive. Nations tend to survive. What seems to be gone forever is hope for coexistence. It has been suffering mortal wounds for more than a year, but after the past week, the fearful on both sides are finally willing to confirm its death.
Etgar Keret is the author of The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God & Other Stories. This piece was translated from Hebrew by Rachel Avital.