What Israelis are hoping for in 2018

World Israel News asked Israeli academics and diplomats as well as family members and friends about their expectations and hopes for 2018.  

By Steve Leibowitz, World Israel News

Ambassador Danny Ayalon (former deputy foreign minister) – I expect a continued stalemate with the Palestinians. I do think that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will depart the scene, but I do not envision any progress or reconciliation. The Palestinians will mend their relations with the US because of the aid money. Political warfare BDS will intensify.  Regionally, we must keep a close eye on Syria and Lebanon, and much depends on the internal situation in Iran

Amotz Asa-el (journalist and political commentator) – The new year finds the region extremely fragile. The name of the game is Iran. How will it rise or fall? Israel’s task is to be very vigil but  careful to stay out of the fray. Iranian developments will be key for the region.

Prof. Avraham Diskin (political scientist) – It will be an interesting year. The internal fate of the Israeli governing coalition will be decided this year and we could very well go to elections. The new year’s activities will largely be determined by the decision of the attorney general on whether to indict Prime Minister Netanyahu. We must closely watch will happen to Netanyahu in 2018 and what will happen to President Donald Trump and his presidency.

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Dr. Gershon Baskin (Palestinian affairs expert) – I am hoping for and expecting a leadership change in 2018 for Israel and the Palestinians. That’s the only hope for progress towards peace.  2018 should be a critical year in making a decision about the 50-year Israeli “occupation” of the West Bank.

Dan Diker (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) – In 2018 Israel is going to be challenged on its northern and southern borders. The key is halting the Iranian penetration in the north and in Gaza as well. The Palestinians are somewhat isolated and Iran is stepping into the void. This will also be the year of political war against the BDS-propagated apartheid libel.

Ash Jb  (Facebook friend) – I pray that 2018 will see the people of Israel stay safe. I hope that peace prevails and the violence from our war-mongering neighbors disappears. Israel is the only country in the region that craves peace. Inside Israel we must learn to co-exist in harmony.

Arnie Draiman (consultant to philanthropies) – I believe 2018 will be a year of economic growth and freedom. I see that philanthropic foundations have more confidence and are more active in supporting non-profits. I am looking forward to a great year.

Yonaton Behar  (Facebook friend, Har Bracha) – Wishing for a year of continued growth and happiness!

Jonathan Hauser  (Local businessman) – I am wishing for us all a year in which success won’t be measured in the absence of war and economic depression, but rather it will be measured in true progress and success. I hope we will appreciate each other as well as our currency. I am looking forward to prosperity of our relationships and our businesses. Health and happiness for all residents of this oversized tiny community called Israel.

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Sara Farber (Facebook friend, Jerusalem) – I hope that in 2018 we, the Jewish people, achieve unity and with a unified voice we wage peace with ourselves, our neighbors, our God, and the world!  I am also anticipating some good old fun in turn. Happy New Year!

Moran Kronberg (daughter-in-law, translated from Hebrew) – I hope we change our government in 2018 and that the new government is less corrupt. No more needless and avoidable war.

Lawrence Chariton (Facebook friend, New York) – I hope that in 2018 the world will realize that terms of engagement determine that when one nation is attacked by three other nations, any land liberated in the defense of that nation could and should be annexed. May the miracle that G0d helped make happen in 1967 by the return of all of Judea and Samaria be declared everlasting in 2018.

Timna Medina (daughter, translated from Hebrew) – 2018 should be a year of equality and accessibility for all people in Israel.

Simon Levy (brother-in-law, translated from Hebrew) – I hope that in 2018 we are granted leaders who place the welfare of the people and the state in first place, and that we learn to accept one another.

Yonah Mishaan (football player recovering from illness) – In 2018 I’d like people to understand that waking up in the morning and enjoying your life and family is better than hating everything. I want to be back on the football field.

Ruti Eastman (Facebook friend) –  My prayer is that in 2018 finally, finally, those with wisdom should be listened to and their sensible ideas implemented, and that the entrenched custom of appeasement for the sake of global love and acceptance should be discarded, wrapped in last decade’s old newspapers. Here’s to life, freedom, family, clarity, and an honest appraisal of what Israel is and ought to be in the world.

Nadia Levine (community activist) – I am hoping and praying for peace in Israel in 2018. I have been hoping and praying for this forever. I hope that people in this region will start listening to and hearing what others are saying instead of just talking over one another. We must all try to open our hearts and try to understand the other’s predicament. I am hoping that something big shifts in our region.