62-year-old former speaker of Israel's Knesset.
Shalom – my name is Avraham Burg. I was born in 1955 in Jerusalem and I’ve had the privilege of having lived on both sides of the watershed of Israel.
I was born into the first 19 years of Israeli normalcy and most of my life I lived in a situation in which my state of Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza – despite the will of the Palestinian people and against their motivation for self-determination. Most of my life is dedicated to changing this reality and to go back to my early childhood and the better years of Israel.
As a matter of fact, I believe that peace will appear one day – deus ex machina. All of a sudden it will be here. Nobody will expect it; nobody will know where it comes from and all of a sudden it will be here.
I witnessed it once when President Sadat [of Egypt] visited Israel. Only four years earlier, I fought against him at Sinai as a young solider. He was feared to death by the Egyptian military and all of a sudden he became a hero.
I saw it happening out of the first intifada – the Palestinian uprising. Out of nowhere Oslo came [the Oslo Accords] as a top-down peace, and 70% of both populations were carried on the wings of euphoria. And I believe the next one will come in the same way.
One day many people will create the critical mass and say “enough is enough – let’s go the other way” – and the other way is peace.