For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
According to Shaul Mofaz, only an Israeli peace plan will prevent terrorism (and we have given the Palestinians a permanent exemption from needing to present plans of their own). After all, everyone knows that the outbreak of the longest and cruelest period of terror ever to hit Israel (lasting about 10 years) stemmed from the absence of the Oslo initiative (and the subsequent Oslo agreement). Similarly, the terror of rockets on the western Negev stemmed from the absence of the disengagement plan (and its subsequent implementation).
Since today, due to the absence of a plan, relative quiet prevails in the south, it is necessary to again take the initiative. Only another plan will extricate the people of Israel from the unfamiliar, abnormal tranquillity they have had to contend with since the army's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.
Mofaz's diplomatic plan is a stew of rehashed ideas, most of which are either irrelevant or will never be implemented, that various people have tossed into the political debate in recent years. The reason the diplomatic "meditations" of the chairman of the organization of truthful politicians even deserves consideration stems from the positive, sometimes even enthusiastic, response with which the initiative has been received.
Only in Israel could a former chief of staff who failed both ethically and operationally in a long war on terror, and then became a hapless defense minister (who predicted that the disengagement would bring an end to the Qassam rockets, and then contended with such impressive success with the thousands of missiles of "peace and quiet" that were fired at Negev residents), be taken seriously by the public rather than being seen as a political adventurer. Only in Israel could a politician who cheated his party and his voters (saying that Likud was his home and then defecting to Kadima) almost win the leadership of another major party and then vie for the prime minister's crown ("as prime minister, I will have the right to implement the plan").
The torchbearers of Mofaz's prophetic vision (who, in their prior incarnations, embraced the visions of eminent seers like Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak and others) tell the public that well-known experts reinforced his sense of urgency (we need the courage to change before disaster strikes) about coming out with a "peace plan." The position papers from which his plan derives were prepared by think tanks. It would be interesting to know who those think tanks are - because think tanks worthy of the name would make their case with facts and figures and show the prime ministerial aspirant that suicide bombers and Qassam rockets exploded in our midst in the wake of "peace plans," not because of their absence.
There is almost no important detail in Mofaz's innovative plan that has not been discussed in the past with the Palestinians and rejected out of hand. Genuine research would have revealed that. Such research would also have discovered that in response to every one of the "plans" conceived in Israel with the goal of avoiding "diplomatic stalemate" (plans whose guiding principle always involved concessions on Israel's part), the Palestinians only hardened their stance. Instead of seeing these plans as a demonstration of Israel's sincere desire for peace, they viewed them, and with justification, as a product of weakness.
More than once, the Palestinians have reacted to these plans with outbursts of lethal terror. And why should they respond to them in any other way, when they know that rejecting these plans, and certainly if coupled with violence, will lay the groundwork for the next concession-filled plan, including the absurd idea (which Mofaz includes in his plan) of giving the Palestinians territory within the Green Line?
Judging by the reception Mofaz's plan has won, those who didn't want him as chairman of the Kadima party could get him in the future as prime minister. Then Israel, not America, would be known as the land of unlimited opportunity, at least for politicians without backbone. But given the stringent demands the public makes of its leaders - integrity, vision, adherence to goals, leadership skills and strategic understanding - actually, why not Mofaz? .
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"