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.
After a three year slumber, the divest-from-Israel "movement" in the US is making an attempt at self-resurrection. It remains to be seen if history will repeat itself this time as tragedy or farce.
"Boycott, divestment and sanctions," or BDS, originally just one of many competing tactics used by anti-Israel activists and organizations over the last 30 years, became a galvanizing force for Israel's foes between 2001 (when BDS was endorsed as the tactic of choice at the UN's now infamous Durban "human rights" conference) and 2004 (when the Presbyterian Church in the US voted in favor of "selective divestment" of its retirement fund from companies doing business in Israel).
It was during this period that BDS crashed onto the national scene with divestment petitions appearing at Harvard and MIT, followed by copycat petition-driven divestment projects cropping up at dozens of other US campuses. As these university divestment calls were making news, a 2004 vote within the Presbyterian Church in favor of divestment was followed by similar activities within other mainline Protestant churches as divestment began to spill out from campuses and churches to municipalities and unions. Globally, it appeared, BDS as a political project was on the ascendant.
Yet once the initial euphoria on the part of Israel's critics and hysteria on the part of its defenders had died down, there appeared to be a lot less to BDS than was initially hoped or feared.
From 2001 until today, not one US college or university has divested a single share of stock based on demands from divest-from-Israel activists. And while divestment was facing both rejection and denunciation from college administrators, it also failed to sway students and teachers on campuses where anti-divestment petitions routinely out-polled pro-divestment ones by a factor of 10:1.
Off campus, the lack of popularity for divestment was even more pronounced. In Somerville, Massachusetts, the only US city where a divestment vote was actually held by city officials, its leaders rejected divestment unanimously. The Presbyterian Church, which put a vote on divestment directly to members at its 2006 conference, rejected the its previous 2004 position by a margin of 95:5.
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!"