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.
For those who have asked why JINSA has kept Honduras in the spotlight since June, this is why: small democratic countries trying mightily to exercise legitimate governance and self-determination deserve our vocal support even - or especially - when they do things the U.S. would prefer they didn't. Honduras is one of these countries, as is Israel. We have been surprised by the lack of Israeli interest in the democratic exercise of sovereign rights by Honduras, and especially in the lack of interest in the pressure exerted by the U.S. government to force compliance with America's wishes.
The presidential and legislative election held in Honduras yesterday provides an opportunity for American administration to walk back its decision to punish the small, poor Central American country for ousting its then-president Manuel Zelaya last June as he tried to pave the way for multiple terms, in violation of the Honduran constitution. The election included only candidates nominated long before Zelaya's ouster - and the interim president, who was never a candidate, removed himself from public view in the last week of the campaign.
The first decision of Team Obama back then was knee-jerk support for the radical line - joining Chavez, Ortega and Castro calling the ouster, authorized by the Honduran Supreme Court and legislature, a coup. Then, in swift succession a) agreeing to the suspension of Honduras from the OAS; b) withdrawing accreditation from Honduran Ambassador Roberto Flores; c) withholding foreign aid; d) threatening Honduran access to previously awarded Millennium Challenge grants; e) refusing a diplomatic visa to the interim president for his visit to the UN General Assembly (a violation of UN rules); and e) using the American Ambassador in Honduras as point man to threaten Honduras's future relations with Washington.
It was distinctly more American pressure than was applied to the Iranian government as it stole an election and punished demonstrators with arrest, torture and death.
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!"