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.
In contrast to my rather gloomy assessment of the Obama Administration’s prospects in the Middle East, Israel’s prospects look rather good. This is granted, of course, that the chances for any formal peace (note the word “formal”) with the Arab states or the Palestinians are close to zero. In addition there are two longer-term threats in the form of Iranian nuclear weapons and Islamists one day taking over one or more Arab states.
But let’s enjoy ourselves while we can. It’s also important to remember in the Middle East, optimism does not mean forecasting blue skies but merely ones only lightly overcast.
It’s funny, though, how much better Israel’s situation is then it’s generally perceived. Consider the pluses:
--The potential of a clash with the United States has been averted, most likely for the remainder of President Barack Obama’s term. All the lessons received by the United States in the region—to whatever extent it learned them—are favorable to Israel, showing how ready Israel is to help U.S. efforts at the same time as demonstrating how hard it is to get peace and how limited is the other’s side’s cooperation or flexibility. The possibility of U.S. rapprochement with Iran or Syria has been destroyed by the latter
--On the surface the situation with Israel looks dreadful but where it counts the support is sufficient. France, Germany, and Italy have friendly governments while in Britain an acceptably positive regime is about to be replaced by a warmer one. (It helps to have low expectations.)
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!"