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.
R. Stewart Weiss Guest Columnist/JPost 17 December 09
Israel Television aired a documentary last week on the saga of Gilad Schalit entitled A Family Held Hostage. Yet a sequel to this tense and tortuous no-win situation in which we all find ourselves might aptly be called A Nation Held Hostage. For if our soldier is freed at the cost of unleashing hundreds of unrepentant, bloodthirsty terrorists upon our civilian population, it is the entire country which will become the victim, having capitulated to an extortion scheme unparalleled in the history of democratic nations.
Freeing the worst of the terrorists - in particular, mass-murderer Marwan Barghouti - will not only result in the invariable murder of many, many more innocents and encourage a new wave of kidnappings; it will undermine the very foundations of our society. How can we maintain faith in a system of justice that pardons the worst crimes imaginable due to blackmail by hoodlums, aided by intense pressure from the media? What message do we send our children when we take our most cherished ideals - right and wrong, the sanctity of life, reward and punishment - and turn them upside-down, dashing them upon the rock of expediency?
Is there any other civilized nation in this world which would free its worst criminals to pay a ransom? Would America let Charles Manson out of jail in response to one of his crazed followers kidnapping someone else? Would Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassin be set free? What about Carlos the Jackal, or Yigal Amir, for that matter? I'm only thankful that this government was not around when Adolf Eichmann was put on trial; they might have freed him, too, if some neo-Nazis had succeeded in abducting a soldier. Perverting the course of justice returns us to the law of the jungle, where victims' next-of-kin will have to exact the punishment which society should have carried out.
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!"