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.
One of our ideas was to block Israel's major Tel-Aviv – Jerusalem highway in the Latrun area. It was summer, 5755 (1995) and the Zo Artzeinu movement that I headed was set to block major roads throughout Israel in an attempt to stop Oslo in its track. We were on the lookout for creative ways to get the public to understand the dangers of the impending collapse. We pored over maps of Israel and found the point where the broad Tel-Aviv – Jerusalem highway exits the boundaries of the "Green Line" and cuts through "Occupied Territory." Our idea was to declare a new state there.
I was reminded of that episode when I heard of the Israel High Court decision to allow Arabs from Judea and Samaria to travel on highway 443, another major artery between Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem.
I don't understand why everybody is so upset. After all, immediately upon retiring from his position as Chief Justice of the High Court, Aharon Barak hurried to explain that he does not see Israel as a Jewish state, but rather, as a state of all its citizens. If that is so, how can we prevent Arabs from traveling on highway 443 on an ethnic basis? Furthermore, this distressing decision is not the first of its kind. What is the difference between highway 443 and road 557, where Meir Chai, may G-d avenge his blood, was recently murdered after the road was opened to Arab traffic? 443 is in the "occupied territories" and so is 557. Israelis travel on 443 and they travel on 557. If road 557 is opened to the Arabs of Shechem and Tul Karem even though it is clear that it will lead to the murder of Israelis, why is 443 any different?
From a purely judicial standpoint and according to the principles that Israel's courts have established, the High Court decision is logical and predictable. But let us admit the truth. The reason that the issue created such uproar is because, unlike road 557 that only endangers "settlers," highway 443 serves the illusion that the "Separation Fence" along its route provides the Israelis inside with a protected space. And then the High Court comes along and reminds all the Israelis traveling the modern highway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that they, too, are nothing more than "settlers."
If Justices Beinish and Fogelman had anticipated the public outrage with their decision, they may have decided otherwise. It seems that from the heights of their enlightened ivory tower, they do not really perceive the depth of disgust that the High Court has created in ever-widening spheres of the general public.
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!"