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.
"I'll be honest with you, this is just really hard. This is as intractable a problem as you get ... We overestimated our ability to persuade them ... If we had anticipated some of these problems, we might not have raised expectations as high," U.S. President Barack Obama confided to Time magazine last week, regarding his efforts to advance the peace process in the Middle East. He is clearly disappointed, but insists he will continue to work on a two-state solution.
It is not just that, during this past year, Obama has learned what old Middle East hands have known all along - that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an intractable problem - but also that intractable problems do not easily get solved, if they are at all soluble, even when the president of the United States weighs in with full force.
It is hard to be optimistic regarding the continuing U.S. efforts in this matter, since the president seems to have his mind set on the two-state solution, "in which Israel is secure and the Palestinians have sovereignty." That aim has been pursued by many ever since the ill-fated Oslo Accords signed by Yitzhak Rabin and Yassir Arafat in Washington, D.C. almost 17 years ago. Whereas there might have been some reason to expect at the time that Arafat, who seemed to enjoy the support of most of the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, as well as in much of the Arab world, would be able to implement any peace agreement he might eventually sign with Israel - it turned out that he had no intentions of reaching such an agreement, and those who knew the Palestinian leader realized even then that he had no such intentions. It was another case of wishful thinking being applied to attempts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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!"