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.
Whoopty do - the ostensibly uplifting news is that our attorney-general has at long last made a pro forma move against a libel of particularly monstrous ramifications. Talk about too little too late! It took him a long time, and Menahem Mazuz has managed the grudging gesture literally only days before his six-year term ends.
It was by way of a consolation prize that he decided to support an appeal to the Supreme Court by combat soldiers and bereaved families against Israeli-Arab director Muhammad Bakri for his slanderous 2002 film Jenin, Jenin. Mazuz's announced intention to attend the hearing was meant to sweeten the pill of his refusal to indict Bakri for libel, as the Central Region District Court suggested he should in 2008.
For those who don't recall, here's a brief recap: Directly after the 2002 Pessah Seder carnage at Netanya's Park Hotel, the IDF launched Operation Defensive Shield, which spawned whopping falsehoods about war crimes by soldiers in Jenin. Bakri's pseudo-documentary was instrumental in propagating these falsehoods. After our ever-solicitous Supreme Court unanimously permitted local cinematheque screenings of Bakri's creation in 2003, soldiers and families of fallen fighters sued him for libel. The district court accepted thatJenin, Jenin was defamatory, but argued that the state, not individuals, should take legal action. Mazuz refuses to prosecute on behalf of the state, though he has magnanimously offered to side with the plaintiffs in their appeal against the lower court ruling.
The upshot is that the aggrieved soldiers, who put their lives on the line for us all - along with the kin of those soldiers who indeed gave their lives in Jenin - are turned into veritable footballs. The district judge and Mazuz agree that Jenin, Jenin is nothing but a smear job. Yet while the former insists this isn't a matter of private grievances, the latter maintains it can only be litigated as a private complaint.
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!"