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.
Reports that the Knesset is due shortly to pass a bill recognising the rights of Jewish refugees seem to have attracted little media coverage, still less comment. But one man has been sitting up and taking notice - the Palestinian commentator Rami G Khouri, writing in the Beirut Daily Star. This is what he has to say. My comment follows:
"The complexity of applying a single standard of law and morality to both sides – the critical foundation on which any successful diplomacy must proceed in the Palestinian-Israeli and wider Arab-Israeli conflict – was raised in the second development that caught my eye this week: a draft bill in the Israeli Parliament to compensate Jews who were forced out of or who fled Arab countries after the establishment of Israel in 1948.
"Among the arguments for the bill before the Immigration and Absorption Committee on Tuesday were references to a February 2008 US House of Representatives resolution saying that the United States should demand that Jewish refugees be acknowledged and treated in the same way as Palestinian refugees. The Israeli bill also demands compensation for Jewish communal properties, like synagogues and cemeteries.
"The prevalent Israeli aim in this bill is not to resolve all refugee cases fairly, but to claim that a “population exchange” between Palestinians and Jewish Israelis occurred in 1948. The point is to underline that the Palestinians have no more claims as refugees and, therefore, that there is nothing to be resolved.
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!"