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.
[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA They genuflect at the end of the column ("7. And as for you, Netanyahu? Do us all a favor and cancel the building in Ramat Shlomo.") but the rest of the article is absolutely incredible.]
A few pointers for the Obama administration on the diplomatic crisis with Israel:
1. I don't support Netanyahu. I think his policies on settlements and building in east Jerusalem are wrong. I think he is stalling for time and I would genuinely like to see a comprehensive political settlement with the Palestinians. But America's response to the government's approval of 1,600 new housing units in Ramat Shlomo in northeast Jerusalem is excessive.
While it extends a hand to Iran, which continues in its effort to acquire a nuclear bomb; and reaches out to Syria as it arms Hezbollah with advanced weapons, it seems the Obama administration has made a conscious decision to aggravate a diplomatic crisis with the Netanyahu government.
True, Netanyahu may - unintentionally - have caused the crisis, which damaged U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. But now Obama's aides are refusing to relax their grip, hoping to force Israel into declaring a total freeze on building in east Jerusalem.
Washington ought to remember one thing, however: The majority of Israelis wholly oppose halting construction in east Jerusalem. They may be angry over the timing of the announcement - but most want building to continue.
So I am not at all sure that America's opposition to a democratic decision by Israel's citizens will damage Netanyahu's standing at home. In the final analysis, it will only push him further into the rightwing camp, by far the country's most powerful political force. The left and center would in any case never vote for him and the latest episode can only strengthen his image in the eyes of the right.
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!"