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.
The US has ratcheted up the pressure on Israel after the initial flap about Jewish building in East Jerusalem. PM Netanyahu’s apologetic response did not defuse the crisis, showing that it is not about the ‘timing’ of Israel’s announcement, but rather represents a new turn in US policy.
Not only is it assumed that the Administration wants the Ramat Shlomo project canceled, but according to the Jerusalem Post today, the US is asking for further “confidence-building” concessions from Israel, like the release of more Palestinian prisoners.
I suspect that the Palestinians understand Obama’s people better than Netanyahu does. Israel has implemented a settlement freeze in Judea and Samaria (and taken harsh actions against violations), removed roadblocks and checkpoints, and said that it will talk to the Palestinians directly and without preconditions. The Palestinians, on the other hand, insist on preconditions even for indirect talks. And, importantly, they don’t budge.
Naturally the US approach is — since they can’t move the Palestinians — to try to move Israel. The issues on which Israel and the Palestinians are the farthest apart are refugees and Jerusalem; so perhaps the administration thinks that if it can break Israel on Jerusalem, the Palestinians will soften on refugees. Perhaps the Palestinians even led them to believe this.
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!"