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.
In political debates, it remains true that the messenger usually matters more than the message. I say this because Peter Beinart's much-discussed essay in the New York Review of Books and the reaction to it has been in substance merely a procession of the kind of cliches on liberal disaffection with Israel that anyone who has been paying attention became familiar with years ago. But because Beinart is a Jewish former editor of a steadfastly pro-Israel magazine, the New Republic, his public apostasy has garnered attention in great disproportion to the quality or originality of his complaints.
The most important requirement for joining the Israel-bashers is to charge Israel with bad faith in the course of the effort to bring peace to the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, which is the glue that holds the narrative together and makes the recriminations seem warranted. This charge has two subordinate tenets: revisionism for dealing with the past, and conspiracy theory for dealing with the present. Thus, in Beinart's telling, large numbers of Israelis are racists and authoritarians who never really wanted peace, and their political leaders are fanatics manipulating guileless Americans and Palestinians while mainstream American Jewish organizations enable them from the sidelines.
There are important matters of context missing from Beinart’s critique. He condemns the hostility some Israeli Jews have expressed toward Israeli Arabs without so much as mentioning the rise in radicalism among Israeli Arabs, to the point today where many of their political leaders -- including members of the Knesset -- have openly sided with Hamas and Hezbollah, lauded the Iranian nuclear program, supported the destruction of Israel, and participated in all manner of delegitimization and anti-Semitic incitement. These are citizens of Israel: imagine if Muslims who had been elected to the U.S. Congress were engaged in similar endorsements of America’s enemies.
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!"