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.
Why was Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu suddenly invited to meet with President Barack Obama next week? There are three very different reasons.
One is the Obama Administration’s realization that its harsh policy toward Israel has been mistaken and has yielded it no diplomatic benefit. Another is the knowledge that this policy is very unpopular among Americans in general as well as American Jews in particular. With November elections coming up, the White House wants to cut its losses.
There is also, however, a third reason which relates to substantive issues. The White House wants to hear from Netanyahu what his views and plans are regarding negotiations with the Palestinians. The Obama Administration is eager for progress on indirect talks, hopeful of moving to direct talks (which Netanyahu very much wants to do), and is also looking at longer-range possibilities.
My view is that Netanyahu should stress the following: Israel wants peace and is willing to agree to a two-state solution. But here’s what we want in return, so go to the Palestinians and see what they are willing to give in exchange for an independent state.
At this point, he explains the need to recognize Israel as a Jewish state; demilitarization of any Palestinian state (which I would call “nonmilitarization,” meaning that it keeps existing security forces but doesn’t build separate, conventional armed forces); that any agreement will permanently end the conflict and all Palestinian claims; and that all refugees must be resettled in the state of Palestine. He must also explain in detail what Israel wants in terms of security guarantees.
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!"