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.
Civilization is a code, and while we easily fall into the habit of assuming that civilized norms are universal, they are limited to the civilized. Kindness, humility and reaching out to the enemy are valid behaviors only when they are likely to be reciprocated. Practicing that code toward nations and cultures which markedly refuse to be civilized, is the same thing as painting a target on your own back.
Because civilized codes of conduct only work when they are reciprocal. They allow us to treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves and permit us to find common ground based on underlying principles. But to those who choose to be outside the code, such concessions are a weakness. Not a sign of moral strength, but physical cowardice. To the Muslim who has been raised on the tales of the Koranic conquests of Mohammed and his successors, only force represents moral truth. In the Koran, the infidels negotiate in good faith, while Muslims negotiate in bad faith. That is because Islam was meant to supersede the old tribal codes with a superior moral system, based not on honor, but on submission to Allah and Mohammed.
What we might consider foul treachery, was to the Muslim only a means to an end. Because moral behavior no longer had anything to do with trust, only with forcing more victims to submit to Islam. Negotiating in good faith was itself a symptom of a lack of faith. For the true Muslim could never honestly accept any enduring compromise with an infidel that would lessen the temporal power of Islam. He could only do so as a stratagem for weakening the infidel. To do otherwise would be blasphemy and heresy, two charges still commonly raised in the Muslim world against their own leaders who make even the appearance of honest negotiations with Western leaders. Meanwhile the willingness of the infidels to negotiate in good faith, in the Muslim worldview only demonstrated their lack of faith.
Paradoxically the willingness to negotiate in bad faith, to betray and assassinate shows a commitment to something greater. While negotiating in good faith and treating your enemy kindly shows a lack of confidence and principles. This attitude is not unique to Muslim fanatics, it is just as ubiquitous the left of our own cities, which considers radicalism and ruthless terrorism the mark of a true revolutionary conscience. From Lenin to Mao to Che, Communists ridiculed and murdered those who were not willing to be as ruthlessly amoral as them.
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!"