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 Group of Eight summit in Canada issued a communiqué on June 26 that is remarkably favorable and supportive of Israel's stance on Gaza and the peace process.
The communique, which expresses the views of the United States, Canada, Japan, Britain, Germany France, Italy and Russia, deals with major global issues and challenges, among them the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Here's what it has to say on that topic:
1. It calls for moving from current proximity talks ,with U.S. envoy George Mitchell having to shuttle between the parties, to direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians -- something that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has steadfastly resisted, but a course Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has advocated for many months.
2. It expresses deep regret at the loss of life during the May 31 flotilla incident, but pointedly does not hold Israel responsible for the lethal outcome -- a slap at Turkish, UN and Arab leaders who immediately blamed Israel in disregard of clear evidence that violence-bent radical passengers brutally beat Israeli commandos before a single shot was fired.
3. It "welcomes" Israel's creation of an independent public commission to investigate the flotilla events, with international participation, and expects it will bring to light all the facts. There is no mention in the communiqué of any need for a separate international/UN inquiry a la Goldstone kangaroo court, as favored by Abbas but rejected by Netanyahu.
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!"