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.
Look, I wish the Israeli raid on the so-called “Freedom Flotilla” had ended differently. Why, I ask, didn’t Israel’s navy disable the engine of the Mavi Marmara and drag the ship into port? Who knows? The engines of the other boats were apparently disabled—or so reliable sources say.
But, frankly, when some 800 men and women, distributed over six boats after weeks and weeks of preparation, are headed towards Gaza on the wings of slogan and hysteria, you don’t take that many chances. Somebody has trouble in mind.
The first five vessels were steered quietly to the Israeli port city of Ashdod, which means that neither their passengers nor the Israeli commandos were especially provocative. The sixth ship, which had 600 activist Turkish voyeurs on board, is an entirely different story. Sponsored by an organization labeled the Humanitarian Relief Fund (I.H.H.), it is said to have ties to Al Qaeda. Which would be logical since Al Qaeda is an ally of Hamas. An intriguing tripartite liaison.
But I.H.H. is also a satrap of the ever-more-Islamist government in Istanbul, which seems, in turn, to have volunteered itself as a front for jihadism everywhere, most especially in dealing with Iran and its nuclear ambitions. There is hardly a Muslim cause that the Erdogan regime in Ankara has not taken to heart and under its belt. (Recall that Turkey kept U.S. forces from traversing Turkish soil in 2003.)
Turkey was also once an important ally of Israel, which protected it from Syrian ambitions and gave it a non-Arab friend in a sea of Arabism. Israeli commerce and Israeli military cooperation—that is, modernizing Turkish armaments and units—will not continue much longer with this still-backward country. The Israelis will be sad to lose this friend, but, in fact, they have lost it already. And this is a reciprocal loss.
It wasn’t so long ago that Turkey—Erdogan’s Turkey—aspired to membership in the European Union. They can kiss that goodbye. The Turks may now be heroes on the Arab street, but they certainly aren’t heroes in Europe’s chancelleries, which prefer controversies on paper. And, much as some E.U. states have huffed and puffed about Israel, the Union is not anxious to add nearly 80 million Muslims to what would no longer be Europe.
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!"