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.
A week ago, in the aftermath of the failed attempt by a Turkish flotilla to defy Israel's maritime quarantine of the Gaza Strip and the ensuing deaths of nine Turkish mercenaries on board, foreign ministers of the 27-nation European Union agreed that Israel's blockade of the Hamas-governed enclave was "unsustainable" and "politically counterproductive." Meeting in Luxembourg, they heard Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign-policy czar, proclaim that Gaza's "dangerous isolation" had to end.
Since then, in the face of withering pressure to abandon the blockade altogether, Jerusalem has acceded to demands for a published list of goods (weapons, war materiel, and "dual-use" items) not permitted into Gaza, with all others allowed.
The arguments advanced by the EU ministers, and by the many in the West who think like them, assume different forms. Some, even while stipulating the absence of any humanitarian crisis in Gaza, assert a need for life there to return to "normalcy." Others go farther, declaring categorically that the policy of isolating Gaza has backfired—that, instead of leading to the collapse of Hamas and its replacement by something better, it has strengthened the group's autocratic stranglehold and hardened its belligerence toward Israel. In this conception, "engaging" the rulers of Gaza will create an opening to persuade them to moderate their harsh policies. A final plank in the argument is that dealing with Hamas will advance the cause of, in the words of the EU ministers, "Palestinian reconciliation behind President Mahmoud Abbas," the leader of the comparatively more moderate Fatah government in the West Bank.
What reason exists to believe any of this is true?
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!"