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.
In its June 22 edition, the Washington Post runs an article by Jerusalem correspondent Janine Zacharia that depicts Israelis mired in malaise about their country's "deepening isolation" -- with only an Elton John concert as a brief morale-booster. To say the least, this is a jeremiad out of sync with reality. It totally ignores Israel's many successes as a thriving player on the world stage ("In Israel, a deepening isolation -- Nation fears it may be in danger of losing its most improtant ally: The United States" page A8)
Zacharia sets the funereal tone right from the start when she writes in her lead paragraph that "in Israel, where many feel more shunned than they have in decades, the legendary pop icon's decision to perform in Tel Aviv was cause for celebration."
And she goes on in the same vein that "after weeks of dreary reports about artists caving to calls to boycott Israel, Israeli diplomats being expelled by friendly allies, and even pressure from the United States to change course in Gaza, John allowed Israel an opportunity 'for three hours,' as one music reviewer put it, 'to be a normal country.'''
Well, we get the picture: In Israel these days it's Oy Veh all the way, according to Zacharia.
However, her article is deeply flawed. By selectively assembling a few international minuses, it presents only half the picture, at most. And it turns into a caricature by carefully omitting and ignoring Israel's many international strengths and accomplishments.
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!"