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.
This weekend’s release of thousands of secret official files about coalition operations in Afghanistan paints a harrowing picture of the fog of war, most troubling of all of the accidental killings by our soldiers of hundreds of innocent civilians – revellers at wedding parties, kids in school buses, ordinary people going about their daily business who tragically found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Given that the Taliban systematically hides behind the civilian population this sort of thing is, of course, inevitable. Nonetheless, it is understandable that the revelations by Wikileaks have caused embarrassment to the governments of all the coalition countries.
But for those coalition countries in Europe – Britain first among them – who are currently cheerleading the passage of the Goldstone Report on Gaza through the United Nations this is more than an embarrassment. In the light of Goldstone, it represents an outright threat to the security of their soldiers on the ground as well as to their national interests in international tribunals.
In my experience, the MidEast crowd at the British Foreign Office and its equivalents elsewhere in Europe tend to be a little on the slow side. So, let me spell this out so there is no ambiguity.
International laws, norms and procedures to a great extent operate on the basis of precedent. So when Britain and other European countries allowed the Arab dictatorships to push a report through the United Nations specifically designed to criminalise the Israeli military’s attempts to deal with terrorists hiding behind a civilian population in Gaza, they simultaneously set a precedent for all countries, including their own.
Now that it has been revealed — via official documents — that British soldiers, for example, have been involved in exactly the same kind of operations against exactly the same kind of terror groups using exactly the same tactics and resulting in exactly the same kind of outcomes in terms of the loss of civilian lives, British soldiers and ministers could face exactly the same kind of censure and penalties as Israel.
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!"