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.
Last week, the IDF released evidence of Hizbullah stockpiling of weaponry in populated civilian areas of southern Lebanon. The IDF material showed an aerial map of the Shi'ite town of El Khiam. The map showed details of a developed military infrastructure woven into the fabric of the town's civilian population.
While the precise details were new, the fact of Hizbullah's use of civilian areas as bases for its military reconstruction after 2006 is by now no longer a major revelation.
The fact of this activity is not seriously in doubt. It is in direct contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war. The mechanisms by which Hizbullah and its allies act to neutralize the 12,000 strong international force tasked with preventing the movement's military activities in Lebanon's south have also been in evidence over the last couple of weeks.
Tensions have been steadily rising between elements of the UNIFIL forces deployed in south Lebanon (specifically - the French contingent) and supporters of Hizbullah's "resistance." A number of incidents have taken place. On June 29, UNIFIL conducted a 36-hour deployment exercise.
In the days that followed, members of the French contingent were attacked in the village of Touline by a crowd which pelted them with rocks, sticks and eggs.
On Saturday, July 3, in the village of Kabrikha, a gathering of around 100 civilians blocked the road, preventing a French UNIFIL patrol from entering the village. The soldiers were reportedly disarmed, and a number were injured. The Lebanese army eventually intervened to separate the crowd from the patrol. Villagers interviewed after the incidents claimed that UNIFIL troops had tried to enter homes - a claim which a spokesman for the UN forces denied.
Michael Williams, UN special coordinator for Lebanon, meanwhile, described the incidents as "clearly organized."
Williams was correct. Mobs of 100 civilians do not suddenly appear by accident in southern Lebanon. It is not an area known for its liberal attitudes toward freedom of political association. In the Shi'ite villages of the area, the only force able to march, demonstrate and make its presence felt is the "resistance" - that is Hizbullah - and its allies.
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!"