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.
The Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs (JCPA) has a new book about Israel's security needs. You can download it, or view various other materials, films, maps and so on, here. Or you can read Lee Smith's summary, as published at Tablet Magazine, here.
I recommend spending some time looking at their materials. By and large they are right about Israel's security needs, and the more people understand this, the better.
They are also wrong. Their conditions for peace are so far from anything the Palestinians will ever accept as to be effectively non-starters; indeed, they don't seem particularly interested in how their positions will impact a future Palestinian state. This is the reason Ehud Barak departed from the positions of his predecessors exactly ten years ago, in July 2000 at Camp David. He thought he was approaching the end of the negotiations, he expected to reach an agreement with the Palestinians to end the conflict, to partition the joint homeland, and to live in peace. This peace, he felt, would override many of the security imperatives which had informed Israel's positions until that moment.
There was an important precedent for Barak's gamble, his willingness to abandon long-held security considerations in the hope that this would enable a peace that would nullify them: The abandonment of the eastern part of the Sinai in the late 1970s. Israel went to war twice over the Tiran Straights, at the southern tip of Sinai, in 1956 and in 1967; a broad consensus of Israelis agreed that in any future peace agreement Egypt would have to accept Israel's presence at Tiran. Then, in 1978, Begin broke the mold and we've had peace with Egypt ever since. Not European-style peace, but a total lack of killing, which isn't bad. Begin accepted that peace would happen only when both sides felt they were getting an acceptable deal; the JCPA papers don't offer that to the Palestinians, so they aren't truly conditions for peace.
Yet Begin's precedent, as emulated by Ehud Barak and in 2008 by Ehud Olmert, is no longer relevant. Look at the picture used by the JCPA: a simple, stark image, which says far better than any potential set of 1000-words why there can't be peace:
That's Tel Aviv, as seen from the West Bank. Would you risk putting enemy guns on the hill the picture was taken from? And if you would, can you at least comprehend why we're not going to take your opinion very seriously, even if you're the president of the United States?
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!"