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.
Marc Lynch's essay this morning is quite long, but necessarily so: in addition to discussing Jeff's article, he needs room to make sure that we get the real point, which is to blame Israel for everything. Everything.
A couple of lines give the game away. One is the analysis that "Turkey's star suddenly ascended after Prime Minister Recep Erdogan challenged Israel over its war against Gaza." Israel pulled every single settler and every single soldier out of Gaza in the summer of 2005. From 2006 through 2008, Hamas and other terrorist groups shot more than 5,500 mortars and rockets into Israel, and at the end of 2008 ended a truce then in effect for six months. To describe Israel's response to this series of events as "Israel's war against Gaza" is not so much to simplify as to reveal an inability to understand the Israeli predicament.
There is also this: "the Netanyahu government and its allies have done almost everything possible to undermine this administration's trust. ... why destroy his relationship with America at such a pivotal moment?" Marc ignores the opinion polls showing that something under 10% of Israelis now trust Obama, for that striking figure does not fit the story line. Is it possible, is it conceivable, that Obama has done something to undermine Israeli trust in his Administration's policies and world view? Not to Marc. Then there's this: "if Israel's leadership genuinely believes that Iran poses the greatest existential threat which Israel has ever faced, ... why has it taken so many steps over the last year and a half to alienate the world and to isolate itself?" So many steps. Are the partial freeze on construction in settlements (called "unprecedented" by the Obama Administration), permission for thousands of Israeli Arabs to shop once again in the West Bank and help its economy grow, and removal of scores of barriers to mobility in the West Bank, among them? Presumably they don't count for Marc, as they do not count for anyone disposed to blame Israel for everything.
The bottom line is clear: if Israel were to act to prevent a government that has pledged to eliminate the Jewish State from obtaining the means to do so -- i.e. nuclear weapons -- after every other effort to do so had failed (IAEA, UN Security Council, P5+1, even the demands of Barack Obama), Israel would be to blame. So, Marc tells us, if Israel strikes the Iranian nuclear weapons program "then the effects on Israel's relationship with the United States should be devastating." This is not descriptive, it is normative: should be devastating. Hope springs eternal, I guess.
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!"