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.
Jonathan Spyer is not your typical Israeli journalist and political analyst. He has a PhD in International Relations, he fought in Lebanon during the summer war of 2006, then went back to Lebanon as a civilian on a second passport.
I can’t say I felt particularly brave venturing into Hezbollah’s territory along the Lebanese-Israeli border, but it takes guts for Israelis to go there. If Hezbollah caught him and figured out who he was, he would have been in serious trouble.
No one he met in Lebanon knew where he was from. Everyone thought he was British. And no one in Israel but his friends and colleagues knew he went back to Lebanon on his own. He decided, though, that he may as well “out” himself on my blog. His secret journey will soon be revealed anyway when his book comes out in November called The Transforming Fire: The Rise of the Israel-Islamist Conflict.
We met in Jerusalem this month and discussed his two trips to Lebanon—with and without a passport—and the perfect Iranian storm brewing on the horizon.
MJT: So why did you go back to Lebanon?
Jonathan Spyer: Lebanon is a fascinating place, and I wanted to visit for all sorts of reasons. I especially wanted to get back to where we were during the war. There is a green valley, which I imagine you know very well, between the towns of Khiam and Marjayoun.
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!"