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 month the White House pulled out the red carpet to welcome Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, but the charm campaign is a new phenomenon. Less than six months ago, the U.S.-Israel relationship was in deep trouble.
On March 9, Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Israel and was told of an administrative announcement by the Ministry of Interior approving one of the first stages toward the construction of 1,600 apartments in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood in northern Jerusalem. The announcement represented no dramatic change of policy or diplomatic message. But the Americans responded as if it was a deliberate high-level slap in the face, and the Israeli government apologized profusely.
After two days of condemnations from the White House followed by Israel’s profuse apologies, it appeared that the crisis was over. On March 11, the Associated Press reported that Biden “attempted to soothe tensions in a speech extolling the countries’ close relationship, signaling the U.S. wants to move beyond an embarrassing diplomatic spat over settlements that tarnished his three-day visit.”
Biden noted that the prime minister had “clarified that the beginning of actual construction on this particular project would likely take several years. … That’s significant because it gives negotiators the time to resolve this as well as other outstanding issues.” Press accounts reported that Netanyahu had called Biden on Thursday morning, “and both agreed the crisis is behind them.”
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!"