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.
Yesterday, in the wake of the killing of an IDF officer inside Israel by Lebanese Armed Forces personnel, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) announced that Congress would block the disbursement of $100 million in U.S. military aid to Lebanon. Lowey chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee that authorizes such funds. Similarly, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) applied a hold with concerns about "reported Hezbollah influence on the Lebanese Armed Forces."
According to The Jerusalem Post, "Berman entered his hold the day before the deadly incident, which he said only confirmed his reservations. His office also wants more information on Hezbollah's role in the LAF, how diligently U.S. weapons are kept track of and how well the LAF cooperates with UNIFIL. 'Until we know more about this incident and the nature of Hezbollah influence on the LAF - and can assure that the LAF is a responsible actor - I cannot in good conscience allow the United States to continue sending weapons to Lebanon,' Berman said."
The hold may, in the end, only be temporary. But we'll give credit where it is due.
For more than a year, JINSA has worried about the influence of Hezbollah on the Lebanese government, where it holds a "blocking third" in the Cabinet (see JINSA Report #892, "Don't Worry if Hezbollah Wins..."). While the U.S. government and UNIFIL have insisted that a bigger and more competent LAF would be expected to "secure the borders of Lebanon" and enforce UNSCR 1701 - which calls for all of the militias in the south to be disarmed - we have never believed that Lebanese soldiers could be induced to kill other Lebanese in the interest of keeping the Israeli residents of the North safe.
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!"