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.
In its Sunday, Sept. 5 edition, the New York Times carries a front-page article by Mark Landler about the challenge awaiting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to prove her diplomatic prowess in efforts to steer negotiations toward a permanent peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians ("Clinton Facing A Crucial Test In Peace Talks -- Plunging Into Mideast Where Others Failed").
In his lengthy "diplomatic memo," Landler goes into great detail as to whether Clinton will be able to extract sufficient concessions from Prime Minister Netanyahu while maintaining American Jewish support for a compromise agreement.
In outlining hurdles Clinton may have to overcome, Landler cites first and foremost "the often tense relationship that this administration has had with Israel." To offset this hurdle, he quotes Clinton aides as saying that "she has a politician's feel for Mr. Netanyahu, which could help her push him to make hard choices."
Landler also weighs Clinton's relations with the American Jewish community, pointing to "arrows" she has taken from that quarter for her "full-throated advocacy of Mr. Obama's pressure on the Israeli government to freeze settlements." On the plus side, he mentions Clinton's cultivation of close ties with New York Jews as a U.S. senator.
All very fine. But what about Clinton's diplomatic skills in handling Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and getting him to meet Israel half-way. That's completely missing from Landler's piece.
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!"