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.
It is premature to draw any conclusions regarding what PM Netanyahu is actually setting out to do.
Are we going to witness a repeat of what transpired during his first administration after Wye, when his cabinet was presented with briefings misrepresenting what was going on [the executive summary of the agreement didn't jibe with the actual text - something that one can expect to get away with given that the agreement was in English and more than three sentences long] and his office avoided criticizing the Palestinian leadership [going so far as to even claim that a legally meaningless waive of hands at a photo op in Gaza constituted fulfillment of the Palestinian obligation to revise the PLO charter)?
Are we going to see, for the sake of PR, a series of security measures dropped despite the declared intent of Hamas to carry out attacks? [The ultimate cynicism to be that if Hamas "delivers the goods" and murders Israelis as a result of the easing of security measures that we get even more credit for the "sacrifice for peace"]?
Is Prime Minister Netanyahu going to heed the call of the kibitzers and betray his constituents with the expectation that, lacking a viable alternative, they can't really punish him for the move?
Or is Binyamin Netanyahu like a burlesque fan dancer, working on the assumption that Mahmoud Abbas will indeed stop the music in a few weeks when the building freeze ends? [And what then if Abbas doesn't bolt? Does he have a Plan B, or does the striptease of Israel's interests continue?]
The campaign protesting Netanyahu's possible extension of the freeze has already been launched. And that's fine. It strengthens the Prime Minister's position.
In general there is a feeling in the national camp that the lessons of previous betrayals is that there is little to gain from giving a leader time to play out his plan once it is clear that he has turned on you. [The irony of the charge that the national camp hasn't learned the lesson that you shouldn't bring down governments that betray you is that the lesson should be for betraying politicians].
But, then again, unlike some previous episodes, in this case we have a very definite test coming up in short order: is the freeze extended?
There can be a million and one explanations for the extension.
But the conclusion will always be the same.
If the freeze is extended we have a prime minister who has sacrificed all of his credibility.
And the Palestinians will eat him alive at the negotiating table.
Yes, it is frustrating.
And there already a place for protest campaigns to help show the world that Netanyahu doesn't have carte blanche.
But, at least as it stands today, it makes sense to reserve judgment until September 26.
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!"