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.
What qualifies a publication for consideration as a serious contributor to the national Jewish conversation? Tablet magazine is an online publication that appears to aspire to such a status despite the fact that it mixes political and literary commentary with breezier lifestyle articles. But it is getting increasingly difficult to look at this website without wondering: what exactly is Tablet’s conception of serious commentary on Jewish issues and Israel?
While Tablet eschews an overt ideological line, its editorial choices skew heavily toward liberal pieties about contemporary issues such as the Ground Zero mosque. Its loudest voice on Israel belongs to Liel Leibovitz. Leibovitz is an Israeli academic who holds the post of executive producer of Tablet's video and interactive media. The bulk of his writing for Tablet has been a Ritual and Observance column in which he often frames political or social issues in a religious context without actually discussing religious texts while denouncing Israeli security practices whenever possible. Last summer, he invoked the biblical prophet Zechariah in order to defend those Turkish “activists” who had attempted to break the Israeli blockade of Hamas-run Gaza. Anyone who had taken the trouble to follow the news, as opposed to video games, already knew that there was no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, as food and medicine has been freely flowing into Hamasistan without letup. The only point of the flotilla was to try and halt the isolation of a terrorist province and to bring aid and comfort to its terrorist rulers. But the fact that even Hamas doesn’t claim that people in Gaza lack food didn’t stop Leibovitz from asserting that there was “starvation” there. Leibovitz’s ideological blinders caused him to misrepresent the situation in Gaza as well as the decidedly non-humanitarian intent of the blockade runners.
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!"