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.
Dr. Aaron Lerner IMRA
18 November '10
At this writing it remains unclear how the freeze extension-American letter saga will ultimately play out. But there are some things that can already be said today:
#1. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Septet committee of ministers has the potential to provide him with the services of an in house think tank with the critically unique feature that its members, as senior politicians with their own power bases, can debate policy with Mr. Netanyahu as equals rather than from the position of service providers employed at the discretion of the prime minister. That’s not to diminish the caliber of Netanyahu’s inner team, just that while when one of them crosses the prime minister they risk a “my way or the highway” response while a Septet member can say what he really thinks without being concerned that he will be shown the door.
Unfortunately, Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to keep the Septet out of the policy making loop relating to US-Israeli discussions regarding extension of the freeze.
It is very possible that the fiasco we are now witnessing in both form and substance would have never taken place if the Septet had been involved.
I sincerely hope that Mr. Netanyahu learned his lesson and will now give the Septet the advisory role in practice that it was meant to have.
#2 The depth and quality of the criticism in Israel of the developing deal is unprecedented. And this even before the deal has been actually spelled out in writing. Who knows? With some luck we may witness policy-making history in Israel, if and when a written American offer is received, with minister actually going to the trouble of reading and understanding a text before voting.
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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!"