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.
The worst is over for now, with regard to Nakba Day, but there is considerable concern about a re-run of this on a more significant scale, perhaps in September if the PA goes the route of the UN.
Mordecai Kedar, a research associate at the BESA Center for Strategic Studies, is a savvy guy. He has just written a piece, "The writing was on the wall," that takes a look at how the situation has shifted with regard to Palestinian refugees marching en masse on Israel:
There has been the development, he says, of a "Yes, we can" sentiment within the Arab world -- "the belief that unarmed masses can overcome and defeat dictators." This is a new "nonconventional weapon of frustrated, unemployed young people, a weapon against which the regime is expected to be helpless." This technique has been employed in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Syria, and "the Palestinians have adopted it for use against Israel."
The utilization of social media -- Facebook and Twitter -- is being employed for mobilizing rebellions and "was indeed the way Sunday's events were organized."
Add to this the change in "the involvement of the Syrian and Lebanese regimes in events, since bus upon bus of disgruntled Palestinians could not have reached the border with Israel on Sunday without those governments' knowledge and consent. The regimes' cooperation stems from their efforts to export their internal problems to Israel, and turn TV cameras away from what happens in Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip to Israel and its actions against the Arabs."
"The fourth fresh element is the link between Syria, Lebanon and Gaza -- the Iranian link. These three arenas are all under the influence of the ayatollahs..."
Kedar then continues with what I find most unsettling of all:
"But we must not overlook the Israeli factor, which has an important role: In past years, Arab players have seen and heard that Israel concedes whenever it is subject to external pressure...(emphasis added)
"And when Israel's enemies see it compromising its core 'principles' under external pressure...hope rises that further pressure will be rewarded with further concessions; strong pressure from the refugees, for instance, will bring war-weary Israelis to give up on that point, too.
"Israel's image today -- despite the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and Operation Cast Lead in 2008-9 -- is that of a weak, wimpy state, a state that can be nailed to the global cross by Richard Goldstone, a state where announcing plans to build 1,600 homes in Jerusalem is enough to raise the ire of the current resident of the White House.
"At the same time...[thanks to classical anti-Semitism] Israel is...expected to never resort to force against the unarmed "returnees"...
"Sunday's events are not the last word. The dynamic in the Middle East is one of escalation and enhancement. Every person killed today is the martyr of tomorrow's funeral, the funeral itself becoming a violent protest...Israel thus must be resolute on the one hand, but restrained and measured on the other..."
One, is the obvious lesson that Israel's concessions -- whether done to be "nice" or in response to international pressure -- are counterproductive and serve us ill. Strength is critical.
But there is something else just as important. I believe that the Arab assumption that we are weak and will cave is wrong. In the final analysis -- in spite of the concessions of our various governments -- as a people, the harder we are pushed, the tougher we get. The Israeli spirit is resolute. I suggest that they don't know who they're fooling with.
As a result of actions at our northern border yesterday, Israel intends to submit a complaint to the UN Security Council against Syria and Lebanon for breach of council resolutions and violation of international law.
We are dealing here with issues of challenges to our sovereignty.
That this is the case was made crystal clear in a message released by Hezbollah's Nasrallah today:
“We must bow before the courage, the bravery, of those who protested yesterday at Lebanon and Syria’s borders with occupied Palestine, who faced the tyranny of the enemy with bare chests and their heads held high.
“Your message, loud and clear, to the enemy is that you will liberate your lands, that the fate of this entity is demise, and that no initiatives, treaties or borders will protect it. You, the honorable, have given the nakba new meaning.” (emphasis added)
Unfortunately, there is scant reason to trust that there will be any significant measure of objectivity on the part of the Security Council in its response this complaint. A statement by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon focuses on his concern about deaths and not breaching of borders: Lebanon has filed its own complaint with regard to Lebanese killed.
When the unity arrangements between Hamas and Fatah were announced, Israel made the decision to suspend the transfer of millions in tax and customs funds collected on behalf of the PA, out of a very legitimate concern that the money might end up in Hamas's hands and thus support terrorism.
Now Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz has ordered the transfer of $100 million to the PA "after Israel received several assurances and clarifications that the money would not find its way to terrorists' hands and that none of the procedures applied so far would change."
You know what this reminds me of? Of terrorists released from prison after they sign a piece of paper promising not to engage in terrorism again.
Has Steinitz not noticed that money is fungible? Surely this makes it more possible for Fatah to share funds with/release funds to Hamas if it is so inclined.
According to PA Prime Minister Fayyad, holding back this money meant a shortfall in paying salaries. When the original Israeli decision was announced, he appealed to the international community to pressure Israel to release the money. That Israel was pressured is obvious, for Tony Blair and Hillary Clinton were the ones who informed Fayyad that the money would be released.
And now PA spokesman Qhassan Khatib has said that Israel's new decision was proof of "the success of the Palestinian campaign on an international level, which pressured Israel to transfer these funds."
While yours truly had to exert considerable self-discipline to keep from running her head into the wall.
Were it not a certainty that it was appropriate to put that freeze in place, and that we could maintain it, it would have been far better had we not instituted it in the first place. Perhaps our government had better start reading what Moti Kedar has to say.
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!"