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 first thing I saw when I started checking the news this morning was an article on the New York Times website... dead center, right at the top.
Apparently a group of left wing Israeli women had successfully smuggled a bunch of Palestinian women from the 'West Bank' over the Green Line, and had taken them for an outing to the beach.
The article was accompanied by a photo of the women cavorting together in the surf.
Now there are a few ways this kind of story could go;
1. It could be a warm fuzzy human interest story about how people on opposite sides of a bloody conflict have more in common than separates them. The most famous example of the genre is the Christmas cease fire during WWI when British and German troops came up out of their trenches and declared an unofficial truce, during which they exchanged gifts, sang seasonal songs and even played a game of soccer there in the mud between their lines.
2. It could be a one-sided propaganda piece designed to show how terrible the lives of these poor Palestinian women really are as as a result of the Israeli occupation/oppression, and how, through the help of a few 'good Jews' these women; "most [of whom] had never seen the sea before" were able to escape their virtual prison and refresh themselves in the cooling waters of the Mediterranean.
Which way do you think The Times went?
The timing of the beach party story/photo was also telling, coming as it does in the midst of an unusually oppressive heat wave in the Times' readership's core distribution area.
A few things the Times takes great pains to tell the readers:
The defiance was extremely risky due to the evil Israeli government:
"The women were Palestinians from the southern part of the West Bank, which is landlocked, and Israel does not allow them in. They risked criminal prosecution, along with the dozen Israeli women who took them to the beach. And that, in fact, was part of the point: to protest what they and their hosts consider unjust laws."
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!"