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.
Lisa Miller, a Wash. Post religion writer and columnist, is a self-avowed Jew, who in her own words in the Oct. 1 edition confesses that "these days I'm not so crazy about Israel." Born into a Jewish family but "without any formal religious education," she recently joined a Reform synagogue. During High Holy Day services, when it comes to petitioning God to protect Israel, "I hesitate before I voice this plea." ("In a season of introspection, coming to terms with Israel" page B2)
So why is she put off by Israel? Well, she doesn't like that "on the eve of these holidays an at the moment when Mahmoud Abbas was making his bid at the United Nations for Palestinian statehood, Israel announced the approval of 1,300 new housing units in East Jerusalem."
"I'm ashamed that Israel continues to draw criticism from human rights groups for the demolition of homes in the West Bank and, sharing the blame with the Palestinians, for waging a conflict over land with the lives of innocent people," she writes.
Which makes one wonder how much she really knows about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and where she gets her information. At one point, she references leftist intellectuals "such as Peter Beinart and the late Tony Judt," who have said that "Jews like me will abandon Judaism because of the dissonance" between today's Israel and the historical-theological Israel.
In other words, Israel is no longer true to its biblical past. It has lost its way.
So, to relieve her angst, Miller consults several liberal rabbis who advise her to love all Jews, including even "Benjamin Netanyahu as well as Judt, who in 2005 called the state of Israel an 'anachronism."
Miller is clearly lost in a leftist fog. One can only wonder, how much -- or how little -- she really knows about Israel. In criticizing new housing units for Gilo, for example, she obviously hasn't got a clue that this is a Jewish neighborhoods of 40,000 people with three dozen synagogues that, under any imaginable peace agreement, will remain on the Israeli side. She also seems to lack any real sense of Jerusalem demographics. Or else, she would know that Arab housing construction and population growth have far outpaced Jewish housing construction and population growth since 1967 in Israel's capital.
As for demolition of homes in the West Bank, Miller again misses the mark by a country mile. If she were to keep abreast of real news of Israel, she would know that, yes, Israel has been demolishing homes in the West Bank -- but mainly Israeli ones in illegal outposts.
And as for drawing an equivalence between Israel and the Palestinians when it comes to "waging a conflict over land with the lives of innocent people," she again shows a singular lack of elementary knowledge. How can one equate waging war with innocent people, when Palestinians in Gaza deliberately fire thousands of rockets against Israeli civilians, while Israel -- in its conduct of anti-terrorism operations -- goes to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties?
Would Miller also draw an equivalence between 9/11 and other attacks on civilians by Islamic extremists with the U.S. killing of Osama Bin Laden and other Al Qaeda kingpins?
My own guess is that Miller's paucity of information about Israel and the reason she's so eager to communicate to Post readers her "discomfort" with Israel is that she probably gets most of her twisted facts and erroneous impressions by relying on the Washington Post's distorted "news" coverage. That in itself would lead anyone astray.
Miller really is in great need of a new -- and more factual -- reading list.
Leo Rennert formerly was White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers.
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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!"