David Friedman, U.S. Ambassador to Israel, recently issued a statement that “Israel is on the side of God.” He referred to biblical times and the ancient prophesy that the people of Israel would be exiled from the land, only to return and flourish in that land. He referred to the “billions of people” who embrace the Old Testament (includes the Torah) as part of their religious faith and heritage.
Yes, I do feel a deep connection to Israel and want the United States to be a generous friend to Israel. But I would hope that matters of faith and religion not impact upon our foreign policy, or any government policy.
I greatly anticipate the proposed “Peace Plan.” I hope that it will be sensitive to some, or all, of the following personal thoughts:
I believe that Israel’s fundamental quest is for peace and recognition of the right to exist as a people on the land that is Israel. That, and security, is what the people of Israel most seek.
I believe that there must be two states for two peoples; each willing to sacrifice something of its current vision of itself when it comes to land and its historic claim to that land.
Once and for all, the matter of so-called refugees must be resolved in a humane way. As I see it, the only resolution to this matter is for these people to become part of what would be the newly established country of Palestine.
For the sake of a true peace, I believe in Jerusalem becoming a “Divided City.” That for the people of Israel, and I trust for many of us, is the painful compromise (bitter pill) that we must be willing to accept if peace is ever to have a chance.
I’ll tell you the truth. I don’t have much confidence in this “Peace Plan.” I wish I did. For this time, I can only quote the famous words of Theodore Herzl: “If you will it badly enough, it need not remain but a fantasy.”
I wish you and your loved ones Shabbat Shalom. I hope to see you soon.
Rabbi David Greenberg