Dear Friend of Israel,
We are reeling! Throughout these past two months, terrorism hit us in ways we had not experienced in many years. During a six-week period alone, 18 innocent Israelis were murdered, as they walked down the street, sat at a Tel-Aviv café, shopped, went to the bank, or just enjoyed the outside air. On Independence Day, just as the sun had set and families were making their way home after a day of picnics and family gatherings, two terrorists, armed with knives and an axe, attacked men, women and children on the streets of Elad, a town located just west of Samaria. What should have been the end of a glorious day celebrating Israel’s independence was marred by the tragedy of these terrible murders.
Unfortunately, Israel has been facing Arab terrorism for more than 100 years. Although Jews have always lived in this land, our ancestral homeland, those Arabs who were, themselves, illegitimate conquerors of this land, never accepted our right to be here. They never accepted the fact that this land is the Land of Israel, the land of the Jewish people.
In 1929, Arabs rioted and murdered more than 100 Jews in response to Jewish prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. And that is just one example. While the Arabs have succeeded in murdering far too many Jews, they have never succeeded in lessening our resolve to settle this land. In 1929, there were approximately 100,000 Jews in Israel. Today there are more than 7 million. We have our own state and Arab countries throughout the Middle East have not only accepted our presence but have signed peace treaties with us.
But the core problem remains. There are still millions of Muslims around the world, including hundreds of thousands in Israel, who want to destroy the Jewish state and murder as many Jews as they can. Social media fans the flames and individual Muslim fanatics will seize their weapons and set out to murder Jews, in the belief that they are fulfilling their Muslim religious obligations.
We cannot afford to lose this war that has been going on for more than 100 years. And we will never waver in our belief that this land belongs to the Jewish people. But we do need to ensure that our people are safe. This month, we are focusing on the community of Gevaot and their need for security equipment. This is how we are facing the threat – with faith and determination, as we seek the resources we need to protect our people. I hope you will join us in this vital need and help protect Israel from her enemies.
Sondra Oster Baras
Director, Israel Office