On the Eve of the Jewish New Year in 2000, the Second Intifada began. Israel was then still in Gaza and the first shot fired was that of a Palestinian policeman who murdered the IDF soldier who was patrolling with him. What was supposed to be a relationship of trust between the PA and Israel to stop terrorism, quickly became war.
I am getting tired of foreign interference in internal Israeli politics. I realize that there is a long history of foreign interference in Israel, particularly from the US and Europe. These countries can be counted among Israel’s strongest allies and for that reason, their interference is often the most potent. But what we are seeing today has crossed all lines.
Today is Israel’s Memorial Day for our fallen soldiers and terror victims. It is a difficult day for all of us but particularly difficult for those who have lost loved ones. Their loss permeates their lives each and every day, but one day each year, the entire nation mourns with them.
Today is Purim, one of the most joyous holidays of the Jewish calendar. It commemorates the events recorded in the Book of Esther.
Interestingly, God’s name is not mentioned once in the Book of Esther, the only book of the Bible where He is seemingly absent. But then again, that is the point.
There is an enormous amount of unrest in our country these days, coming both from within the country and from without. Just over a week ago, on Friday night, seven people were murdered outside a synagogue in Jerusalem, by an Arab terrorist resident of Jerusalem.
I became a Zionist at the age of 13. My parents had always been Zionists in a typical American way. They loved Israel, went to every emergency meeting about Israel, and they gave generously to Israeli causes. Whatever they could do for Israel from the comfort of Cleveland, Ohio, they did.
I arrived in Israel in September 1975 to spend the year studying Bible in Jerusalem. I had been an active member of the Bnei Akiva Zionist youth movement in high school and we were encouraged to spend the year following high school graduation in Israel, to perfect our knowledge of Hebrew, to absorb the culture and deepen our roots to our land. In this way, we would strengthen our resolve to move to Israel as adults.
Today is Election Day in Israel. Normally this would be a joyful occasion as people generally feel privileged to cast their votes for their preferred candidate—an important vehicle for the ordinary citizen to make his or her voice heard. And yet, this time, the fifth election in three years, the attitude is quite different.