Thursday, April 07, 2011

Israel-Our Home-Not  the Pale of Russia
Nadene Goldfoot

Israel is a democratic state in a rough neighborhood, but it has the right to live and plan for its future.  While many are sitting around saying it's doomed, Israelis are living and planning ahead.  The neighborhood of Gilo is part of Jerusalem and is on state land. It is not an outpost. It is a community of 40,000 Jews.  The history of Gilo goes back to the Iron Age I.  It was re-established officially in 1973-which is after the 1967 attack of all the Arab nations against Israel when Israel gained back ancient land.   The government has just decided to approve the need for 942 additional homes in this part of Southern Jerusalem which is across the 1967 Green line.  They have also projected into the farther future by  zoning 88,000 square meters for 300 more units.  The 942 homes planning will not take place until years from now.  Much has to be planned and passed before then.  But Israelis are not frozen in their seats nor sitting still.  The favorite toast is L'Chaim (to life), and they must hope for the best.  By passing this request, they are thinking of how to fund it and now have the means to do so. 

There was a time when Jews were locked up in Ghettos in Italy actually behind fences and gates each night and never allowed out of it.  The same thing happened in Russia when they were all moved into the Pale of Russia and could not leave.  They were not permitted into the rest of Russia. 

Even in their own country today, the U.N. is trying to dictate to them what they can do or where they can build.  Peres talking to Ms. Clinton right now about it in Washington.  The problem lies in the fact that this to Israel is their own land.  To the UN, it isn't.  Our Obama administration is telling Israel that it is an illegal "settlement" and that building is illegal for Israelis and that these actions run counter to resuming direct talks with Abbas and have called on Israel to halt. 

Personally, I don't think Abbas has a bone in his body ready to come and talk to Netanyahu about peace.  He already has had a mind set to go to the UN and get Palestine recognized and has been already seeing people about this very fact. 

Israelis cannot go about their life thinking they are without future plans, hopes and dreams.  It's psychologically debillitating.  Jews have had enough to swallow.  In the Arab countries they were dminnis and couldn't build higher than their neighbors, had to pay more taxes, were on a lower level as 3rd rate citizens, etc.  In Eastern Europe they couldn't own land, couldn't work in certain fields, were restricted in every way,  and were in danger of pogroms.  The bullies had their way.  Israelis are not about to be bullied again.  Building means they have turned their swords into plowshares.  They want a life. 

I think that many Americans, both Jew and Gentile,  think this an act of rebellion, but I think Israel is trying to show that if the Arabs won't decide to make peace with Israel, then Israel is not going to fold up and leave because of it.  It's going to go right on living, and if they are shelled, it's the attackers that are going to suffer the consequences.  It would pay to make peace with Israel and work together.  Shalom.

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