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Op-Ed: An Open Letter to Martin Indyk

High level discussions, conferences and negotiations did not help the Jewish people 70 years ago. And blaming the "settlement" movement for the conflict is, in effect, blaming the heroic pioneers of the last 130 years as well.
Published: Sunday, May 11, 2014 7:59 PM



Now we are those holding the torch that was relayed to us to pass on to the idealistic pioneers of the next generation.
To the Honorable Mr. Indyk

Sir:

Several days ago, you appeared on the Israeli media and blamed all the current ills, including the breakup of talks between our negotiators and the Arabs among us, on the "settlement" movement and the resumption of Jewish life in Judea and Samaria.

We would have you know, that from the first days of the "Return to Zion movement", over 130 years ago, and followed by the forming of Theodore Herzl's Zionist movement, there was always – and still is –  disagreement between the movement's leaders and ordinary citizens, immigrants and pioneers, on the direction in which the movement must concentrate its efforts in order to reach the goal of the return to Zion, the building of a national home for the Jewish people and the re-establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of the Bible.

Some felt that it was necessary to convince the world, and perhaps even the Arab residents of the Land of Israel, of the moral and legal rights of the Jews in the land of Israel, using solely intellectual, historical, logical and political explanations.

As opposed to them, there were those who understood that there is no hope of persuading the Christian and Muslim worlds, consumed with hatred for our people and religion as they are, of the justice of our claims to the land.  Accordingly, we must concentrate on creating facts on the ground, through engaging in Sisyphean agricultural work, erecting new settlements in isolated and peripheral areas, building up a defensive force, working to expand industry, creativity and educational institutions such as yeshivas and universities.

The latter method is the one that proved itself, and has been the main method of dealing with the issue. 

This is the conceptual model whose application brought about the establishment of the State of Israel, our historic homeland from time immemorial, a Jewish state of which we are justly proud. 

What can one do, Mr. Indyk?  Talks, intellectual discussions and political negotiations, such as there were, did not help us throughout our history and tragically, did not protect us 70 years ago when the most hellish of Holocausts befell our people.  You, too, know what the results were when we limited ourselves to words.

That is why the "settlement" movement, today's wonderful pioneers in the lands of Judea, Samaria, the Golan and east Jerusalem, is a continuation of the messengers' race that took off over a hundred years ago. Now we are those holding the torch that was relayed to us to pass on to the idealistic pioneers of the next generation.

We are the descendants of the practical Zionists, those who refused to go to Uganda; we continue the path of those pioneers who built the first moshavim, the first kibbutzim, the "Shomer" watchman's organization, the heroes of the Palmach and the martyrs of the Hagana and the Jewish Underground fighters..

All of them, that's right - all of them - Mr. Indyk, acted instead of talking.

All of them, that's right - all of them - enabled us to create, with the help of G-d, a glorious Jewish state whose 8 million-strong population includes six and a half million Jews. And 750,000 of those Jews live over the Green Line in parts of the Land of Israel that were liberated during the Six Day War.

Mr Indyk, the Zionist train is travelling up the track at full power, returning our nation to health and normalcy, while you and other anachronistic Jews refuse to see the miraculous development of our country. As the train speeds on, you run towards the back carriages until you find yourself hitting the walls of the caboose, falling backwards and returning to your desperate and obsessive efforts to run in the opposite direction to that of the train – which is going on forward.

The Jewish people are believers and the descendants of believers. Some have said, and I among them, that G-d's plan for Redemption is being brought to fruition through our actions; others say that it is all due to the pioneers, soldiers, builders and immigrants. What is certain, Mr. Indyk, is that a majority of he Jewish nation living in Zion wishes for a large and strong Jewish state that deals equitably with minority groups within it.

That is why your blaming the "settlements" is the same as blaming all the pioneers and heroes of the past 130 years, for we are only continuing their work.  The views you expressed have remained a minority view throughout the years and because the majority acted otherwise, we survived, prospered and moved forward.

I feel that it was my duty to write the above words to you. Thank you for reading them.