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David is a man of faith; he believes that the Jewish people are realizing their destiny though Zionism, ...Read more
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Yesterday at the central Sukkot event in Har Bracha in Shomron, celebrating the dedication of yet another new neighborhood for the community, I had the pleasure of hearing a speech from a bright young man, a 14 year old American boy who has come to Israel with his family as part of a group of Christians who are dedicated to expressing their support for Israel's rights in Judea and Samaria.
I must say from my experience traveling around on behalf of Israel, that such straightforward support for Israel is extraordinary. Unfortunately, even most pro-Israel groups are afraid of appearing not politically correct and lack the courage or understanding needed to support Israel's claim to its own heartland.
I would like to thank Josiah Hilton and the HaYovel group for their commitment to the Jewish people and the land of Israel. May HaShem show you the way and give you the platform to teach the nations love for Israel.
I would like to say "thank you" to Rabbi Melamed and the community of Har Bracha for allowing us to be here on this very special occasion.
My name is Josiah Hilton, and I’m 14 years old.
I’m here as a part of HaYovel, our group of Christian volunteers that have come from all over the world to volunteer in the vineyards and olive groves of Judea and Samaria.
I first came to Israel with my family when I was 11 years old, during the harvest season of 2010. Even though I was younger, and may not have grasped the entire significance of the volunteer work that we were doing, for me, there was a special connection to be made here. As a Christian, I have heard the stories of the Bible all of my life: about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David. When I came here, I realized that this is where the history of the Bible all took place; this is the land of the covenants; this is the heartland of Israel.
Our group of 300 volunteers is here to serve you, the Jewish people and make a statement to the world. We believe that HaShem gave you this land as an everlasting covenant. No matter what international pressure you receive, we will stand with you. We feel that Christians have too long either stood by and been silent, or have helped in the evils that have been done against you. We are here to say "no more!" Today, whatever part we can have to help here in this Land, that is what we want to do!
Thanks to Rabbi Melamed, Gershon Mesika, Nir Lavi, Erez Ben Sa'adon, and many others, we have had the incredible honor to not only witness prophecies that were spoken 2,000 years ago, but to take an active part in their fulfillment! For us, as foreigners, this is truly an amazing privilege and honor. We cannot thank you enough!
As I was sitting in my Sukka with my family during the Holiday of Sukkot, I considered the words that we read in the special Mosaf prayer for the holiday. "Dear G-d, Because of our sins we were sent into exile from our country and distanced from our land. We are unable to go up, to see and to bow down at your holy temple because of the hand of destruction. We pray to you dear G-d and G-d of our fathers that once again you have compassion for your people and you allow us to return to the holy place and gather our people from the nations of the world, from the corners of the world". It has been 40 years since the Great miracles of the Six Day War, and the Jewish people continue to recite these words.
But can we ignore the great outcome of those amazing events? Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, as well as Judea and Samaria came back to the hands of the Jewish people. Although we tend to complain and criticize the actions of Moshe Dayan who gave over the keys of the Temple Mount to the Muslim Walf, we should be putting more focus on celebrating the actions of Rabbi Shlomo Goren, who called for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. We should take inspiration from him and other great Jewish leaders and should demand, as well as act on our rights to pray on the Temple Mount. Although our religious freedom remains restricted on the Temple Mount, the site is open to Jewish visitors daily. Who should take advantage of even that small window of opportunity to ascend the holy place. Newcomers and first timers should consult with those experienced visitors in order to make their visit in a halachically acceptable way, especially in regards to immersing in the Mikva, and the areas and paths on the mount that are permitted to walk on. Stay focused on the vision that the Tempe Mount is the center gathering place for the Jewish people and may we once again see the entire nation of Israel gather there on the three holidays, Pesach, Shevout and Sukkot.
In addition to teaching hate in their schools, paying pensions to terrorists convicted in Israeli prisons and many other misdeeds, the PA chairman insists that Jews will not be allowed to live in the Palestinian state in his vision.
Israeli leaders should not be playing this shaky game of being politically correct and throwing the ball to the Arabs to take the “blame” for the Two State idea’s failure. Our leaders should choose to act like adults and put the facts down on the table. The fact is that Israel does not see itself without control of the mountainous region in its middle - whether for the irreplaceable strategic importance and security, or for the historical, archaeological, Biblical and even Zionist value of this heartland.
How many realize that most Israelis have been born since 1967 and have always known this area as an integral part of the state of Israel? The roads, trails, towns and villages are an embedded part of Israel’s national entity. Many can’t envision breaking the area off and giving it over to the administration of any foreign country and definitely not for the dubious purpose of establishing a PLO state.
But does that mean that Israelis who feel that way are “against peace”? The answer is definitely “no!” Israelis want peace. Many do not believe that giving over territory and establishing a PLO state is the key to that desired result. Many question the wisdom of the well-intentioned international diplomats. What do American and EU politicians know about the Middle East? Where have they gone right? Libya, Tunis, Egypt or Syria?
For the past 20 years, the international community has been pouring billions of dollars into the Palestinian Authority. Who can argue against the fact that a great part of these massive international funds found their way into the pockets of PLO functionaries who became wealthy as a result? Part of these funds contribute to monthly pensions that the PA pays convicted terrorists sitting in Israeli jails. What part of that money has actually been used to meet the needs of the population for which it was intended?
These points only show the tip of the iceberg of corruption and failure springing from the Oslo concept of establishing a Palestinian state west of the Jordan river. The idea is not going to lead the area to peace and prosperity, and so far it has only caused more misery.
It is time to acknowledge that the Oslo path was wrong route to choose. Other alternatives must be considered. Currently, looking around the Middle East region, it seems that post-1967 Israel is more stable that many of its neighbors. Of course, improvements could be implemented for the benefit of all parts of the population, but the current status quo should be used as a basis for that - not the addition of more upheaval.