Michael Freund served as Deputy Communications Director in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office under Binyamin Netanyahu during his first term of office. He is the Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), a Jerusalem-based organization that searches for and assists the Lost Tribes of Israel and other "hidden Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. In addition, Freund is a correspondent and syndicated columnist for the Jerusalem Post, and authors a popular blog on Middle East affairs, Fundamentally Freund. A native New Yorker, Freund is a graduate of Princeton University and holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia. He has lived in Israel for the past 19 years and remains a loyal New York Mets fan....
The scenes of the past few days have been nothing short of frightening.
The sight of Israeli soldiers dragging Jews out of synagogues, or young Israeli children weeping on buses as they bid farewell to their homes, should leave us all shaken to the very core of our being.
It would be easy to point the finger at Sharon, at the Likud, at the Government - and they surely are to blame for inflicting this disgraceful expulsion on our brothers and sisters in Gush Katif - but as believing Jews we know that it is not all that simple.
We know that if G-d has allowed this to happen, it is because WE are doing something wrong, something very, very wrong, that warrants reflection, repair and repentance.
Each of us, as individuals and as communities, must examine our own deeds and our own behavior, and correct whatever it is that we are failing at. And we should make sure to channel the anger, the bitterness and the fury that we feel into positive and productive efforts aimed at one goal and one goal only: to heal our people and our Land.
Shabbat Shalom - and may the scenes of this past week in Gush Katif never again be repeated.