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      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
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      Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has lived in Israel for the past decade.
      Elul 15, 5765, 9/19/2005

      My Vote for "Persons of the Year"

      Time Magazine the other day made its annual selection for “Persons of the Year”, conferring the honor on Bill and Melinda Gates and rocker Bono because of their philanthropic work on behalf of others.

      With all due respect to the editors at the venerable news magazine, I think they overlooked the real heroes of 2005 – the Jews of Gush Katif and northern Samaria, who were expelled from their homes this past summer.

      The noble example they set of faith, commitment and determination, continues to resonate throughout society. Despite being so callously thrown off their land, many have tapped deep inner resources of strength, marshalling the energy and fortitude to begin to rebuild their shattered lives and those of their destroyed communities.

      Gush_katif_and_the_flag Their government has abandoned them, the media overlooks them, but the Jews formerly of Gush Katif and northern Samaria continue to inspire and to motivate us all.

      Writing checks and raising awareness for good causes is nice – but also fairly common. What is far less common is to espouse the pioneering spirit exemplified by Gush Katif’s Jews – and to continue to live by it even after enduring a major setback.

      And for that alone, the men and women in Orange deserve our thanks, and our recognition.