Jewish Jerusalem, the new Mayor and George Bush

Ben Packer,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Ben Packer
Originally from Petersburg, Virginia, Ben Packer moved to Israel in 1999, where he served in the IDF's Givati Brigade in the Gaza Strip. Ben served as a Rabbi on campus at Univ. of North Carolina and at Duke Univ. Ben now serves as Director of the Jerusalem Heritage House ( and Co-Director of Young Jewish Conservatives ( He lives in the Old City of Jerusalem with his wife and 6 children....

Happy Hanukah! Had 3 thoughts going on in my head and thought to write them out. 

The UN and Jerusalem:

The United Nations has once again voted overwhelmingly that there is no connection between Jerusalem and the Jewish People (see here). Of course this is utterly ridiculous. And of course we should be offended. However, we should more understand that this is likely a sign that we need to do more to make present Jerusalem more obviously Jewish. Building new neighborhoods in Givat HaMatos and Kidmat Tzion would be a great start. Like little children, the members of the UN need to learn that actions have consequences. 'Tis the season for us to be more of a light unto the nations. 

The New Mayor lighting the Hanukiah at the Kotel HaKatan in the Old City

Last night newly elected Mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Lion, lit the Hanukiah and danced at the Kotel HaKatan. To say that the area is neglected by the Municipality would be a very undeserved compliment. Even the signs put up by the Municipality in the past have all been ripped down by arabs and there hasn't been any sign there in over a year. Quite frankly the whole thing is a disgrace and I very much hope the Mayor's recent visit there is a sign of good things to come. 

The Legacy of George H.W. Bush

After his passing this week, there's been a lot of talk about President Bush's legacy. I feel no need to accuse him of anything, it would appear that the man had the best of intentions in life. But intentions have to be measured against results. The reality is that while George H.W. Bush may have not harbored personal hatred of the Jews, President Bush was bad for the Jews. Specifically for Israel. Two glaring examples would be his open hostility against Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria which eventually directly led to the Oslo debacle and the deaths of thousands and also his refusal to allow Israel to retaliate against Iraq during the Gulf War for firing numerous scud missiles at Israel. Both of these dreadful decisions by the President had long-lasting tragic effects. Unfortunately this is the real legacy of President George H.W. bush - a weaker Israel. (Why do you think haaretz loves him?) 

Happy Hanukah from an Independent Israel and a United Jerusalem! 

Ben Packer

Old City, Jerusalem