Carry the Flag to Zion!


Yesterday I got to an email in time from Ari Bussel informing me of a Conference Call billed as National Faith Leaders Call with Donald Trump. Ari provided the contact info to be on the call to me which I indeed participated (9/2/21).

The call began with a proviso that if members managed to get access to hang up now for the Conference Call was to be off the record. Because of that I will not share the content of what I was able to listen. Sadly my old Android Smart Phone dropped the call about a half-hour after beginning. BUT this I will share: President Trump (that without FRAUD – the actually elected President in 2020) was very upbeat and did NOT sound like a quitter.

In conjunction with that Conference Call I am sharing Ari Bussel’s email exchange with whom he was invited to participate.

JRH 9/3/21

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Carry the Flag to Zion!

From Ari Bussel

Sent 9/2/2021 10:14 AM

Dear Amanda, Jenny and Pastor Paula,

What an extraordinary surprise and blessing it is to have received your invite this morning!  So while we were (not) “asleep at the wheel,” and while numbness seems to have frozen us to the point of “slumber and sleep,” you have apparently continued working, creating, germinating and are here now, ready for this very day!

There is nothing more encouraging and uplifting that looking all around and seeing the multitudes – us – ready and eager to join; standing thirsty and waiting for these drops of rain, like seeds in the Sahara Desert.

We are one, great in numbers, but united in essence and purpose – in belief in God the Almighty and what He wants from us.  Thus, a song plays in my mind, written more than 120 years ago following the First Zionist Congress.  The Congress main mission was to UNITE the Jewish People, all hundreds and hundreds of its cooperatives, associations and groups into one great movement whose members will emigrate to the Land of Israel, in great waves.

[שאו ציונה נס ודגל – S’u Tziona Nes va Degel]

Lift toward Zion a pole and flag, the flag of the Judean camp … 

Return, return from great distances

to our homeland, to the land of our Fathers …

For our people, for our land, be strong and become strong

Together we will go, please, we will return

to our land, that of our Forefathers

to our beloved land

where our childhood began ….

Then our mouths will be filled with laughter and our tongue with singing (Psalms 126:2 – which continues, “then said they among the nations:  ’The Lord has done great things with these!’”)

And so the song that has become somewhat of an anthem (and has filled my mind, refusing to leave) is based on the words of the Prophet Jeremiah.  The Prophet tells us to “tell,” to “sound,” to “say” and to “blow the horn,” – to “call, fill and tell, gather and let us come together” – all action directives – CARRY THE FLAG TO ZION, DARE NOT STAND” (idle), carry the flag, unite!

Jeremiah Chapter 4 יִרְמְיָהוּ

ה  הַגִּידוּ בִיהוּדָה, וּבִירוּשָׁלִַם הַשְׁמִיעוּ, וְאִמְרוּ, ותקעו (תִּקְעוּ) שׁוֹפָר בָּאָרֶץ; קִרְאוּ מַלְאוּ וְאִמְרוּ, הֵאָסְפוּ וְנָבוֹאָה אֶל-עָרֵי הַמִּבְצָר

ו  שְׂאוּ-נֵס צִיּוֹנָה, הָעִיזוּ אַל-תַּעֲמֹדוּ:  כִּי רָעָה, אָנֹכִי

מִצָּפוֹן–וְשֶׁבֶר גָּדוֹל.

5 Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem, and say: ‘Blow ye the horn in the land’; cry aloud and say: ‘Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities.’

6 Set up a standard toward Zion; put yourselves under covert, stay not; for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction.

You have called us to the Flag today, exactly a week before our Jewish New Year.

It is  at this time (this Hebrew month leading to the Jewish New Year, in the Seventh Month of the Biblical Calendar) that it is said we are closest to God; 

that God hears us clearest,

for the King is in the Fields – 

out of the castle, traveling, closest to His people

who are working in the fields

It is this month, 

therefore,

that we ask for forgiveness

that we focus on retrospection (and introspection)

and get ready to the blowing of the Shofar (horn)

which is (what we are commanded to do on) the first day of our New Year

We celebrate the past

we look into the future

and we stand ready

a great many multitudes

and are so very grateful for your Call

and for leading the way!

Numbers Chapter 29 בְּמִדְבַּר

א  וּבַחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ, מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ יִהְיֶה לָכֶם–כָּל-מְלֶאכֶת עֲבֹדָה, לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ:  יוֹם תְּרוּעָה, יִהְיֶה לָכֶם.

1 And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have a holy convocation: ye shall do no manner of servile work; it is a day of blowing the horn unto you.

White House High Holy Days Call

Friday, September 27, 2019

Operator:  Hello and thank you for joining today’s High Holy Days call with Jewish faith leaders. Please note that this call is being recorded. At this time all audience members are in listen-only mode to minimize background noise. There will be Q&A at the end of this call, and we will provide instructions at that time. I would now like to formally begin today’s call and introduce President of the United States, Donald J Trump.

Pres. Trump:  It’s a great honor to be with you and to host our third annual call with Jewish leaders, rabbis and friends to wish you Shana Tova, a sweet new year. During the High Holy Days, families gather in synagogues across the country and around the world to sound the shofar and pray, reflect and thank God for His many blessings.

As we mark the Jewish New Year, our entire country is reminded of the infinite ways Jewish Americans strengthen our communities, uplift our nation, and deepen our culture. You care for your neighbors, teach your children, cherish our heritage, and you embody the American dream. Throughout history, the Jewish people have suffered unthinkable oppression and persecution, yet they have persevered, endured, thrived, and created a flourishing democracy – the state of Israel.

In the last two and a half years, we have strengthened the everlasting friendship between the United States and Israel. I moved the United States Embassy to Jerusalem. We recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which was something they were trying to have done for 72, or 52 years to be more specific. We’re confronting Iran, a regime that chants “Death to Israel.”

As I said in my recent address to United Nations, America will never tolerate anti-Semitic hate. In recent months, our entire nation was stricken with shock and grief and righteous anger when two horrific anti-Semitic murderers attacked synagogues in California and Pennsylvania. To every survivor, family member and to the entire Jewish community, all of America embraces you with love. We pledge our undying and total resolve to excise the vile placing of anti-Semitism from our world. Earlier this year, I appointed a new special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism. Elan Carr, who is with us now and will provide an update shortly. In the wake of such atrocious attacks, millions have been inspired by Jewish-American heroes who responded to the worst evil with remarkable bravery. During my State of the Union Address, we were all moved by the presence of Pittsburgh survivor, Judah Samet, who also survived the Holocaust. In May, on the National Day of Prayer in the Rose Garden, we were joined by members of the congregation from Poway, California, including Rabbi Goldstein. This afternoon we’re joined on the call by survivors of the Holocaust. We cannot comprehend the persecution and suffering you have endured, yet you have overcome the darkest chapters of human history with the purity of love and goodness in your hearts. We renew our pledge now and always. Never again.

I understand that during this time of year, you often read Psalm 27. We remember the promise of those words that says, “Wait for the Lord. Be strong and let your heart take courage.” Today, we thank God for His faithfulness and for the countless ways Jewish-Americans bless our nation.

Always,

Ari Bussel

bussel@me.com

Join Ari Bussel on a Tour of Jerusalem, Israel


When the world around seems to be exploding, Israel is a safe haven. Let us work to protect and defend Israel as she is. Beautiful, although not perfect. Shy yet adventurous. Spontaneous yet thoughtful. Passionate and devoted. The only homeland of the Jewish people, in its ancient and eternal Zion Jerusalem! Ari Bussel

Ari Bussel gives us a tour of Jerusalem while attending the 37th Zionist Congress. You get an idea of the disgust for the terrorism committed by Arabs who call themselves Palestinians while noting there is a deep divide between the Jewish Leftist and Right delegates attending the Congress.

Ari sent a lot of photos to commemorate his down time from attending the Zionist Congress. Ari usually calls his email submissions Postcards from America Postcards from Israel, the postcard is big in this post. Also I added some background links embraced by brackets.

JRH 10/23/15

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Join Ari Bussel on a Tour of Jerusalem, Israel

By Ari Bussel

Sent: 10/22/2015 12:30 PM

Dear Friends,

Join me on a visit to Zion Jerusalem, where the 37th Zionist Congress of the World Zionist Organization [Jewish Virtual Library on WZO] is taking place. You need not even leave your seat, although the weather here in Israel is most inviting – unseasonably warm, even hot at times.

My friend Shalom, the publisher and editor of The Jewish Home LA, asked me to buy some pizzas to give the soldiers walking the streets of Jerusalem tasked to protect us from “innocent” terrorists. Little did Shalom know that many, oh so many, are women! They have shown their bravery time and again, at the most dangerous terrorist attacks. And Shalom is married and an Orthodox man!

I replied to Shalom, and I am taking this opportunity to tell you as well:

CONTINUE WHAT YOU ARE DOING, FOR YOU ARE THE SOLDIERS ON THE FRONT LINE TOO!

Disseminate the truth. Fight the lies. Stand up for Israel; so few do that. Continue what you are doing every day, for the future of Israel depends on it greatly.

But Shalom, as all Jewish people from time immemorial, is stubborn. Very stubborn indeed. He replied:

I was serious, if you see an opportunity to show a soldier [and/or soldiers] that us in America (and the world!) are thinking about them… please use it and I’ll paypal/put in your account/give you a check when you come back…

Agree?

Oh, the Jewish people, very stiff-necked and stubborn. Except, this is the type of “Stubbornness” I actually like and admire.

So let us go on our tour, for this is a different type of Postcard from Israel. It is one in which you join me on this day in Jerusalem.

Remember, it is warm, so drink plenty, bring your sun glasses and a hat. Wear light. You are up for a treat.

Sunny Day in Jerusalem

[Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station building; women soldiers patrolling across next to the Convention Center]

[Across from the main entrance of the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem, where a few days ago a terrorist attack took place, secular men putting Tfilin, women officers standing guard and the light rail keeps running on schedule (it is the target to stone throwing by some of the Arab residents who use it).]

 

The First Zionist Congress took place in Basel in 1897. It was followed each subsequent year until 1901, and then took place every other year. Except Herzls “Zionism” has nothing to do with today’s usage of the word. In fact, as we travel through the streets of Israel’s capital we are cognizant first and foremost we are in the united capital of Israel, a modern and free country of almost eight million citizens, and each can do as one wishes – worship whatever religion, walk freely without fear, argue, have an opinion, enjoy life.

We begin the day standing in line. Most delegates are foreign, so there is some semblance of a “line” (in the traditional definition, meaning one person standing after another); some but not much.

We are waiting for the security check for a keynote address by Prime Minister Netanyahu. It is slated to start at 10AM, and everyone is seated before the Prime Minister of Israel with his security entourage enters the hall.

The reception was lukewarm, somewhat surprising to me. After all, these are the delegates from countries around the world that need Israel, that one day – likely sooner – will see their communities seek refuge in this country.

The Prime Minister of the Jewish State. Once, this title alone made one’s heart race, made us stand taller, made us proud and excited. Apparently no longer. Disgust, loathing, criticism, complaints – these better characterize today’s “connection” between vast portions of the Diaspora to Israel; particular American Jewry’s.

Here is the text of the PM’s speech. He talks about ten lies Israel is fighting nowadays and refutes them one by one.

 

Most poignant and disturbing was the delegate (likely a Jew from the USA) who saw fit to should “LIAR!” at Netanyahu. It was the opening shot, for today’s “love” to Israel is a very strange love indeed.

Netanyahu told us of his grandfather emigrated to [British Mandate] Palestine in 1920, and the hatred toward the Jews when there was no Israel, no “Occupation” and no “Settlements.” But there were Jews.

Bloodshed happened then and continues to happen now. Thus, anyone believing that “two states for two people” can yield a lasting peace must be corrected. Our enemies will only be satisfied with one, and only one, Final Solution – a region and a world free of any Jews.

Not pleasant to the ears? Maybe. But this is the reality which Israel faces.

Benjamin Netanyahu – 37th Zionist Congress

 

Benjamin Netanyahu – 37th Zionist Congress

 

Benjamin Netanyahu – 37th Zionist Congress

Attending an address by the Prime Minister means a very tight security, and after his speech was over and he was whisked off to the next event on his calendar, and for the next two days will have to answer for his remarks about the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and his cooperation with Hitler. ***

[***Blog Editor: I can’t help it. I have to show you a 1942 photo of Grand Mufti Amin al Husseini meeting with Hitler in Berlin undoubtedly talking of the Final Solution for Jews]

Between this keynote address and a lunch to which I was invited to meet the delegates from the USA, I had two hours to spare. What does one do with this time? Go to the Western Wall of course!

From the Convention Center in Jerusalem (across from the Central Bus Station), one can walk straight to the Old City.

First, one would encounter a famous SHUK (market) Machane Yehuda (Judea Camp). Oh, just the name “Judea” immediately brings to mind “Judea and Samaria,” for we all forget that these “territories” are the place where the Tribe of Judea once called home, thus we cannot be “settlers” on our ancient homeland. Further, the word “Jew” (with as much spite as possible) or Jewish is derived from Judea. Lastly, the Tribe of Judea is the one to which King David belonged and from which the Messiah (“Son-of-David”) will come, “soon in these very days” we say.

[The Shuk, Machane Yehuda]

The Shuk

 

Machane Yehuda

The market was relatively empty, although I enjoyed the tourists buying fake sunglasses and pirated CDs. The merchant and the lady tourists did not speak any common language, but paper money exchanged hands and was apparently accepted and understood by both.

From there I hopped onto the tram, where I noticed a lot of people with guns or handguns. Visible. Ready. The Mayor of Jerusalem called any gun holder (a very special permit is required for it in Israel) to carry the gun with them at all times. [Blog Editor: Times of Israel on Mayor Nir Barkat and guns. I wonder if Israel has an American version of a Second Amendment guaranteeing right of self-protection.]

At City Hall one gets off, and the Old City is across the street. At each intersection, groups of security forces – soldiers, police officers and border police – stand together, teams there to protect the innocent passerby and themselves. Each day there is a terrorist attack. They act as the “guard of Jerusalem” and other major cities.

I walked alongside the outer walls of the Old City and entered into the Old City via Jaffa Gate, where two weeks earlier I vowed not to buy anything from the Arab shopkeepers. They – the Arabs of Israel – should stand up and proclaim that the terrorist attacks of the last three weeks must stop, but instead we hear either deafening silence or further incitement from them, particularly from their elected officials serving in the Israeli Parliament (Knesset). [Incitement example by Arab MK member]

Indeed, the Arabs of Israel are the main victims of the current “terror wave,” for they are about to lose all they have, and for the sake of what? The Arabs of Israel are much better off as Israeli citizens than anywhere else in the Arab world, and they know it. Except, them are tempted by the lure of Eve and the Apple, and soon they will be expelled from the Garden of Eden.

From Jaffa Gate I decided not to go via the main Arab walkway that leads eventually to the Jewish Quarter. It might be the shortest route, but in this covered walkway with stores on either side, I did not feel safe. The Arab shopkeepers are those who just a couple of weeks ago spat at a Jewish woman whose husband was stabbed to death, she had a knife in her shoulder, running, pleading for help for their young boy. One Arab shopkeeper beat her. Another said “may you die.” Yet another stood idly and watched, a Jewish family being stabbed to death, a reality TV. The scene reminded me the Europeans eighty years ago, at Strasses throughout Europe’s main capital cities, where Jews were stopped, beaten and humiliated to the cheers and enjoyment of the enlightened crowds.

[Two references to the incident: Arab Witnesses Laughed, Spat at Wounded Terror Victim (INN) and NIGHTMARE ON HA KOTEL STREET (The Zelman Partisans). Youtube video of surviving widow (Adelle Banita-Bennett) being visited by Benjamin Netanyahu:

VIDEO: Netanyahu Visits Wounded Mother and Son

Published by Arutz Sheva TV

Published on Oct 5, 2015]

So I turned toward the Tower of David and Christ Church across from it and walked via the Armenian Quarter. There, at least, I did not feel ill-at-ease. When I arrived at the Jewish Quarter, where dozens of young children were playing outside, free of any worries, in their homeland, I was elated.

I soon arrived at the steps overlooking the Temple Mount. Across from me a mountain of graves, Mount of Olives, from where one can look at the Temple Mount and the Golden Gate, the Gate of Mercy, which the Prophet Ezekiel describes (44:1-3):

1 Then he brought me back the way of the outer gate of the sanctuary, which looketh toward the east; and it was shut.

2 And the LORD said unto me: ‘This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, neither shall any man enter in by it, for the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it; therefore it shall be shut.

3 As for the prince, being a prince, he shall sit therein to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of the gate, and shall go out by the way of the same.’

[Blog Editor: Ari included the Hebrew version of the Scripture above]

א וישב אתי, דרך שער המקדש החיצון, הפנה, קדים; והוא, סגור.

ב ויאמר אלי יהוה, השער הזה סגור יהיה לא יפתח ואיש לא-יבא בו–כי יהוה אלהי-ישראל, בא בו; והיה, סגור.

ג את-הנשיא, נשיא הוא ישב-בו לאכול- (לאכל-) לחם–לפני יהוה; מדרך אולם השער יבוא, ומדרכו יצא.

My eyes wandered nearer to the Al Aqsa Mosque. To its left is the Western Wall and above it the Dome of the Rock. Leading from the Western Wall to the Temple Mount itself is a wooden bridge called Mughrabi. I asked a police officer if I may ascend, as Netanyahu said that the area is accessible during these hours, but the officer dismissed my question and said in no uncertain terms: NO. Likely it was my Middle Eastern look, or maybe my Israeli accent. Regardless, the “no” could not have been interpreted in any other way.

I went through the security check and was at the outskirts of the Western Wall plaza. I look with awe – the Western Wall is but a “window” to the actual western wall of the Temple Mount. Over the centuries one layer was built over another, and so the majority of the wall was covered, the ceiling of all these layers is what today is “ground level.”

[Outside the walls of the Old City, tourists are still here!]

[Walking down the stairs in the Jewish Quarter, toward the Temple Mount]

[Al Aqsa Mosque in the foreground, Mount Olives in the background]

[Al Aqsa Mosque; Israel is apparently working for years, decades, to topple it down….]

 

 

[Mughrabi Bridge – a connection between Jews and Muslims]

The Plaza was empty. The women’s section on the right was well attended, but in the main (men’s) section, there were hardly a handful of people.

I took a yarmulke and put it on my head, as does any man approaching the Western Wall. There, between its stones, were thousands of folded pieces of paper, wishes and hopes people have written and deposited. Personal communication between them and the Almighty above.

A religious Jew was praying, and I glanced at the top of the page, I found myself staring at Psalms 121:

1 A Song of Ascents. {N}

I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: from whence shall my help come?

2 My help cometh from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved; He that keepeth thee will not slumber.

4 Behold, He that keepeth Israel doth neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD is thy keeper; the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.

6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD shall keep thee from all evil; He shall keep thy soul.

[Blog Editor: Ari included the Hebrew version of the Scripture above]

א שיר, למעלות:
אשא עיני, אל-ההרים– מאין, יבא עזרי.

ב עזרי, מעם יהוה– עשה, שמים וארץ.

ג אל-יתן למוט רגלך; אל-ינום, שמרך.

ד הנה לא-ינום, ולא יישן– שומר, ישראל.

ה יהוה שמרך; יהוה צלך, על-יד ימינך.

ו יומם, השמש לא-יככה; וירח בלילה.

ז יהוה, ישמרך מכל-רע: ישמר, את-נפשך.

ח יהוה, ישמר-צאתך ובואך– מעתה, ועד-עולם.

It was not a coincidence, I decided, and for the first time since I was Bar Mitzva’ed at this very place, I stopped at the booth of the “Chabad” people who usually do not let anyone without pestering him to put on Tfillin [The Free Dictionary Definition].

I complained: “You always stop me, and today, when there are not more than a handful of men in the plaza, you do not offer me to put Tfilin?!?” Putting Tfiling is a great Mitzvah and blessing, not only for the person putting them, but also for the one assisting.

Thus, after 36 years, I was again looking “ceremonial” at the Western Wall. Another reason for a Selfie (my first was in Bus #1, encircling the Old City, an hour after a terrorist attack, when I was the only person on the bus – such a rare occasion, it deserved a “selfie!”).

[The Western Wall plaza, women’s section on the left; UNESCO just determined it is an Islamic site – erasing Israel from the map, one step at a time, no connection between the Jewish people and their holiest site of thousands of years, long before Islam was birthed.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For my return I decided on taking a bus, yes, Bus #1, and I still made it in time for the lunch.

At the lunch, I met delegates from the States. Unlike a group of Christians coming to Jerusalem, all praising the Almighty for this treat-of-a-lifetime and praying for the Peace of Jerusalem, when Jews gather for lunch, one can rest assured there will be trouble.

Indeed, we are a very strange people indeed. Everyone loves Israel to such a degree, that they cannot even agree on the most basic common denominator. These support BDS, others fight it. These try to force their own view of what Israel has to be, while those will defend Israel no-matter-what.

It was strange to see the heads of two organizations, ZOA [About] and Ameinu [Ameinu About Page – ZOA criticism of Ameinu], one on the right and one on the left, sitting at the same table and trying to be “civilized.”

[All smiles – for the camera only]

 

Slowly, the real feelings emerged to the surface, and it was clear there is no agreement, practically on anything. Entrust the future of the Jewish state in the hands of American Jewry, and you can rest assured there will not be an Israel in the Land of Israel within a very short period of time.

If I needed a proof that this “Zionist” Congress has nothing to do with “Zionism” of Benjamin Zeev Herzl [Jewish Virtual Library bio] a hundred and eighteen years ago, that was it.

Our hostess explained that the love of Israel is like a marriage of someone who fell in love with another – not the most exceptional in anything, looks, smarts, money, but still the subject of one’s love. Israel is not perfect, she said, but we are still in love. Well, I would not want her as a marriage counselor, and the marriage between Israel and American Jewry, post the euphoria of the 1967 Six Day War, has long passed the stage of divorce.

Lunch was followed by a panel discussion about BDS. Remember, there are elements within the American Jewish community actively pursuing Boycott, Divest and Sanction, while others are limiting their BDS support only toward whatever is “beyond the Green Line” (products like Soda Stream, Dead Sea Ahava beauty products, produce, wines, professors from Ariel University, etc.) and yet others who fight it with all their means.

BDS has become such a magic word, one everyone uses and so few understand [SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER understanding], that I had to attend the panel discussion.

There, too, I was told of a love story. One of the panelists, a young Israeli, told us about his friend, Tevye and one of his seven daughters that reached the age she was to be married. Interestingly, Shalom Aleichem started publishing this story in 1894 and continued throughout the years that the first 11 Zionists Congress meetings had convened.

Anyone who has grown up on Fiddler on the Roof recognizes immediately “Do You Love Me?” Here is an excerpt of the lyrics:

For twenty-five years, I’ve washed your clothes,

Cooked your meals, cleaned your house,

Given you children, milked the cow.

After twenty-five years, why talk about love right now?

Tevye: The first time I met you was on our wedding day. I was scared.

Golde: I was shy.

Tevye: I was nervous.

Golde: So was I.

Tevye: But my father and my father said we’d learn to love each other.

So, now I’m asking, Golde…

Tevye: Do you love me?

Golde: I’m your wife!

Tevye: I know. But do you love me?

Golde: Do I love him?

For twenty-five years, I’ve lived with him,

Fought with him, starved with him.

For twenty-five years, my bed is his.

If that’s not love, what is?

And I was almost caught in this honey trap, so fond I am of Fiddler on the Roof.

Jews, particularly those from America, love Israel so much, that their love threatens to choke this young (3,067 year old), modern country.

[A panel about BDS]

[So many empty rows – luckily other than the American delegates, most others cannot comprehend a Jew participating in any shade of BDS.]

Much like the lunch, where the participants just awaited a release valve, so here when the issue of “Settlements” and the “Occupation” came up, suddenly there was an awakening, hand clapping and renewed interest.

Just feed American Jews with these magic words, and their hearts will start pumping faster, their breathing will quicken and they will feel exhilarated – finally someone who understands their true love to Israel, love that forces them to do what is good for Israel, even if Israel does not think so. “One day,” they tell themselves, “Israel will thank us.”

Interestingly, there were very many empty seats during this panel discussion.

A keynote address. A short visit to the Wall. A lunch with American Jewish clergy and others. And a panel on BDS. For me, that was enough of “Zionism” for one day. I still need to write Ella Frumkin, whose husband Si Z”L was the co-leader (along with Zev Yaroslavsky) headed the fight from Los Angeles to “Let My People Go” at the height of the Soviet Union. I stood with Natan Sheransky [BIO — usually spelled “Sharansky” in American media] and remembered Si’s work and great friendship.

 

Natan Sheransky & Ari Bussel

Natan Sheransky & Ari Bussel

 

Hundred-year-old organizations often do not remember the reason for which they were formed in the first place.  They often look for things to do.  They are “too big to fail,” spending millions on salaries.  They have an amazing supporters’ network.  But what is the utility in their very existence?  Often negligible if any.

 

Will we survive without them?  Surely.  Will we be worse off?  Doubtfully.

 

The World Zionist Organization should cease to exist.  The “Zionist” Congress is a mockery of what Zionism was.  It is a cynical view of a dream once dreamt.  And those who call themselves ardent “Zionists” and do all in their power to bring Israel to her knees must be exposed, isolated and removed.

 

Zionism is alive and well.  It needs not the name of 118 years ago.  It is called the Modern State of Israel.  A miracle between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean (I will not quibble about the exact place one draws the line – to the east or the west).

 

When the world around seems to be exploding, Israel is a safe haven.  Let us work to protect and defend Israel as she is.  Beautiful, although not perfect.  Shy yet adventurous.  Spontaneous yet thoughtful.  Passionate and devoted.  The only homeland of the Jewish people, in its ancient and eternal Zion Jerusalem!

 

Always,

 

Ari Bussel

____________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Except where Ari explains a photo, brackets enclosing links and text are by the Editor.

 

© Ari Bussel

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