Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.
Prior to the Knesset vote on the Regulation Law, which was defeated on June 6, I visited the protest tent where people were on a hunger strike and I realized we are again going through what we went through in the days before the destruction of Gush Katif.
The destruction of five buildings in the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El, as ordered by the High Court, could set a precedent for more destruction. (The Regulation Law would have set a time limit for Arab claims and would have substituted compensation for destruction.)
A day before the vote I thought, What can I do to help? I suddenly began daydreaming and saw a letter from Dov Shurin to Prime Minister Netanyahu on the front page of the Jerusalem Post urging him to allow Likud Knesset members and ministers to vote their hearts so that the law might pass.
“Yeah, right,” I said to myself.” You aren’t going to pay big money for that.”
But I’m sure many of my readers can look back at important events and accomplishments in their lives and remember it all started with a dream.
So I came up with the following idea: I write for The Jewish Press, which would be a great place for the Jerusalem Post to advertise for subscribers to its International Edition.
I started making a series of calls, and a barter deal was worked out between these two important Jewish papers. I was given nearly a quarter of a page for a letter to the prime minister:
An Open Letter To Our Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu From New York radio personality And composer of the song “Zachreni Na,” Dov Shurin:
Zachreni Na! Remember me, your friend Dov. Know that my love for you is unshakable. That is why I beg you to allow fellow Likud Knesset Members and Ministers to have a free vote according to each one’s conscience on the important Regulation Law.
As in the Song of Shimshon, “Ach hapa’am hazeh HaElokim!” – just this ONE time, our leader!
I assure you, my dear friend, that the victory will be OURS – yours, mine, and all of the nation’s.
Do this, and you will reap the reward of leading our nation for many years to come.
With love, Dov Shurin I went to sleep that night and had another dream: I met our president, Shimon Peres. I showed him my letter to Netanyahu and said, “It’s not really going the help…”
“No, no,” he interrupted, “It will help!”
Great dream, right?
Now it was morning and I went out to buy the Jerusalem Post. The headline story was about the new law having “no chance” of passing, and underneath it, on page one, was my letter.
Well, the president told me my letter would help, but how?
I went to the protest tent across from the Knesset. The hunger strikers I’d met earlier were still inside; protesters were outside; and everyone was talking about how the prime minister had said any minister who voted for the bill would be fired. Things looked bleak.
I fell into a daydream:
Netanyahu is sitting by his desk and all the morning papers lie in front of him. He glances at the headlines and makes and receives calls. The clock on the wall is ticking hypnotically; he’s tired from a long night. His wife calls to urge him to take a nap.
“Everything will be all right,” she says. “The leftists paid legal fees to help an Arab prove his ‘ownership’ of the land. The High Court ordered the destruction, but you will build ten houses for each one destroyed, 50 more houses.”
Netanyahu finishes on the phone and takes the Jerusalem Post with him to the couch for a quick nap.
My inside sources tell me he was snoring with my letter resting on his nose.
At any rate, it was just before the Knesset vote and journalists wanted a statement from the prime minister. Suddenly, out of nowhere, he told them he’d decided to build 851 new houses in the settlements. Some 300 in Bet El, 100 in Kiryat Arba, some in Maale Adumim, Adam, and other places.
I thought, Why 851? What a weird figure. There must be a message in the gematria, the numerical value.
I searched and found two important gematrias for 851. The first is b’admas kodesh, meaning “in the Holy Land,” which is 851. So 851 new homes in the holy land!
The second gematria is really significant to the left-right struggle going on b’admas kodesh – in the Holy Land.
We go to Tehillim 20, verse 9, which we say every day between Ashrei and U’va L’Tzion. The verse states: “They shall be brought down and utterly fall, but we shall rise and stand firm and strong” – in Hebrew, v’anachnu kamnu v’nisohdod, which equals 851.
In closing, I say to our charming prime minister: Your becoming the leader of the State of Israel (again) was your dream come true.
In the street people are muttering, Hey, you’re dreaming if you believe Netanyahu about building the 851 new homes.
Mr. Prime Minister, it’s in your power to fulfill my dream, your dream, and the gematria of 851, which is our dream of a better Eretz Yisrael for Hashem and his Charming Nation.
Do not disappoint us. It was easy to defeat the Regulation Law, but given the makeup and decision-making power of your ministerial committee, which includes Barak and Mofaz, you’re dreaming if you think it will be easy to build those 851 new homes.
It won’t be easy, but you and I know dreams do come true. Good luck.
Dov Shurin is a popular radio personality and the composer and producer of several albums of original composition. He lives with his family in Israel and can be contacted at email@example.com. His column appears in The Jewish Press every other week.
About the Author: Dov Shurin is a popular radio personality and the composer and producer of several albums. He lives with his family in Israel and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Jewish Press column appears the third issue of each month.
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