Jerusalem, as it has so many times in the past, is today occupying center stage in the world theater. Once again the City of David is under siege. Not by an invading army, but by pressure exerted by nations to relinquish Israeli sovereignty over Jewry’s eternal capital.
President Obama, the arch-appeaser, has joined the chorus and assumed an active role as he tightens the pressure on Israel. One doesn’t have to be an “extremist” to worry that this administration’s policy if to sever Jerusalem from the Jewish people.
Two months ago, in an address before the United Nations, the president called for an Israeli retreat to pre-June1967 borders. Just a few weeks ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that talks with the Palestinians must include Jerusalem.
The recent decision by Israel to construct several hundred housing units in the Gilo neighborhood of Jerusalem reportedly has evoked outrage from the Obama administration.
What a contrast is the administration’s reaction to that of U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, who along with colleagues Jim Inhofe, Jon Kyl, John Cornyn, Joe Lieberman, David Vitter, and Jim Bunning, introduced the Jerusalem Relocation Act of 2009.
The act calls for U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and for the relocation of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Jerusalem needs our prayers, good deeds, and action. Jerusalem calls out for the Voice of Jacob to fulfill Isaiah’s words uttered more than 2,500 years ago: “For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem, I will not be still.”
Each Jew is being summoned to stand up for Jerusalem.
For Jerusalem, we will never again be silent.
It is a time when every Jewish organization will be held accountable for its response to the challenge. Some have said nothing. Others may broach the issue on their web pages while engaging in some lobbying, but why have they not yet mobilized a public outcry on behalf of Jewry’s beleaguered capital?
Jewish organizations, the eyes of history are once again upon you.
Mount Zion, the Old City, the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, is all one city – a city in which every Jew has a stake and a portion. As King David stated, “The built-up Jerusalem is like a city that is united together.”
The Talmud embellishes on that sentence, declaring that Jerusalem binds one Jew to another. (Jerusalem Talmud, Bava Kama 7:7)
For the love of Jerusalem, Jewish organizations must join together for a common purpose.
The far left and the pro-Palestinian camp have their activists, and they are vocal. Will American Jews stand aside as bystanders or will they raise their voices? This is a moment of decision.
Will American Jewry awaken, stand up, and proclaim a resounding NO to the president?
Will American Jews proclaim that the Arabs have far more than enough land, with many capital cities, while the Jews have a small sliver of territory with just one eternal capital?
Will they insist that true peace is about coexistence, not surrendering one’s capital, one’s birthright?
Israel’s enemies and detractors can desecrate and plunder the Temple Mount area of all its ancient treasures from the days of the Jerusalem Temple, and their leaders can deliver incendiary speeches denying Jerusalem’s importance to the Jews, but the connection between the city and its rightful stewards can never be altered or erased.
The surrender of Jerusalem will never satisfy the radical Islamists; it will only embolden them to continue their battle for dominance over Israel and ultimately the world.
The Israeli government and the main opposition parties have made their position clear: they will continue to build in Jerusalem. Will American Jewry stand up, show courage, and back their brethren?
The world is watching. The people of America are watching. History is watching.
Larry Domnitch is the author of “The Cantonists: The Jewish Children’s Army of the Tsar” (Devora Publishing).