My friends, this day is almost prophetic, it is a historic day which marks a new era in Israeli – American relations. Today the United States of America opens its embassy in Jerusalem, the rightful and eternal capital of the People and Nation of Israel. There are few words to express the joy we feel on this occasion. Jerusalem has always been and will always be our capital. It can be said that today we celebrate the recognition of that age old fact by a great and mighty nation and ally, the USA, but what we really celebrate today is the breaking of the shackles of fear and terror. Not far from Jerusalem, on the Gaza border, and around the world, our enemies rage, and terrorize, and destroy and kill, outraged at the notion that the land of Israel belongs to the Jews and Jerusalem is our heritage. They threaten the world with violence and terror, but today our two countries and others who will follow have declared in one voice, “We are not afraid!” We are not afraid of the aggression of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran or even ISIS or Al-Qaeda, we are not afraid of you! We will no longer apologize for who we are and what we believe. From now on, we stand firm on our hallowed ground, to champion and defend our right and the rights of every people “to live in freedom in the land of Zion and Jerusalem.” We have declared with one voice, that for Zion’s sake we will never be silent again. Our opposition tells you Israel is the bully, but they ignore the fact that Israel is the only government in Levant history which has respected and even protected the rights of all religious and ethnic minorities, and Jerusalem is a perfect example of that freedom and coexistence. In her streets you can find the Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Armenian quarters united within her walls. As you enter the city you are awestruck by the sounds of Church Bells, the Islamic call to prayer, and the sounds of Hebrew prayers and songs echo as they bounce off the walls of the three thousand year old city. How appropriate it is, for this epic occasion to fall just one day after Mother’s Day, for she is the mother of us all. Jerusalem is the City of Peace, and believe it or not, she is the key to eventual world peace. Those who have sought to destroy her, have all but disappeared from history, and yet she stands firm as a silent but ever present witness. If her walls could speak, one could only imagine the lessons she has to teach us. Jerusalem is an example of how the world should be. Though this battle is won, the war is far from over, and there is still much work needed to be done. There is a long road ahead of us, but together, we can walk through this adventure triumphantly until the days of Mashiach the Prince will come. Until that day, let us not leave all the work to him, rather as the teaching from the Ethics of Our Fathers says, “In the place where there is no one, be the one.” Let us work together to draw real solutions to the problems facing the Middle East, in Syria, Gaza and other regions. Even now, for the first time, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and other Arab nations have chosen to break with old customs and make history by declaring that Israel has not only the right to exist, but the right to defend herself. It is a sign of changing times, it is a sign that peace is possible, and it is a sign of a future where peace and prosperity is a reality in the Middle East, and the words of the Prophets would be fulfilled, “Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they study war any more.” Now let us say, Amen!
I recall a certain Arab woman come up to me to tell me falafel is a Palestinian dish, not Israeli. And all my life I’ve encountered plenty of people who say the Middle East is Arab and that Jews don’t belong. My question to many Arabs and all people who say we don’t belong is: Where do we belong? Do Native Americans not belong in America? Do Arabs not belong in the Middle East? Of course they do! My address is not who invented humus or falafel, this is stupid and irrelevant, my address is to my Arab people because yes I am half Arab too. When will you stop the double standards? The hypocrisy! Jews are an indigenous people of the Middle East just like Kurds, and just like Arabs. When will you stop insisting the entire Middle East belongs to you alone? When will you finally realize that Arabs have over 22 states while we Jews only have one? When will you stop persecuting your own people who dare to disagree with your regimes? When will you stop demanding the world conform to the same broken systems you fled from? Jews belong in Judea, Samaria, and all Israel. We will not apologize for who we are. We have tried several countless times to make peace with our Arab neighbors to no avail. Israel is not the problem in the Middle East, you are. Until you admit that, nothing will change. Mashiach will rise and avenge us. May the day be close at hand.
A two state solution between Israel and the Palestinian People is pointless and would never work! Israel is and must remain the Jewish State and Homeland; the Jewish people have every right to the Land, both politically, and historically. Not to mention that there are already twenty two Arab states in the Middle East, there is no need for a twenty third state to be forced upon Israel. Consider the fact that there already exists a predominantly Palestinian state called Jordan, thus there is no need for a second state to be formed. Muslim, Christian, and other minorities in Israel enjoy political, economic, religious and social freedoms. Also consider the fact that the so called, “Two State Solution” was initially offered in the British Mandate for the Partition of Palestine; the Arabs completely rejected the idea and repeated their expressed desire for all the land to fall under Islamic rule when the General Assembly of the United Nations gathered in 1947. Finally, from 1948 until this very day, Ha Medinat Israel (The State of Israel) has offered more than acceptable terms of peace time and time again, and time and time again the Palestinian Authority have rejected the offers.
First and foremost, The United States Government and all member states of the United Nations must realize the necessity for Israel to remain independent and undivided with Jerusalem as the undeniable and eternal capital of the Jewish People. When it comes to the question of who has more right to the Holy Land, the true yet persecuted answer has always been and will remain, to the Jewish people. The very history of the land shows enough evidence for their indigenous right and claim. Almost two millennia ago, the Roman legions under Titus Vespasian invaded Jerusalem and destroyed the Holy Jewish Temple itself. Since that disaster, the Jewish people have been scattered into every region, every language and every culture on earth throughout the centuries. Some groups, however, remained in their native Holy Land and even succeeded in establishing their own independent Jewish State under Shimon Bar Kosiba in 132 through 135 CE. Though quickly crushed by the Roman legions, Judea was the last independent Nation to exist in the Land nearly two thousand years ago, after which it was occupied by one empire after another. The last empire to occupy the Holy Land was that of Great Britain. The British had captured Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks in 1917 during World War One and by 1920 through 1946, Britain’s chief obligation under the League of Nations and later the United Nations was to grant and implement the requests of the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917 and create a national Home for the Jewish people. It should also be noted that during this time the Arab inhabitants of Palestine at no time took any action for an independent Arab state. And until 1948, the term Palestinian was used to refer to both Jews and Arabs who lived in the region known then politically as Palestine. The British government divided “Palestine” into two districts. The western edge would be for the Jewish State and the eastern territory would be for the Palestinian Arab state Tans Jordan. “Palestine” was Partitioned in 1946, and the independent Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was established, with Palestinian Arabs as its major population. Thus, a two state solution was implemented. On November 29, 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations voted with a two thirds majority to partition western Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state. The Arab world rejected the idea and its extremist leaders such as Haj Amin Al Husseini, a former ally of Adolf Hitler, encouraged the Arab inhabitants to join the “jihad” (holy war) against the Jews and the west and was quoted saying “murder the Jews, murder them all!”
Finally on May 14, 1948 the independent State of Israel was reborn and extended the hand of peace to its Arab inhabitants and neighbors. The Israeli Declaration of Independence states within its texts, “WE APPEAL – in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months – to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the up building of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions. WE EXTEND our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort in the advancement of the entire Middle East.”(jewishvirtuallibrary.org) The answer Israel received was cold and treacherous as the new Jewish State was suddenly attacked from all sides by the armies of Syria – Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq. The day old nation survived and won the war and would repeat similar and greater miraculous victories in the decades to come.
Secondly, it is known that the independence of Israel outraged most of the Arab nations. Arab inhabitants of Israel had been encouraged by their leaders to join the jihad against Israel. In doing so, they were encouraged to abandon their homes and to carry out attacks and riots against the Jewish State, which in turn lead to their exodus from the country. It is also worthy of note that not all Arabs were hostile to the Jews, since from the earliest days of the Balfour Declaration, King Emir Faisal 1 of Iraq established an agreement with Chaim Weizman in full recognition and acceptance of Zionism on behalf of the Arab people and the recognition of the bond and kinship between Arabs and Jews.
Zahir Muhsein, an executive committee member of the PLO was interviewed in 1977 saying, “Only for political reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we poist the existence of a distinct Palestinian people to oppose Zionism.”
As the newly labeled “Palestinians” forsook the land, much of the Jewish inhabitants of Arab countries sought refuge in Israel from intensified persecutions and even expulsions. As seven hundred and twenty thousand Palestinians left Israel, six hundred thousand Arab Jews entered Israel and joined their native and European Jewish brethren. Thus the Jewish population of Israel began to rise rapidly. Even prior to these events, since the late eighteen hundreds and the revival of the Zionist movement, Jews began to return and settle in the Holy Land by building cities and towns in unsettled areas and even buying land from Arab inhabitants. Not to mention that they were joining “Palestinian” Jews whose families had lived in the land for thousands of years. They settled, built great cities, caused the “barren wastelands” to blossom and bloom with rich and diverse life and culture. These people built much of the Israel known today, which gives them even more than adequate right to the Land. According to an article by Yaron Brook and Peter Schwartz in the book Israel/ Opposing Viewpoints, “As to the rightful owners of particular pieces of property, Israel’s founders – like the homesteaders in the American West – earned ownership of the land by developing it. They arrived in a desolate, sparsely populated region and drained the swamps, irrigated the desert. Grew crops and built cities. They worked unclaimed land or purchased it from the owners. They introduced industry, libraries, hospitals, art galleries, universities – and the concept of individual rights. Those Arabs who abandoned their land in order to join the military crusade against Israel forfeited all right to their property. And if there are any peaceful Arabs who were forcibly evicted from their property, they should be entitled to press their claims in the courts of Israel, which, unlike the Arab autocracies, has an independent, objective judiciary – a judiciary that recognizes the principle of property rights.” (23)
Thirdly, let us not forget that twenty two states already exist in the Arab League, so there is no need at all for a twenty third. To add to this fact, Jordan, as stated previously, is a mostly Palestinian Arab state, there is no need for a second Palestinian state. So if there already exists a Palestinian state, why do the Palestinian Arabs still cry out for one? The former leader of the “PLO” (Palestinian Liberation Organization) Yassir Arafat gave this explanation quite clearly, “ Since we cannot defeat Israel in war, we do this in stages. We take any and every territory we can of Palestine, and establish a sovereignty there, and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes, we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel.” In this statement, Arafat made the PLO’s intentions and those of the Arab League quite visible, that is the total demise of Israel and the rise of a new radical Palestinian Islamic state in its place. Even if the Palestinians have a new state alongside Israel, they would only use it as the “springboard” to continue to attack Israel until all the land becomes theirs. This shows that the Palestinian Authority, which still holds Arafat and other dead terrorists as “heroes,” has no intention or desire to recognize let alone live alongside a Jewish State.
One of the many excuses used by the PLO is that Israel is occupying Arab land and “violating the rights of the Palestinian.” This is a useless argument, seeing as Israel is a democracy and has been the only real democracy in the Middle East until this very day. Muslim, Christian and other Arab groups living in Israel enjoy full and equal rights. Yaron Brook and Peter Schwartz state, “Israel is the only free country in a region dominated by Arab monarchies, theocracies, and dictatorships. It is only the citizens of Israel – Arabs and Jews alike – who enjoy the right to express their view, to criticize their government, to form political parties, to publish private news papers, to hold free elections. When Arab authorities deny the most basic freedoms to their own people, it is obscene for them to start claiming that Israel is violating the Palestinian’s right.”(Israel/Opposing Viewpoints 21) As stated previously, Arab and Jewish Israelis alike share many freedoms, including economic, political, religious, and social. Of course, those who carry out terrorist actions must be brought to justice, thus if the Jewish nation is to live securely, terrorists both Jewish and Arab alike and those who support them must be dealt with in harsh but necessary ways. The same law would apply in the United States if we were constantly under rocket attacks and suicide bombings, losing our women and children to these atrocities on a daily basis.
Fourthly, as stated before, a so called, “Two State Solution,” was already offered in the British Mandate in 1920 through 1946 and once again in the UN General Assembly in 1947. The Arab world simply rejected the opportunity and continued to reject it, even when Israel and Jordan themselves offered a Two State Solution to the PLO time and time again. Also consider the fact that Jordan only occupied Judea and Samaria (also known as the West Bank) since 1948, when they captured it from the Israelis after the British had evacuated. After this, Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, were under Jordanian occupation for nineteen years, and no attempt whatsoever was made by the Palestinian Arabs to establish a new State. Instead, they decided to make matters worse by joining the Arab nations in attacking Israel in 1967, to which Israel gave a stunning answer, and fought back against Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia during the historic Six Day War, liberating the Gaza strip, Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights, the West Bank and even Jerusalem herself from Arab forces, which had occupied those areas since the British had left them. Egypt is an exception to this because they expelled UN peace keeping forces from the Sinai Peninsula in order to seize it and attack Israel. In 1968 through 1969, Yasser Arafat and the PLO began to terrorize the Kingdom of Jordan, attempting to topple the government of King Hussein and take control to attack Israel, but King Hussein undertook extensive negotiations with Arafat in which he even offered to form a new government with him in which Arafat would serve as prime minister! Arafat not surprisingly rejected the perfect offer, because he knew that such a deal would mean renouncing his terrorism against Israel and the West. Thus, another opportunity for the Palestinians to live in peace was simply thrown out the window.
Egypt and Syria decided to surprise Israel yet again in 1973 with the Yom Kippur War, yet Israel fought back and won this conflict as well. Finally, some hope was seen when Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Menachem Begin of Israel signed a historic peace treaty in Washington DC hosted by President Jimmy Carter in March of 1979, however many issues were left unresolved, such as the Palestinians. Throughout the following years Yasser Arafat and the PLO carried out several terrorist attacks against Israelis and Americans, planting and funding terrorist sub organizations such as Hamas, Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade, Islamic Jihad and later, Hezbollah, which are responsible till this day for the deaths of countless innocents. Does it not seem so strange that such a monster like Yasser Arafat, who was also the nephew of Haj Amin Al Husseini, was welcomed into the United Nations? In 1993, an historic event seemed to have been unfolding, as for the first time, Israel and the Palestinians seemed to have been on a path to “peace.” Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman (and terrorist) Yasser Arafat flew to Washington DC to sign a Peace Treaty mediated by President Bill Clinton in which a separate Palestinian State would exist alongside the Jewish State. However, Arafat’s terrorists continued to carry out attacks against Israel, which lead Israel to take action in Lebanon. The chances for peace rapidly deteriorated, especially after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin by a young Jewish radical and continued attacks from the PLO and other groups. So as one can see, the Israeli Government has offered a two state solution several times before, and the Palestinians have had a plethora of opportunities, and each one was rejected. The PLO and other groups such as Hamas and Fatah seek a solution where Israel does not exist; it is their basic goal and the reason for which these organizations exist, made clear by the first and second intifadas. In September of 2005, the Israeli government forcefully evicted thousands of Jewish families from the Gaza strip with the intention of giving Gaza over to the Palestinian Authority so that they could have their own elections and establish their State. Countless families who had lived in Gaza for decades, were now being literally dragged out of their homes by their own Israeli troops, and why, so that the Palestinians would finally have their own land and leave Israel alone. This, however, was not the case. Even after the withdrawal from Gaza, Hamas, the extremist Islamic terrorist group, began a civil war against Fatah, which itself used to be a terrorist group until they put a diplomatic mask on. It was not long until Hamas defeated Fatah and seized control of the Gaza Strip. Fatah was forced to evacuate to the West Bank eventually claiming Ramallah as its headquarters. What was Hamas’ response to Israel’s cooperation? Simple, more attacks, more terrorism, and an all out war against Israel in 2006 during the Second Lebanon War! These actions carried out by Hamas only exposes the true agenda of Palestinian Authority, and other terrorist groups, the destruction of Israel, the dream of the radical Muslim world. Finally, in late December of 2008 and early January 2009, the Israeli Government had just about had enough of the ongoing rocket attacks on Israeli towns such as S’derot.
There were countless attacks every single day. So Israel finally decided to launch Operation Cast Lead and attacked terrorist positions within the Gaza Strip. Pathetically, the world protested to this aggressive move by Israel, many did not realize that the terrorists’ strategy against the world was working. They use human shields, hiding among the population and even turning their population into armed assassins themselves, in this way if the Israelis counter attack or retaliate they will unintentionally have killed “civilians,” meanwhile Hamas and other groups show the images to the world and blame Israel for being the aggressor. Sadly, the world is falling for the plot of the terrorists, and supporting them rather than support Israel. Knowing all this, the Israelis decided to cease with air strikes, and send in ground forces to find the terrorist hideouts and take them out. Operation Cast Lead is still debated among many today, and now, the Palestinians are joined by a community of nations in demanding a “Two State Solution” to be the objective of the “Road-map to Peace.”
The previous administration of Barack Obama had been joining this community to put pressure on Israel rather than help them. In fact, after Operation Cast Lead, Pillar of Defense and even Operation Protective Edge, millions of American dollars were poured into “aiding and rebuilding the Gaza Strip.” While intentions seem to be noble, the action itself is outright stupid and naive. It is obvious that such aid entering Gaza was seized by Hamas in order to smuggle in more weapons from Arab countries to attack more Jewish cities. This is the reason that Israel continues its blockade to Gaza today, because Hamas is not cooperating.
Today Donald Trump leads the United States, Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin lead the Israeli Government and Mahmoud Abbas, Yasser Arafat‘s former subordinate, is still the recognized leader of Fatah while Ismail Haniya leads Hamas. There are many who believe Israel should withdraw all together from the Judea and Samaria, and return again to the 1967 boarders, Obama himself having expressed this position in his speech regarding Israel in September of 2011. This is an outrageous notion, Israel cannot withdraw from this land, and it would be suicide for the nation. Not to mention that the Arab world was angry with Israel before the “West Bank Settlements” were even an issue. The plan of land for peace failed with Gaza in 2005, what makes the world think it would work this time? Fatah, the so called moderate Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the Extremist Palestinian Authority, are offshoots of Yassir Arafat’s dream of Israel’s destruction. In the end, they only want to deceive the world, by taking more and more land from Israel and demanding more and more territory until they can finally launch an all out war against Israel, getting the Arab world and perhaps even other nations to join the fight, and all the while their own people pay the price. Their goal is the destruction of Israel and the murder of every single Jew on earth. As their horrendous doctrines teach them “The time [of judgment] will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them; until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: Oh Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!” (Sahih Muslim book 41,no. 6985) This is the sort of ideology taught in Palestinian elementary schools, this is the mentality in which Hamas and Fatah train the Palestinian population. Yet as they demand their own state, the world audaciously bends to their will. Not only do they have no right historically or politically to a new state, but their actions and atrocities carried out in the past years should strip them even further of their right to a state. No nation on earth has any right to demand that another nation divide its own land unless it is an enemy nation during war time. The United States, the United Nations, European Union, Arab League, and other groups have no right whatsoever to demand that Israel give up more land for peace, they are demanding that Israel commit political and strategic suicide.
There are those who would say that a Two State Solution can work and that a Jewish and Palestinian state living side by side is possible. Stated in The Case For Peace/“How the Arab Israeli Conflict Can Be Resolved” Alan Dershowitz quotes Dennis Ross, who was Middle East Adviser and Chief Negotiator under George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, “Like it or not, [Israelis and Palestinians] must recognize that their fate is intertwined. Their choice is either to live in perpetual struggle, with endless victims, pain and sorrow, and destruction, or to live in peaceful coexistence. From all the efforts I have made over the years, I am certain the mainstreams on both sides understand that reality. However, translating that understanding from an abstraction into a practical reality has proven far more difficult than I had hoped.” (11) Alan Dershowitz also states, “The case for peace is a hope for two homelands, side by side and prospering, with mutual respect for democratic governance and an enduring season of shalom and salaam.” (The Case for Peace 203) However lovely and noble these words seem, they are not practical.
“Do those in the free world calling for a Palestinian state really want unlimited sovereignty for the Palestinians? Do they really want to have a Palestinian state with its own army, free to dispatch suicide bombers all over the world as Iran already does? Certainly not. But unlimited sovereignty will produce just that: a fanatical, dictatorial, armed terrorist state in the heart of the Middle East. This state will threaten Israel, America and the entire free world. It will become a university for suicide bombers with departments for every terror organization imaginable – from Hamas to Hezbollah to al Qaeda.” (Benjamin Netanyahu, Betar Tagar, July 3, 2003, http://www.betar.co.uk/)
In conclusion, it can be said that a two state solution between Israel and the Palestinian People is pointless and would never work! Such a decision requires Israel to take grave risks which would threaten the security of the Jewish State, of the United States and the entire free world. The Palestinian Authority has made it clear in past years that they have no intention of living alongside the Jewish State, if they express such “hope” now; it is only in steps to destroy Israel. As the world seems to be rapidly closing its doors to positive relations with Israel, the words of the Prophets seem to be coming to life, as the nations and kingdoms of the world gather together in an effort to subdue and destroy the Nation and People of Israel. Even so, countless Israelis and Jews around the world continue our fervent Hope and age old prayer, for the arrival of Mashiach (Messiah) and the Salvation and Restoration of Israel which will usher an era of true Peace and Wholeness on Earth. This is Ha Tikva (The Hope); this is the dream, to live in Freedom in the Land of Zion and Yerushalayim (Jerusalem).
How can this come to pass with the division of the land, which will include the division of Jerusalem, the Holy City herself which is looked upon by the eyes of the entire world by Jews and Christians alike? Dividing this Holy Land and above all this Holy City, would prove to be disastrous for Israel, and for all who wish to truly live in Peace and Justice. How will Shalom (Peace) come if Jerusalem, the symbol of Peace, remains divided? A so called “two state solution” should not be the goal of any plan for peace in Israel, and the United Nations should not pressure Israel into taking such a step. It has been tried before and thus it proves pointless. Israel is and must always remain united and free. As the hopes and prayers of countless rest upon Jerusalem, she must forever remain the united capital of the Jewish Nation of Israel.
It is poetic that a few weeks ago, Jewish communities from Jerusalem and around the world were all celebrating Purim, the holiday that celebrates the life of a beautiful young Jewish orphan girl who rose from obscurity and became the savior of her people and the queen of an entire empire. But that’s a story that happened a long time ago, and I’m here today to tell you about a modern day Queen Esther, or Queen of Sheba, however you want to describe the sexy phenomenon that is Yityish Aynaw. Yityish, who is lovingly referred to as “Titi”by those who know her, visited the Hillel center in Florida International University this week and gave me the honor of speaking with her directly. Did I mention she signed my army hat? I guess this gives me bragging rights ; )
Titi was born just twenty five years ago in the small village of Chahawit near the city of Gondar in Ethiopia. She was born into a culture of Ethiopian Jewry that kept very much to themselves for fear of on going persecution. She remembers from a young age walking bear foot and as she personally described to me, sometimes having to light Shabbat candles in secret and “having practically nothing,” as far as material possessions. After eventually having lost both her father and mother, along with many other hardships endured, Titi took her brother Yellek and immigrated to Israel where they would be raised by their Jewish grandparents in the city of Netanyah just north of Tel Aviv.
At just twelve years old, this brave young woman faced new challenges of assimilation into a new culture, but she quickly learned to adapt and master the Hebrew language. She excelled in school as she grew up and eventually did what almost every young Israeli is obligated to do after high school, she joined and bravely served the Israel Defense Forces when she was nineteen years old, eventually rising to the rank of Lieutenant. Those were the three most defining years for Yityish, as she describes them having given her much needed direction in her life.
After having completed her army service, Titi found her way into a clothing store where she worked as a simple sales clerk, but her stunning beauty would not go unnoticed. It was one of her close friends who actually took the liberty to register Titi for the Miss Universe competition. In February of 2013, , she not only won the title of Miss Israel but instantly received fame world wide for being the first Black and Ethiopian Jewish Miss Israel. Her fame and beauty quickly spread like wildfire around the world, even reaching as far as the White House in Washington D.C. Upon visiting Israel, former President Barak Obama insisted on personally meeting the breathtaking and inspiring Yityish Aynaw, and it was a dream come true for her as well as she was always greatly inspired by the first Black U.S. President and his rise to success, so much that Titi considers Obama to be a mentor to her. She was invited to the gala dinner where she had the chance to speak with both Obama and the late Israeli President, Shimon Peres z”l.
Titi told us how she was later interviewed by a number of news media outlets including the Jerusalem Post and CNN. It was a dream she did not expect to ever come true, said the young supermodel, as she had absolutely no experience modeling prior to the Miss Universe competition. Her story is both compelling and inspiring, the stuff you only hear about from the Bible, but here she was a living example to countless people around the world. I could not help but ask her, as she had inspired so many, what it is that inspires her and kept her going all those years from Ethiopia to Israel today. She smiled and said, “It was my faith, I’m a fighter,”expressing to us how she refused to give up or give in until she got herself out of Ethiopia and on to the life that was her vision and dream.
Yityish Aynaw’s current projects include her own personal touch to the fashion industry, and serving as a beacon of hope for other youth and minorities both in Israel and around the globe. She says her biggest dream however, is to have her own big beautiful family and give them the kind of life she says she never had growing up. She’s the kind of person you want your children to learn from and emulate. She has now become an iconic figure of a legendary nation and culture whose very theme is based on “Tikvah,”HOPE, and that’s exactly what Miss Aynaw has given us and continues to give to so many like her both at home and abroad. I myself have been big fan of Titi since she was first crowned in 2013; to meet her and speak to her was, well, heart melting, to say the least. On behalf of the Hillel of Florida International University, I would like to thank Yityish Aynaw for taking the time to come and speak with us and would like her to know that we too will carry her message of hope and perseverance as we apply it to both our growth on college campuses and the preservation of Jewish life and pride in all its rich diversity. I also want her to know that she’ll always have a loyal admirer in me ; )
– by Uzi Darwiche
It is written in the Talmud, “He who saves one life saves the world entire.” So what can be said about he or she who destroys one life? Or countless lives? Is that individual responsible for the destruction of one or several whole worlds? Yes!
Recently I had the honor of meeting a courageous woman and mother, fighting for the basic right of dignity for her son. Yet her cries continue to be largely ignored by members and leaders of the United Nations. Her name is Leah Goldin and her son’s name, was Hadar. Most of us are familiar with the story of David and Goliath; the young warrior poet who slew the mighty giant with a rock and sling and managed to inspire his people, uniting all the tribes of Israel into a powerful Kingdom of legend. Yet few today know about modern Davids; they live and die among us yet remain unseen or unnoticed by the world. One such youth was twenty three year old Lieutenant Hadar Goldin of the Givati Brigade in the Israeli Defense Forces. He was senselessly murdered, his body dragged through underground tunnels and held for ransom by Gaza based terror group Hamas till this day.
Now before you quickly justify this case as an act of war and not of terrorism, let the facts be presented for the world to see. The facts how Hadar’s own mother told me herself and not some biased news media outlet:
First, Hadar was killed on August 1st, 2014.
Two hours AFTER a CEASE – FIRE WAS DECLARED.
Israel did not violate the cease-fire.
Hamas quickly broke the cease-fire just two hours after it was issued.
After the Protective Edge War with Gaza.
HIS BODY CONTINUES TO BE HELD HOSTAGE BY HAMAS TODAY.
THE UNITED NATIONS AND WORLD COMMUNITY REMAIN SILENT!
A cease-fire implies that neither side of a conflict will attack the other so long as the order remains in effect. Hamas terrorists blatantly violated the agreement while Israel kept to their end of bargain. Hamas operatives invaded Israeli territory via underground tunnels, savagely attacked and murdered Hadar, and dragged his body back through the tunnel into Gaza. You may ask why anyone in their right mind would do such a thing. You may also be wondering why any terrorist or criminal would kidnap anyone just to kill them instead of holding them alive for ransom. I find myself asking the same questions but I’m afraid I already know the answer.
You see, in most Jewish, Christian or even Muslim homes, children are taught to love God by loving and respecting the dignity of your fellow human being. Sadly, however, this is far from the case in many Palestinian homes. While some genuinely seek a peaceful solution, many are still falling prey to the vicious onslaught of Hamas’ version of a solid Palestinian “education” where children are taught to hate Israelis and are even trained to attack civilians from a very young and impressionable age. Their education remains that Israelis are “evil devils” and should be killed to “liberate Palestine.” How can any peace even be remotely possible with such brain-washing going on? But I digress… My point… Hamas believes that Israel will exchange hundreds of terrorists for the release of the bodies of fallen Israeli soldiers, as has been the case in previous wars. Whatever the intent, however, I think we can all agree, the action is not only cruel but is inhumane. Whichever side you are on, I believe that even enemies can show some measure of respect to one another. SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!
But allow me to scratch the surface to you about the incredible young man that Hadar was. Only 23 years old, Hadar Goldin was a patriot; he loved his country and people to no end. He was a gifted artist and writer having completed various creative works before his passing. Hadar was a happy person, and he loved humanity, often placing others’ needs before his own. Everyone that met him loved him because he was that kind of man, kind to all with a positive personality. He believed in peaceful coexistence and friendship among all people. “Strength and humility were the words he and his twin brother Tzur would engrave onto their rifles, describing the balance between knowing when to use their weapon and when not to.
Nearly three years later, Leah Goldin is still fighting for the release of Hadar’s body. She has even gone directly to the United Nations and confronted key leaders, who have shamefully turned their backs to ignore her plight. Leah is one of many Jewish mothers and parents whose cries have gone unanswered and completely ignored for several years. Why is the world silent? Why do they not pay attention? Why are Jewish mothers treated differently from others? What if it were you? What if it were your child? You may cite “Israeli aggression” to justify Hadar’s death, but in most Israeli-Arab wars, including Protective Edge, Islamic extremists were the aggressors, not Israelis. Hamas clearly violated a cease fire agreement brokered by the United Nations. It was during this time of “peace,” that they kidnapped and murdered Hadar. Let the facts be clearly set forth: Hamas operatives commit dastardly crimes against their own people in Gaza on a daily basis, and the murder of Hadar Goldin is among the latest acts of terrorism perpetrated by Hamas and they must be held accountable not only by the Israeli government, but by international courts.
A Jewish mother is no different from a Muslim or Christian Mother, each deserves dignity and respect. Leah Goldin and her family deserve honor and dignity for their son, who must also be honored with a proper burial and memorial for his bravery. In the face of global indifference, what will you do? Will you be among the millions of people who remain silent? Or will you take action by raising awareness of Hadar Goldin’s cause and the cases of other young men like him? The choice is yours, but please, have a heart and join us! Let this mother’s plight and that of others never be ignored again! The time is NOW!
I AM A JEW! Yes, that’s right I said it! No, I won’t apologize. No, I’m not afraid of being targeted or ridiculed. It’s time for the Jewish Nation as a people to rise up world wide and unite in strength! No longer will we be silent! No longer will we sit idly by while our brothers and sisters are murdered over seas and then painted as war criminals by the very assassins and murderers who have the audacity to claim the identity of David while some how masking their Goliath-like stature from world view!
I am an American, but first and foremost I am a Jew, a Hebrew, a Son of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Royalty flows in my veins, the blood of prophets and kings from Moses to David and Solomon, from Queen Esther to Golda Meir! We are the Jews, and we will no longer be silent, for Zion is our home! Yes I am a Zionist and proud, no apologies to anyone. Our journey is just beginning, Herzl’s dream is not over. It’s up to us to take the next steps. To my fellow Jews in America and all over the world! Stop apologizing for who we are! Embrace our identity! Remember Moses and David, Deborah and Esther! Rise up! Defend Zion! Defend Israel’s right! From the border of Egypt to the Lebanon! The Arab world will hate us, what else is new? But let them learn to respect us! It’s time for Jews to stop thinking of ourselves as the weak minority and start remembering Who we have on our side and believe! Assimilation will have us believe these stories are fairy tales. Tell that to our grandparents who survived countless onslaughts of the nations to destroy us, and are alive today to keep the flame of Faith burning! And to never let it go out!
The settlements are not the problem! Israel is not the problem! Israel is not the aggressor! It’s time to stop being politically correct and stand with our people! In every country we have gone throughout history, our people have prospered and flourished for generations, and then come the politics which rise against us to blame us for their woes, and I dare say, in America it will be no different. I’m proud to be American, but I am a Jew first and I have chosen Israel as my lot. I hope that day is far off, but when it comes, we must realize there is one major difference today, that is that Israel will be there to take us in! But must we wait till such a day for us to unite? To put our differences aside and hold fast to the tzitziot of our forefathers? Must it take hardship to bring us together? Or can we make a difference today?
I heard a wise rabbi once say, “Rather than being children of exile, we must be builders of redemption.” I could not agree more, and I understand these are two very different mind sets. We can either go on bowing our heads to the whims of the nations, feeling sorry for ourselves and thinking those anti-Semites are right and that we are the root of every problem of the world. Or we can stand up in their faces and scream ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! The time of exile is over! Let the redemption of Zion live with us! It began with a dream with Herzl, and Ben Yehuda gave it words. Weizmann, Ben Gurion, Meir, Dayan and Begin, they fought for it along with countless of our fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts! Did they fight for nothing? Will we now give up the dream whose price was so high? All because our enemies demand that OUR HISTORIC HOMELAND belongs to them and that we are the invaders? NO! THE ANSWER WE MUST GIVE FOR OUR FAITH, FOR OUR FALLEN BROTHERS AND SISTERS, FOR OUR MOTHERS AND FATHERS AND FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR PEOPLE, IS “NEVER AGAIN!”
Therefore it is time for Israel to rise up, and I not only speak of the physical nation, but of the people of the Book, the chosen ones scattered into every region and every tribe and tongue who have allowed the coils of assimilation to wrap themselves around us and squeeze our identities into utter oblivion, the time is now! No more will Israel call and our answer be silent judgement, let us answer her call! When she calls let every Jew from every corner of the world let their voices be heard like mighty lion roaring! That the peoples and nations would hear and tremble, not at our cry, but at the roar of the ONE Who guides and protects us from the days of Sinai to this day until Mashiach comes. Until that day let us pick up where Herzl left off, let us look to our roots! Look to Abraham our father, to Sarah our mother! To Moses our teacher, to David our king, and march on with that same zeal toward our bright and glorious future. Let us recall the words of the prophet Isaiah and may it become our battle cry: “FOR ZION’S SAKE, I WILL NOT BE SILENT! AND FOR THE CAUSE OF JERUSALEM, I WILL NOT HOLD MY PEACE, UNTIL HER RIGHTEOUSNESS SHINES LIKE THE MORNING, HER SALVATION LIKE A BURNING LAMP!”
I’m starting this blog with the hope of inspiring other young Jews like myself from all over the world to not be ashamed of their identity and to be proud and strong and defend the ideals of Judaism and Zionism which I strongly believe go hand in hand. Don’t like it? It’s alright with me. Just know that we are Israel and we are here to stay!