Wednesday, June 30, 2004
For those of you who have been following the tumultuous debate in Israel over settlements in Gaza and the West Bank, you should not be deceived into believing that the lands that are the focus of todayâ€™s debate are the beginning and the end of the territories that might be turned over. Many of you may have heard that Israel's Deputy Prime Minister and former Mayor of Jerusalem is in favor of ceding portions of Jerusalem to Yassar Arafat without getting anything in return from the PLA. This policy statement needs to be addressed by those who do not want terrorists on the streets of Jerusalem and those who believe that Jerusalem should be the undivided capital of the Jewish nation.
As we approach the 17th of Tamuz, and the three weeks of mourning the destruction of the Holy Temple we must reaffirm our connection to our holy city, the eternal capital of the Jewish people. You can send this message by getting as many people as possible to sign One Jerusalem's petition. As we get substantial numbers of signatures we will bring them to the attention of Sharon, Olmert, and other members of this government. But we must act immediately. Send this letter to everyone in your address book with a personal note asking them to sign and to pass it along.
You could also help by urging your rabbis, teachers, and pastors to urge their congregations to do the same. Don't let Jerusalem be divided by the politicians when our collective voice can make a difference.
To date tens of thousands have signed the petition. Let's increase that number into the millions.
As I write, there is a report that the United States Ambassador to Israel is demanding the route of the fence around Jerusalem be changed. In other words even if Gaza and West Bank settlements are abandoned (something we do not advocate) the appetite of Arafat and his terrorists will continue to be focused on the capture of Jerusalem. A cynic might conclude that if they get some land in exchange for nothing then all they have to do is wait long enough and they will get the biggest prize of all: Jerusalem. Undoubtedly they are more likely to adopt this strategy given Olmert's desire to turn over parts of Jerusalem to Arafat.
Given this reality, we have decided to increase our organizational efforts on all fronts. In May, to mark the anniversary of the liberation and unification of Jerusalem, we arranged for Benjamin Natanyahu, Natan Sharansky, and Dore Gold to speak to millions of Americans (the estimates range from 11 to 15 million listeners) through talk radio. Needless to say, these leaders of Israel defended Israelâ€™s right to defend itself and the continued unification of Jerusalem under Israeli rule.
The fact is that since Jerusalem has been united, Jews, Christians, and Arabs have access to the holy sites, whereas under Arab rule all three groups were restricted from praying in the old city - if they came from Israel.
When Jerusalem was threatened by a deal cooked up with Barak, Clinton, and Arafat, One Jerusalem mobilized the largest rally on behalf of a united Jerusalem in the history of the Holy City. 400,000 people filled the streets of Jerusalem to celebrate Jerusalem as it is today.
Today, we are working on several projects. Work has begun on a book geared toward young people that will contain important facts about Jerusalem. Also, our plan is to launch in the Fall an Ambassadors for Jerusalem program in schools throughout the world. We have already arranged for Ambassador Dore Gold to address one of the largest yeshivas in New York where the program will be formally launched. We intend to educate and recruit thousands of young people in this important endeavor.
We have had fruitful discussions with people who are reclaiming and resuscitating the City of David (an integral part of Old Jerusalem) in Israel. We hope to finalize plans shortly on how we can help each other.
We will continue to provide speakers in America and Europe to the news media to combat the string of lies about Israel that generally go unanswered. I humbly say, that no other organization could mobilize the caliber of spokesmen that One Jerusalem brought to the microphones the week we celebrated Jerusalemâ€™s unification.
As you can see, we are doing quite a bit but there is a lot more to do; only the lack of funding stands in our way. Therefore, we are respectfully asking you to donate what you can today. We have had people donate $5, $18, $250 and everywhere in between these numbers.
We encourage you to send this e-mail to your personal list to help get people to sign our petition and donate what they can afford. At this crucial time Jerusalem needs you to step up to the plate. Take a moment to help the cause.
P.S. When I once asked a friend how much of a contribution he wanted for a charitable cause he said "How about one hourâ€™s salary?" It's not a bad way of determining how much is a decent donation.
Under US law, a donation to the One Jerusalem Charitable and Educational Fund is deductible for income tax purposes.