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November 04, 2007


jon burg

As someone who lived in Jerusalem for years (and can't wait to return) I can appreciate your sentiment and thank you for sharing. I can relate to the sentiment of "Americans want to fight down to the last Israeli". That being said, Yerushalayim, particularly the Old City lives in a place close to me heart. I would be heartbroken if we were to lose anything control or access within those areas most dear to me.

Additionally, from a historical perspective, Jerusalem/Yerushalayim stands for so much more than a city, it's a belief. Jerusalem/Zion/Tsion have been at the center of Jewish thoughts, hearts and prayer for over 2000 years. Jerusalem is our hopes and dreams. To part with them, particularly for those still dreaming of returning (myself included, hopefully in the foreseeable future) would be a hard blow.

My mother is a hard liner sabra. My uncle in-law fought in 67 and although injured made his way to the kotel (Western Wall) the day after it's re-unification.

Thank you for sharing, but please recognize that this is not just about a work-able solution today, but a historical landmark precedent. This is what we have been praying for, mourning over and dreaming of for generations. 40 years just isn't long enough, we've got to keep working, keep trying, keep dreaming.

There can be truth and peace, but they will only come through mutual understanding and appreciation. In a war torn region these will be exceedingly hard to come by, but until a truthful realistic alternative arises, giving up will accomplish nothing. Just look at Gaza. We gave them land, we tore Jews from their homes. We uprooted our brothers and sisters and then ignored our own promises to them. They lost more than their homes, they lost their dignity. Once proud fathers and family leaders were left desolate without any of the promised government assistance.

My wife was there that first sabbath/shabbat baking for the refugees from Gaza. They had no food and nowhere to go. She took her vacation and rather than relax and enjoy, she opened a virtual soup kitchen, serving fresh baked challah to hundreds of families.

The cry for peace is a strong one. But truth must encompass the full story, including historical perspective and a look to the future. We all saw the picture of synagogues aflame after the expulsion/withdrawal from Gush Katif and Gaza. Until we know that we have a sane partner on the end of a bargain, we cannot negotiate or barter.

I worked at the OU for a brief spell. They are not crazy. With all due respect, they are arguably the realists here.



Dear Rabbi Kanefsky,

Your efforts at upholding the truth are quite commendable. As you rightly said in your last paragraph, “There will be peace the day after there will be truth.” Unfortunately, truth has been ignored by politicians since the “peace process” started in 1993, which explains the existential anguish that Jews and Israelis are going through. I hope Israeli leaders will heed your call for disclosing the full truth so that they can embark upon a new era of lasting peace.

Of course, the pursuit of truth requires knowledge first. What are we to call “truth” if we have no clue of reality? Also, reality should be known in its entirety and this knowledge should not be truncated, as the Palestinians do, a point you aptly emphasize in your article. It is only when all the facts are brought to light that the full story can be told honestly. I have no doubt that honesty is paramount to you, as you mentioned this term – and any variations thereof – no less than 21 times in your piece.

I am prepared to grant you the mantle of honesty but only partially, very partially. Knowingly or not, you jumped on the honesty wagon before ascertaining the truth of what you wrote. And what you omitted from your exposé is so glaring that you are misinforming your readers in a grand scale. Like the Palestinians who regularly present their narrative in their distorted fashion, you too have grossly truncated the truth by limiting your view of reality to the post 1967 period. Had your vision not been so narrowly limited, you would have discovered that the international community recognized the historical connection of the Jewish people to the whole of Palestine, including Jerusalem, back in 1920; that Jewish settlement of the whole land, including Judea and Samaria, was not only allowed but highly encouraged; that these territories were not to be ceded to any foreign power; and that all those provisions received the imprimatur of international law.

Instead, you write that Israel is illegally occupying these territories; that the settlement of these lands should not have taken place; that this situation violates international law; and that those who challenge these views “refuse to read history honestly.” The most eminent legal experts in international law – Stephen Schwebel, Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, Eugene Rostow, Julius Stone and many others – would strongly disagree with each and every one of your assertions. On your side, though, you may find some allies in characters like Jimmy Carter; Arab academics of dubious credibility; the Neturei Karta sect; the leaders of Hamas, Fatah and Hezbollah, as well as a host of their Jewish sycophants who have been thoroughly brainwashed by the very kind of article you just wrote. I leave it to you to choose the most credible camp.

Allow me, Rabbi Kanefsky, to conclude with a saying from the Talmud: “If you add to the truth, you subtract from it.” What you did in your article is far worse: you started by subtracting from the truth. This can only be attributed to ignorance, sloppiness or, dare I say, malice. Whatever the case may be, your 21 instances of the word “honest” ring hollow. I don’t know what drove you to jettison the collective rights of the Jewish people and to disparage Jewry in the process. But I suggest that you and your supporters get better informed and, most importantly, get finally over your guilty Jewish hang-ups.

Best regards,

S.B. Toronto, Canada

P.S.: You claim that those who oppose your views “have never offered any alternative solution.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. Consider just a few of the alternatives:

- Dr. Martin Sherman: “The Humanitarian Solution”,

- MK Benny Elon: “The Israeli Initiative”

Saul Lieberman

The land to be given away may include neglected East Jerusalem neighborhoods but i surely does not stop there. Why not suggest that Israel clean up its act with respect to the neglected East Jerusalem neighborhoods?

It would be misleading to give the impression that the current proponents of a unified Jerusalem could be stereotyped as messianic or unrealistic. Are you prepared to risk putting even the most neglected East Jerusalem neighborhoods under Palestinian/Hamas control? Bakka will certainly be in range.

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