Friday, September 18, 2009

Towards a year of renewal and hope

From The Jerusalem Post, September 17, 2009, by Isi Leibler:

...I am ...optimistic about 5770 and believe that for the first time in many a year, the people of Israel are in the process of regaining a new sense of purpose.

... Netanyahu has demonstrated an ability to achieve a stable leadership whilst simultaneously managing a highly sensitive policy involving major strategic initiatives. Moreover he has also succeeded in presenting a course of action which has effectively united the broad mass of the nation whilst neutralizing his right wing critics.

...Benjamin Netanyahu has skillfully created a broad consensus which should enable us to confront the sensitive international political challenges with strength and greater confidence. ...[this] represents a far cry from the abysmal failures and limitations of his predecessors whose ongoing policies of endless unilateral concessions only further emboldened and radicalized our enemies.

Netanyahu's Bar-Ilan address in response to President Obama's Cairo speech was not merely a skillful diplomatic articulation of Israel's policy. It won him the support of the bulk of the national political mainstream. This will without doubt enable us to more effectively face challenges from a less friendly United States administration as well as more confidently confront the threat from Iran.

That the American Jewish leadership is now overwhelmingly supporting the Netanyahu government and even expressing criticism of President Obama's biased treatment of the Jewish state and appeasement of the Arabs is an additional positive development which could not have been achieved in the absence of Netanyahu's sensitive diplomacy.

...There are also hopeful signals that under Education Minister Gideon Saar we may see the implementation of long overdue reforms within the educational system and the reintroduction of Jewish and Zionist values designed to motivate young Israelis to a greater commitment to their national obligations.

...We are obliged to remind ourselves that most of our recent problems were self inflicted by the ineptitude of our own leaders. My optimism for the coming year is based upon the belief that when the Jewish people unite - and this is the direction towards which we are moving - we can and will successfully overcome our challenges.

Hopefully, the leaders of the principal opposition party Kadima will overcome the selfish motivations which dissuaded them from joining the Netanyahu government and they will soon reenter the government, bringing about a genuine unity coalition which is desperately needed during these challenging times.

As we enter the New Year 5770, we have every reason to give thanks and pray that our dreams for peace and security will come closer to realization although we should be under no illusion that genuine peace in our time will be realized only when our neighbors are reconciled to living in peace and harmony with a Jewish state. Until that day comes we must remain strong and resilient.

Rosh Hashanah is a time to review our status as a people. We must constantly remind ourselves that despite all the problems facing us, we still remain the most blessed generation of Jews in 2000 years of exile and persecution. We must ensure that our children and grandchildren appreciate the miraculous progress we have achieved as a nation which only 60 years ago suffered the most devastating horrors and mass murder to become transformed into a modern industrial state capable of defending itself.

In short we have every reason to overcome our dark moods and give thanks to the Almighty for the incredible progress the Jewish state has achieved since its inception. We must also constantly remind ourselves that despite the awesome challenges still confronting us, we are today an empowered people, a haven for Jews seeking refuge from oppression from all corners of the world and with the help of the Almighty, responsible for our own destiny.

Israel still represents the greatest success story of the century.
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