I am a little envious of anyone who has a firm position on “the deal of the century.” I don’t have one yet. However, based on the speeches yesterday in the White House and the speeches last week in “the Holocaust forum,” we can find two new levels of understanding or recognition:
On the first level we find recognition of the facts themselves. Historical facts that were obvious to us are finally recognized by the rest of the world. This is what the president of the greatest world power declared yesterday: Israel is not an obstacle to peace but rather the opposite is true. For terror there should be no rewards, only punishments. You cannot bring peace through financial support of terrorists and by glorifying them in children’s textbooks. You do not achieve peace by uprooting people from their homes. The Muslim world made a mistake in 1948 when it chose to attack Israel instead of recognizing her and now must correct that error. All of this – so obvious to us yet revolutionary in the minds of others – was said in a forum that included the ambassadors of Oman, Bahrain, and the UAE (United Arab Emirates).
On the second level, we find recognition of Israel’s spiritual mission. It’s not only a matter of justice, of righting past wrongs, but of inspiration for the present and the future. Yesterday, Israel was described again and again as “the Holy Land,” “a light unto the nations,” “the place to turn our wonderful biblical heritage into a reality,” “that part of the world that is eternally connected to the spirit and the soul of humanity.” All of this was happening only a few days after 45 presidents, prime ministers, and kings arrived in Jerusalem and delivered similar messages regarding the Jewish people, from Putin to Prince Charles to the president of Germany who made the “Shehecheyanu” blessing in Hebrew.
If the nations of the world can raise their stature through newly found recognition of historical facts and through an understanding of the mission of Israel, we can raise our stature too. We need to show the world what our return to the Land of Israel means. The world is watching, waiting to learn from us and to hear our spiritual special voice and message. We speak at length about our right to the Land of Israel, but we need to also speak about our obligations toward that land.
Translation by Yehoshua Siskin