Karen and I spent the last days of Succos in Israel. Mostly we stayed in Efrat with Karen’s brother David and his lovely family. But we did manage to spend one day in Jerusalem where we headed straight to the holy Kotel, the Western Wall, the remnants of the Second Temple.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli archaeologists on Monday announced the discovery of the first known Roman-era theater in Jerusalem’s Old City, a unique structure around 1,800 years old that abuts the Western Wall and may have been built during Roman Emperor Hadrian’s reign.
Never has a weary region looked on with such dismay. The Middle East is burning: hundreds of thousands killed, millions displaced. The Russians are back, the Iranians are all over the place — and the Obama administration’s priority is a few thousand Jews living in their own homeland.
In his latest op-ed, appended below, Michael Oren argues that the initiators of Friday’s UN resolution weren’t looking to advance a two-state solution. Instead, they sought to imperil and isolate Israel diplomatically and, ultimately, deny it the right to exist as a sovereign Jewish state.
When the U.N. Security Council passed its resolution Friday denouncing Israel’s presence in territories it captured in 1967, many ambassadors broke out in applause. The decision, they believed, would deter Israel from further settlement building, advance the peace process, and help achieve a two-state solution. The Middle East and the world would benefit. But, sadly, those expectations—and the ovation they sparked—were misplaced.
The resolution in fact poses untold dangers not only to Israel but to the Palestinians themselves, and greatly diminishes—rather than enhances—the chances for peace. It further harms the Middle East, a region that has seen far too much suffering, and should unnerve America’s allies worldwide.
The hazards for Israel are clear. The resolution means the Western Wall and other places sacred to Jews for 3,000 years are considered as illegally occupied. It labels 600,000 Israelis as “flagrant violators of international law.” As such, Israel could be sued in international criminal courts, boycotted, and sanctioned. The goal of the initiators of the resolution was not to achieve a better two-state solution, I believe, but to deny Israel the right to defend itself and, ultimately, the right to exist as sovereign Jewish state.
…In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and you shall not do any work … For on that day he shall provide atonement for you to cleanse you from all your sins before the L-RD.