I pray you have a blessed Passover Season.
I've learned a lot in watching you, as you continue to show great diplomacy to open rudeness. I would like to share a few things with you and you probably already know this, so perhaps it's only to confirm that where you are standing, is obviously between a rock and a hard place. As you attempt to show respect for the G-d of Israel, and kindness to "your neighbor as yourself," your style and effort is heads and shoulders above those with whom you must deal. Sir, first let it be said, your neighbors are not so friendly and even though they squabble amongst themselves, when it comes down to it, the one thing they can agree upon is that you are the "Johnny come lately, and the outsider," and must continue to accommodate them. Attempting to negotiate with them while they are refusing to reconcile between their groups will only result in their unification against you, when the dust all settles. It's kind of like being caught between a squabbling couple and attempting to be a voice of reason. When they make up, the one who offered logic, is the bad guy.
Giving honorary titles and awards of nobility to visiting dignitaries, especially American ones, may seem to be proper, but our current administration expects the best everywhere he goes. To be honest, that is sort of an American tradition. I have to admit, I also enjoyed staying in the King David Hotel when I was in Jerusalem, yet I digress . . .
These titles and awards are basically viewed as trophies for the recipient, and hope of an ally on the part of Israel. The entire world knows Israel is surrounded by less than friends, and also knows most of the powerful countries in the world are funding your enemies while shaking your hand. As an American, I can tell you, we are not the most trustworthy lot. This medal for a man who had never set foot in Israel until now, did seem a bit superficial and just expected, but it also demonstrated the discernment of Israel to know what is expected and act accordingly.
I'm not sure that the kindness to a foreigner who openly disrespects you to the young people will return a good reward for you. To have a foreigner come and persuade the youth to different values is like having your own home overrun with visitors who simply don't care about what is important to you. I'd like to believe the young people will not be pursuaded, but it seems most young people have a streak of rebellion that is just looking for a chance to rally. I'm not saying it's just this generation, because I believe every generation has within it, the desire and determination to change things, but as our societies have deteriorated, the direction to be different continues to erode and the standard is dropped.
As an American, I've been very embarrassed by the way the American President has treated you, at every meeting. Politics and diplomacy really aren't entities separate from who we are as humans. Just as I compared you being caught between Hamas and the leader of the West Bank to trying to counsel a couple, politics is just personal on a greater level. Your personal integrity shines in your diplomacy, unfortunately the American President's personal integrity is also displayed to represent the entire country. That embarrasses me.
We just endured a campaign of more empty promises based upon the blame of the previous administration. The fact that you are not blaming Sharon and Olmert, places you in a clearly different class, than the man to which you are called to be hospitable. He first promised us hope and change, and in four years when he couldn't deliver that, promised us "Forward." Forward becomes an all together different word and meaning when the "o" and "r" are exchanged. Forward is a direction. Froward is a reflection of character, which I find to be much more contextual, in his case. I don't think you are so foolish as the Americans who bought into it, but your young people are used to leaders with some integrity, so when they like what someone says, they just assume they have the integrity of the leaders they are used to.
Now, on a personal note, I believe you would negotiate in much more power if you were operating by the government The G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob established Israel to be, rather than the mandate of the UN or even the promises of the US. If G-d has not brought you there, no amount of negotiation and treaties will give you security and if G-d has brought you there, doing it His way assures stability. I can tell you from personal experience, outside of G-d's plan, there will be no end to the demand of concessions.
I know you are wise enough to keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but the G-d of Israel has even better security in mind.
From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast . . . This book of the Law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for Y-H-W-H thy G-d is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
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