Historic Jerusalem continues to surprise us

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Dear all,

This was a week of same and different. Our leaders continue to face personal challenges. Some of Yes! Israel’s closest friends in Congress battle for the truth, as they protect the name of the President and his Administration. Truth is the best policy, and from here it looks like although there’s a majority in the House to impeach, it’s based more on personal drive than on the need to really get at an issue. We would rather see the Democrats using their majority to create serious policy discussions in legislation, while they still have some time.

And here in Israel Netanyahu’s allies protect his ability to remain Prime Minister while the Knesset attempts to form an unprecedented government based on the support of 61 Members of Knesset. Read this article for background. But with parties digging into their stands, elections seem more and more likely with the clock ticking down 21 days. I think Israelis might just respond by taking a day off at the beach rather than return to the polls for a third time. Many feel their voices are unlikely to be heard so.. At least our Israeli democracy is full fledged, and rare in this part of the world. Now we hope for some breakthrough. What we do need, for the near future, is what we’ve criticized Netanyahu for so long: leadership to step in to fill his shoes when the time comes, and it always does. While we support Netanyahu as an incredible leader, it is time for him to prep the next guys. The talent on the Likud bench is deep, with intelligent, ideological leaders who can take us to the next generation. Let’s hear from them soon, for continuity sake.

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In Jerusalem, history continues to unfold. A study from JCPA researched what the French government has done with the ‘Tombs of the Kings’. This Jerusalem site contains, among others, the rock-hewn tomb of Queen Helena, originally from Kurdistan, who converted to Judaism and moved to Jerusalem around 30 CE. Also buried there are first century figures, Nicodemus Ben Gurion, a wealthy philanthropist, and his friend Kalba Savua, the rich father-in-law of Rabbi Akiva. The site is located about 800 meters north of Jerusalem’s Old City walls and its historic significance for the Jewish people has not been questioned, despite the French blocking visitation or access to it. Now, things are changing, history is being rewritten and we must call them out before this site is lost to our people and heritage. Click to read this: Jerusalem’s Tomb of the Kings: Did the French Hijack a Jewish Heritage Site?

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The Tomb of the Kings circa 1895 (Library of Congress)

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I had a respite from the pressures of Israeli political life, going south to Sinai’s seemingly endless beaches and fresh air at the Red Sea. With Saudi Arabia across the way and Cairo further south, both unavailable to the Israeli traveler, it brought home the idea that our peace is a cold one. We can enjoy the benefits of being able to cross the border and find ourselves in a completely Arab surrounding, one that encourages Israelis because they recognize our great potential for tourism shekels. But we must remain vigilant, with tenuous borders and a dependance only on ourselves for our security.

Inshallah, we will have real peace for our grandchildren, but meanwhile we won’t hand over our safety to anyone else’s control. Thank God for Israel, we felt, as we crossed back over the border to Eilat and kissed the mezuzah on the doorpost, next to a photo of Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat shaking hands in 1978. Back to civilization and freedom of religion, in Israel.

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Our social media director, Avi Abelow, is in Washington DC this week, meeting with old friends and making new ones. Some events are off the record, and some on. Here’s a couple for you to enjoy. Note the mention of issues that were seen on visits to Israel with us, and then put into effect back in DC for legislative efforts and Administration policy.
Congressman Andy Barr: Fighting BDS and anti -Hamas activity in the US.
* Senator Mike Lee on his strengthened connection to Israel:

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Best regards,

Ruthie, Sarah, Avi & the whole Yes! team

Please share comments and upcoming Middle-East focused activity so we can weigh in and provide insight that can help better inform and advocate for our joint interests…

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