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“Letter to the World from Jerusalem.” by Stanley Goldfoot, 1969

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“Letter to the World from Jerusalem.” by Stanley Goldfoot (Eliezer ben Yisrael), 1969

timesofisrael.com, Aug. 1969….now floating around the internet.

 *In 2006, at the age of 92, Stanley Goldfoot passed away. Stanley Goldfoot was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 1932, at the age of 18, he headed for Palestine where he joined a HaShomer HaTzair kibbutz. After the rebirth of the Jewish State of Israel his main goal, which he eventually realized, was to establish a Zionist English newspaper, “The Times of Israel.” *

*In the first issue of “The Times of Israel”, in 1969, Goldfoot wrote his
famous “Letter to the World from Jerusalem.” The article is still
remarkably relevant, so I thought I’d share it with you.  It’s the thoughts
of only one man but, as I read it, it occurred to me that, in many ways it
represents the pleas of an entire nation – a people with one small
desire:“to be a free people in our land.” *

*A  Letter to the World from Jerusalem* *- by Eliezer ben Yisrael (Stanley Goldfoot)*

I am not a creature from another planet, as you seem to believe. I am a
Jerusalemite – like yourselves a man of flesh and blood. I am citizen of
my city, an integral part of my people.

I have a few things to get off my chest. Because I am not a diplomat, I do
not have to mince words. I do not have to please you or even persuade you.

I owe you nothing. You did not build this city, you did not live in it, you
did not defend it when they came to destroy it. And we will be damned if we will let you take it away.
There was a Jerusalem before there was a New York. When Berlin, Moscow, London, and Paris were miasmal forest and swamp, there was a thriving Jewish community here. It gave something to the world which you nations have rejected ever since you established yourselves – a humane moral code. Here the prophets walked, their words flashing like forked lightning.
Here a people who wanted nothing more than to be left alone, fought off
waves of  heathen would-be conquerors, bled and died on the battlements, hurled themselves into the flames of their burning  Temple rather than surrender,  and when finally overwhelmed by  sheer numbers and led away into captivity, swore that *before they* *forgot Jerusalem, they would see their tongues  cleave to their  palates, their right arms wither.*
For two pain-filled millennia, while we were your unwelcome guests, we
prayed  daily to return to this city. Three times a day we  petitioned theAlmighty:  ”Gather us from the four corners of the  world, bring us upright to our land,  return in mercy to Jerusalem,  Thy City, and dwell in it as Thou promised.”  On every Yom Kippur and Passover, we fervently voiced the hope that next year would find us in Jerusalem.
Your inquisitions, pogroms,  expulsions,  the ghettos into which you jammed us, your forced  baptisms, your quota  systems, your genteel anti-Semitism, and the  final unspeakable horror, the  holocaust (and worse, your terrifying disinterest in it)- all these have not  broken  us.

They may have sapped what little moral strength you still possessed, but
they forged us into steel. Do you think that you can break us now after all
we have been through? Do you really believe that after Dachau and Auschwitz we are frightened by your threats of blockades and sanctions?

We have been to Hell and back – a Hell of your making. What more could you possibly have in your arsenal that could scare us?
I have watched this city bombarded twice by nations calling themselves
civilized. In 1948, while you looked on apathetically, I saw women and
children blown to smithereens, after we agreed to your request to
internationalize the city. It was a deadly combination that did the job –
British officers, Arab gunners, and American-made cannon. And then the savage sacking of the Old  City-the willful slaughter, the wanton
destruction of every  synagogue and religious school, the desecration of
Jewish  cemeteries, the sale by a ghoulish government of tombstones for
building materials, for poultry runs, army camps, even  latrines.

And you never said a word.

You never breathed the slightest protest when the Jordanians shut off the holiest of our places, the Western Wall, in violation of the pledges
they had made after the war – a war they waged, incidentally, against the
decision of the UN. Not a murmur came from you whenever the legionnaires in their spiked helmets casually opened fire upon our citizens from behind the walls.
Your hearts bled when Berlin came under siege. You rushed your airlift “to save the gallant Berliners.” But you did not send one ounce of food when Jews starved in besieged Jerusalem. You thundered against the wall which the East Germans ran through the middle of the German capital – but not one peep out of you about that other wall, the one that tore through the heart
of Jerusalem.

And when that same thing happened 20 years later, and the Arabs unleashed a savage, unprovoked bombardment of  the Holy City again, did  any of  you do anything?

The only time you came to life was when the city was at last reunited. Then you wrung your hands and spoke loftily of “justice” and need  for the “Christian” quality of turning the other cheek.

The truth – and you know it deep inside your gut – you would prefer
he city to be destroyed rather than have it governed by Jews. No matter
how diplomatically you phrase it, the age-old prejudices seep out of every
If our return to the city has tied your theology in knots, perhaps you had
better re-examine your catechisms. After what we have been through, we are not passively going to accommodate ourselves to the twisted idea that we are to suffer eternal homelessness until we accept your savior.
For the first time since the year 70, there is now complete religious
freedom for all in Jerusalem. For the first time since the Romans put a
torch to the Temple, everyone has equal rights (You prefer to have some
more equal than others.) We loathe the sword – but it was you who forced us to take it up. We crave peace, but we are not going back to the peace of 1948 as you would like us to.

We are home. It has a lovely sound for a nation you have willed to wander over the face of the globe. We are not leaving. We are redeeming the pledge made by our forefathers: Jerusalem is being rebuilt. “Next year” and the year after, and after, and after, until the end of time – “in Jerusalem”!

*Stanley GoldfootFounder/Editor “The Times of Israel”August 1969*

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