A rainbow, symbol of the covenant of God with man, appears over Jerusalem. A rainbow, symbol of the covenant of God with man, appears over Jerusalem.

From Jerusalem to the world

Stanley Goldfoot, alias Eliezer ben Yisrael, came to Israel from Johannesburg, South Africa, at the age of 18. He came before the birth of the State of Israel and was in Jerusalem for the Six-day War in June of 1967. Two years after that War, he wrote the letter that appears below.

A letter to the world from Jerusalem

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 a 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.

Jerusalem from ancient history

Zion Gate of Jerusalem
The Zion Gate, an entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. Photo: CNAV

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. (see Psalms 137)

Waiting for two thousand years…

Jersualme from Yad VaShem: The virginia State Bar might learn something by looking at this vista.
View, looking toward Jerusalem, from the immediate exit from the Hall of Remembrance at Yad VaShem, the International Shoah Memorial. Photo: CNAV

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 the Almighty: “Gather us from the four corners of the world, bring us upright to our land, return in mercy to Jerusalem, Thy city, and swell 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?

The 1948 War: Jerusalem divided

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 wilful 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.

The Six-day War: who really started it?

Six-day war memorial in Jerusalem
Memorial to those who fell in the Six-day War of June 5-10, 1967, in 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 re-united. Then you wrung your hands and spoke loftily of “justice” and the need for the “Christian” quality of turning the other cheek.

The truth – and you know it deep inside your gut – is that you would prefer the 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 word.

Next year, and ever after, in Jerusalem

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 saviour.

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 Goldfoot,

Founder Editor

The Times of Israel

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history, Israel, Middle East, military, United Nations, war

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Terry Hurlbut

Stanley Goldfoot, in 1969, protested against nominal Christians who likely held to “replacement theology,” the notion that God was through with national Israel. Today the worst enmity toward Jerusalem comes from leftist atheists on the one hand, and Muslims on the other.

Terry Hurlbut

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Matt Clark

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Chris Irish Kelly

utter garbage! enmity comes due to human rights abuses and murdering of innocents and forcing people to live in dire conditions.

Terry Hurlbut

Nice set of old PLO/Black September talking points.

Chris Irish Kelly

wrong again. you are blind to reality. you need to do some real research.

Marianne Walther

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Robert Swinland

senior UN officials are corrupt and self serving

Chris Irish Kelly

israel is the root of the problem. who is killing muslims? the u.s/israel group. its amazing how people become utterly stupid over israel and ignore the horror that it has brought to the m.e.

Robert Swinland

@chris…..look at the graph….I realize you are an anti-semite, you are a hater and nothing I can say can change your mind because it’s stunted and probably retarded. Good luck with that..

Christina Hawkins

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Chris Rhea

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RF Johnson

Thank you Mr. Goldfoot beautifully written.

RF Johnson

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