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Letter to the world

On November 24, 2006, at the age of 92, a man named Stanley Goldfoot passed away.  He is remembered by family and friends for his love for and devotion to Israel and the Jewish people.

Stanley Goldfoot was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Subsequent to his hearing a speech about the Zionist vision by Ze'ev Jabotinsky, he headed for Palestine where, at the age of 18, 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", Stanley Goldfoot wrote his famous controversial "Letter to the World from Jerusalem", which caused quite a stir. The article is still relevant and, in his  memory, I am sharing it with you.

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 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. 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 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?

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 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.

If our return to the city has tied your theology in knots, perhaps you had better reexamine 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 Goldfoot
Founder Editor
The Times of Israel
 August 1969

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Well, yes John, the Nazis were human: they ate, breathed and even copulated in beds like humans. But there it ends. The Nazis and their spiritual heirs - the Islamofascists - are evil and proud of their evilness. We Jews have a state and we have no more obligation to share it with the billions of the earth any more than any other nation. We do not have to display the unconditional forgiveness that Christians often preach but rarely practise toward the vengeful, supremicist Mohammedans. We Jews taught the world concepts of justice and mercy and we have not need for anyone from a people who has not learned those lessons to preach to us.

Posted by paul2 on 2008-06-30 12:07:31 GMT

If the Nazis were human, I am resigning from the human race! And as far as your nasty little aside only indicates your complete ignorance. No Jew can live in an Arab country. 20% of Israel's population is Arab...with all the rights of that democracy. So who's not sharing, John???

Posted on 2008-06-28 02:07:27 GMT

So whats the big deal, you have a town and you live, like the rest of the world, we're humans too you know, even the Nazis were human, and perhaps your option is somewhat different but never the less they were human and also wanted to live. So hooray you have a place on this earth, but you also have to share it with the other billions of people that also want the same peace.

Posted by John on 2008-06-28 00:51:14 GMT

I feel that Stanley, was making the mistake of lumping all humans into the same mould, we as individuals could do nothing much but he is negating the help the many gave as just Christian propaganda, and that isn't fair to all those who did help... Yes America did keep saying to turn the other cheek, which when they were attacked on Sep 11th, they themselves didn't do and I don't believe that Israel should have done, but being a small country they had no choice or else the world would have blamed them and not the bully who was causing the horrors.. He says that the age old prejudices seep out, but I don't feel that I have prejudices against the Jewish people in fact I have great admiration for them even though after being invited home by a lovely Jewish lass we were treated like we had a disease, our opinion was that even though that family was important in their religion, (the father was a Cantor, I think that is how it is said) that it was only one family and their lovely daughter made up for them. It hasn't stopped us backing them and wanting to help where I can..

Posted by Gaye on 2007-12-03 22:52:22 GMT

That is so sad, no race should have to put up with this, but I see many people getting behind the Jewish people, there is a heart going out to them, perhaps like never before. I cannot ever see the land of Israel ever being taken from them ever again. Australia and America (on the whole) are behind Israel.. God Bless Israel.

Posted by Gaye on 2007-12-03 22:25:46 GMT

I also wish that this letter could be forwarded to Olmert. I have it posted on my blog and send it to friends and relatives. Stanley is my distant cousin. I visited him in Israel when I lived there. He's an inspiration.

Posted by Nadene Goldfoot on 2007-12-03 18:21:22 GMT

How times have not changed - except the insane Israeli expectations that something they did, and can undo (by making "painful sscrifices") will bring them peace. Goldfoot's words today, would include the Israelis who are traitors to Israel.

Posted by Roberta E. Dzubow on 2007-11-09 18:46:36 GMT

I agree with blanch.w; this letter needs to be widely circulated and presented to Olmert. As well, journos need to quiz him, Livni, Peres and Rice on it before the Annapolis surrender talks. Jerusalem is not only the concern of Israelis, but of all humanity especially its small Jewish segment. Handing it to squabbling Mohammedan militias would be a crime against the civilised part of humanity.

Posted by paulw on 2007-11-07 13:07:45 GMT

They people of the world expect NZ to give some land back to the Maoris, Americans land to the Indians, land to the Aborigines of Australia etc etc... but even though Mohammad skited that he took the land from the Jews and killed them, no one says that the land should go back to the Jews.. Israel has give concession after concession and still they are expected to give more and nothing is given in returns.. I did not believe that Israel should have given the Gaza back, nor should they give anymore land back, history has proven that you cannot appease an aggressor. There is a difference between Catholics and Christians, I know that it was the Catholics who helped Hitler and the SS, and many of the SS were Muslims. Eliezer, I hope you realized before you died that there are so many people out here who are for Israel...Christians all over the world doing their part to help...expecting nothing in return..just lovingly trying to help..

Posted by Gaye on 2007-11-07 11:55:35 GMT

Wonderful letter. We need more of this bravery every day...

Posted by gg on 2007-11-07 11:42:44 GMT

I wonder if Stanley,s letter would contain the same words if he wrote it today. The main content is appropriate and holds true today. However I also wonder if the letter would be better directed to the Government of Israel instead of the world. Israel will be held responsible for the decisions made in the coming weeks or days. If we look back in history, especially Biblical history, Israel always paid a severe penalty for rebellion against the Torah [teaching direction ] of YHWH. Dare I say, nothing has changed. Yes the Israeli people may be devoted to Jerusalem and the land of Israel, but what of its devotion to YHWH and Torah, especially the current leadership. May YHWH have mercy upon on us and strengthen our faith and trust in Him.

Posted by Philip Hammond on 2007-11-07 10:07:14 GMT

Words are motivating-this piece soon to appear on my blogs-actions to follow-if you are not moved by this piece then you do not care! GS Don morris, Ph.D.

Posted by Professor on 2007-11-07 04:32:00 GMT

Stanley Goldfoot's clarion words, four decades later, are as timely as ever. Such "wake-up calls" of determination to defend the Jewish nation must be renewed with each generation. Unless, of course, the Messiah arrives to bring peace on Earth, including the Middle East.

Posted by Jack Guildford on 2007-11-07 04:28:37 GMT

as appropriate now as then

Posted on 2007-11-07 04:15:49 GMT

This is beautiful, I sat and cried as I read it....It MUST be published where all can read it. Many of us are so worried, frightened, and devastated that the govt of Israel, especially PM Olmert, should be such traitors to the Land, the Nation & The people. This must be all may read it.

Posted by on 2007-11-07 02:51:22 GMT