When a conversation I recently had with a friend of mine turned to the topic of Israel, he told me that Israel needed to "shape up".
It quickly became apparent that my friend lacked perspective when it came to Israel's behavior. I asked him how many Jews he thought there were in the world and his response was ten percent of the world's total population. I was shocked at his over-estimation! When I told him that actually it's more like 0.2 percent, it was his turn to be shocked.
The lesson we can all learn from this is that we must provide some perspective to those people (including President Obama and his administration) who simply don't get why Israel cannot simply continue to "take risks for peace." Outside of the United States, Israel is the only country where Jews can expect to feel at home---but even this tiny sliver of land is surrounded by an ocean of venomous, violent hatred.
To get some perspective, let's start with what Jews have already lost. Property deeds of the over 800,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands amounted to 100,000 square miles, or five times the current size of Israel. These Jewish refugees have of course never been compensated for the theft of this land, nor for billions of dollars of other assets. So when President Obama expects us to believe that building an additional 1600 housing units in a Jewish neighborhood of the capital of Israel is a major catastrophe, how can he expect us to take him seriously, let alone believe him?
In addition to what Jewish refugees have already lost, Israel has given up even more in her search for peace with her Arab neighbors. Perhaps this administration should focus on the world's real catastrophes, rather than developing a UN-like obsession with Israel's behavior. When the Iranian regime stole the election and then brutally repressed and killed its citizens, President Obama didn't want to come across as meddling in Iran's internal affaires. When Israel builds in her capital, apparently meddling in her internal affairs is no problem at all.
As I told my friend loudly and clearly, and as we must all tell everyone loudly and clearly, Jews comprise the tiniest of minorities and have every right to govern their own very small country as they see fit. Without perspective, understanding Israel's impossible situation is simply not possible.
Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua