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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

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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.
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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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