Jewish National Fund - We Only Have ONE ISRAEL

Nathan Sharansky: "Jerusalem Is My Soul"

by Gad Nahshon

History tells us that we need a glue which make the Jews into one nation. For Nathan Sharansky, this glue is Jerusalem. Judaism is first of all a collection of symbols. For Nathan Sharansky, Jerusalem is the supreme symbol. Therefore, after learning from American sources about Ehud Barak's deals, negotiations, compromises, dividing Jerusalem in the name of the so-called peace process, he resigned from Barak's government which does not have a majority in the Knesset.

Sharansky, a Jewish hero, a symbol of the national awakening of Jewishness and Zionism in Russia, shared his belief with the members of the Conference of Presidents in N.Y.C.: "For me, Jerusalem has a mystic status. Jerusalem glues Jews to Israel. Jerusalem ii our soul," said Sharansky. He said that Israel needs a new election and a national unity government. Sharansky explained that Arafat's rigid policy is based on the idea that by controlling Jerusalem he will destroy Israel. Sharansky pointed out that Arafat's goal is to control all of Jerusalem including the Christian section. To the Jews he will give only the area of the Wailing Wall. "It is very sad that Israeli leaders and Generals tend to ignore history," said Sharansky, the leader of most of the Russian olim in Israel.

As to the relation between secular and religious Israelis, Sharansky remarked: "Barak managed a limitary attack on the religious camp." In response to a question as to the timing of Barak's 'attack', he explained: "Barak prepared himself for the coming election. He wants to attract the new Israelis" (the Russian olim).

Sharansky charged Barak with using ideas which can be found in his party's platform such as public transportation on Saturday, civil marriages, and issues of conversion: "We are for privatization, we are for helping people without cares, we are for helping tens of thousands of Russian olim who can not get married. These issues must be solved. But Barak's policies as to the status of religion in Israel can only bring confrontations inside Israel. The timing of Barak's wish is bad. We do not believe in force. We need a dialogue, the one which will not endanger the glue, the one that makes us into one nation," said Sharansky.

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