December 26, 1996
1969 Stanley Goldfoot's Open letter to the World from Jerusalem With a Video Rendition
A Tribute to Stanley Goldfood
STANLEY GOLDFOOT: A JEWISH HERO IN OUR TIME
Posted by Ruth Matar, November 30, 2006.
In the Jewish Passover Haggadah, it is written:
"And it is the same promise which helped our fathers and which aided us. For not only one tyrant has risen against us to destroy us, but in every generation wicked men have risen against us to destroy us. But the Holy One, Blessed be He, delivers us from their hands."
Also, in every generation, there were Jewish heroes with vision who were willing to sacrifice everything, even their very lives, in order to preserve G-d's promise to the Jewish people.
One such hero in our generation is Stanley Goldfoot. During his lifetime, Stanley witnessed the rise of tyrants such as Hitler and Ahmadinijad, who are bent on destroying the Jewish people.
Sadly, our friend Stanley passed away last week, November 24, 2006, at the age of 92. His family and all his many friends not only mourn his passing, but remember with gratitude his love and devotion for Israel and the Jewish people.
Stanley Goldfoot was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. At the age of 18 he heard a speech about the Zionist vision by Ze'ev Jabotinsky, which appealed very strongly to him. It was all he needed to hear before packing a bag, leaving a shocked family and heading for Palestine. He joined a HaShomer HaTzair kibbutz, picking eggplants in the fields, and making floor tiles, "balatot".
Since he arrived alone, without an entry permit, the British police soon shipped him out of the country together with another South African. In South Africa, he was drafted into the South African Army, where he learned to handle a rifle. Stanley joined the Revisionist Party (another name for Lehi).
At first opportunity, he returned to Tel Aviv to open the first "School of English" which gave him entry into the British High Society where he was privy to important information from the top echelon of the British Army. He was now able to pass this invaluable information on to other Lehi members.
Stanley Goldfoot did this with alacrity, under cover of legitimately representing English and French news. His valuable "press cards" gained him admittance everywhere!
He was active in many other activities against the British Mandatory Power, while working in Jerusalem as a respected journalist. Some of those activities were so sensitive that they were never made public.
After the rebirth of the Jewish State of Israel, he made aliyah legally in 1956. His main goal became his desire to establish a Zionist English newspaper "The Times of Israel", which eventually appeared on the streets of Israel, New York and the West Coast of the USA. For this purpose, he even spent a year in New York to raise funds to promote his newspaper.
In the first issue of the "Times of Israel", Stanley Goldfoot wrote his famous controversial "Letter to the World from Jerusalem", which at the time, caused a huge stir. His article is still relevant, and I am therefore, including it in this Letter from Jerusalem.
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 do 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 arm 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 dwell 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, this after we had 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 holy places, the Western Wall, in violation of the pledges they had made after the war -- a war they waged, incidentally, against a 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 the 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 is -- 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 re-examine you 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 the torch to the Temple everyone has equal rights. (You preferred 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 wonder over the face of the globe. We are not leaving. We have redeemed 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!
The Times of Israel
Stanley's wife Helen was a real trooper and diligently worked alongside of him throughout their married life to make all his endeavors a success.
Stanley and Helen have been active members of Women for Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green) since its inception in 1993. Both of them have been a great inspiration to the efforts of our organization to educate the younger generation about the values and traditions of the Jewish people in our promised Land.
All the Women in Green will always remember Stanley Goldfoot with love and gratitude. His memory is a blessing, not just for us, but for the entire Jewish people.
With Blessings and Love for Israel,
P.S. Any messages for Helen Goldfoot can be sent to our email address, mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org Attn: Helen Goldfoot. I will be pleased to pass them on to her.
P.P.S. I want to remind my readers that former Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir was an active member of Stanley Goldfoot's group, Lehi. Also, Israel Eldad, father of Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad, was an active member as well. Another important Lehi member is Ezra Yakhin, author of "Elnakam", Story of a Freedom Fighter, who lost an eye in the battle for Jerusalem. If you are interested in buying this book, get in touch with me.
Ruth and Nadia Matar established Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green), an activist group of women based in Jerusalem. Their website address is http://www.womeningreen.org
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Posted 4/23/07, Updated 6/15/13.