Friday morning a van pulled up outside my Beit Hadassah home in Hebron, and out stepped Alan Clemmons, State Representative from South Carolina. First I shook his hand and then told him, ‘you deserve a hug,’ and proceeded to hug him.
Alan Clemmons is one of a growing number of young American politicians taking an active, first-hand role in the continued conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors in Judea and Samaria. His visit comes on the heels of this summer’s visit by five congressmen to Israel. Their visit included not only Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, but also Ariel, Psagot and Hebron.
Alan Clemmons is not your everyday, run of the mill politician. Dressed in a casual sweater on a cold day, I remarked that when representatives of the American Consulate visit Hebron, they arrive in tank-like vehicles, may not enter the Tomb of the Patriarchs because their armed body guards aren’t allowed in with their weapons, and must plan just about every site to be visited prior to arrival, otherwise it’s off-limits. Whereas Rep. Clemmons, and the others, show up by themselves, without an arsenal following their every footstep.
Why did I hug Alan Clemmons? On June 2, 2011, he introduced a resolution in the South Carolina House of Representatives, which was passed unanimously by all 124 members, stating:
“Be it further resolved that the members of this body support Israel in their natural and God-given right of self-governance and self-defense upon their own lands, recognizing that Israel is neither an attacking force nor an occupier of the lands of others, and that peace can be afforded the region only through a united Israel governed under one law for all people.” [http://goo.gl/KP8mS]
We toured Hebron, saw all the sites and talked over a cup of coffee in my home. As we finished up, I spoke with Representative Clemmons on camera: [http://goo.gl/Qoz9U]
Impressions: There are people who would tell you Jews have no claim to Hebron, that Jews have no claim to the lands referred to as the ‘west bank.’ I stand to correct them. They need to see what I’ve seen. They need to go to Ruth’s tomb. They need to be where I am, in the field purchased, one of the most sacred sites in the Judeo-Christian world. Is right here, where I’m sitting, in Hebron. I’m in awe at what I’ve seen, I’m in awe of the people that I see here, the Jewish people, protecting Israel’s right and claim here in a land which they’ve had, and which they’ve lived, as their home, for millennia. At times being persecuted and driven out and here they’ve got their toehold back on the land. And they’re holding this sacred piece of ground for future generations.
How will you try to convince people that what you are saying is correct? How will you try to change their minds?The truth is an enemy to lies. And as I share the truth of what I’m seeing, what I’ve seen, here in Israel, the truth will help to dispel the myths, the misinformation, that the world-wide media seems to be sharing with the world, which is being bought, on a large part, by the world.
How can you help to influence Congressmen in Washington to stop pressuring Israel to renlinquish places like Hebron and acqueise to Arab terror?
I have friends in Congress, friends who are friends to Israel. Unfortunately today there is more attention given to the enemies of Israel by those in the highest positions in the United States. I’m from a small state, South Carolina, and represent about 30,000 people. There are only about 600 Jews in my district. I proposed a resolution in South Carolina that takes a position that most Bible-believing Americans hold, and that is that Israel has a right to the land of Israel. They have a right to settle, and a duty to settle and protect and defend it, defend these holy pieces of ground, that no man, that no government gave them, that G-d gave them, where people, who have owned, who have lived in, they’ve given birth in, they’ve died in, they have a right and duty to protect this holy land. I’ve discovered that this is truly the opinion of the heart and soul of the American people, when I proposed that resolution, and all 124 members of the South Carolina House of Representatives agreed with me and voted in favor of the resolution, not a single person voted against it. I’ve now been in contact with about half of the states and they’re proposing the same resolution. I’m working on a bottom-up revolution in the United States, to send a message to our president and to those sitting on Capitol Hill that America is with Israel. And by sending that message from the bottom up, my hope and my prayer and my belief is that those sitting in the highest offices of the land in America, they will likewise reach out to protect Israel.
What can others do to further this effort?I implore that people that love Israel, they do take an active role. They can do that by contacting their representative, their member of their state house of representatives, their state senator, call them, send them a letter, send them a letter, catch them by their arms when you see them at church, tell them about this resolution.They can find out more about it by contacting me at [email protected], take the resolution, model it, and propose it. What’s the worst that could happen? It’s debated, and facts are put on the table, and facts are the archenemy of lies, debate the facts about Israel, and Israel’s right and claim to this G-d – given land and the worst that can happen is that Israel-haters would vote the resolution down. The best that could happen is that which happened in South Carolina, where all members of the house stood together, united, linking arms, regardless if they’re Republican or Democrat, black or white, or whatever else might divide them, but on this issue they link arms and say we are united with Israel.
A few days ago Newt Gingrich, present frontrunner for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, said that the ‘palestinians’ are an ‘invented people.’ "Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we''ve have invented the Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs and are historically part of the Arab community, and they had the chance to go many places. "Is what I said factually correct? Yes. Is it historically true? Yes. Are we in a situation where every day rockets are fired into Israel while the United States? The current administration tries to pressure the Israelis into a peace process... Somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth. These people are terrorists. They teach terrorism in their schools. They have textbooks that say, if there are 13 Jews and nine Jews are killed, how many Jews are left? We pay for those textbooks through our aid money. It''s fundamentally time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say, enough lying about the Middle East." [http://goo.gl/UpqsT]
Newt, meet Alan. You’d make a great ticket.
And Representative Alan Clemmons, thank you for your love, support, and action, for Hebron, all Judea and Samaria, and the Jewish people in Eretz Yisrael, the land of Israel.
All photos and video by David Wilder-Hebron
This article is dedicated to the memory of my father, Samuel H. Wilder, a lover of Hebron and Eretz Yisrael, whose Yartzheit falls tomorrow on the 16th of Kislev.