The following is adapted from a speech delivered by the author at the 2023 Temple Mount Jerusalem Conference, hosted at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center.
On January 6, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered what many historians and scholars consider to be the most important, defining, and critical speeches in American – if not human – history. His remarks, listened to on the radio waves across the world, laid out a clear and concise vision for the future, a simple but sound framework applicable to all mankind, a set of universal beliefs upon which civilization could not only survive… but thrive.
“In the future days, which we seek to make secure,” FDR began, “we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
“The first is freedom of speech and expression – everywhere in the world…
“The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way – everywhere in the world…
“The third is freedom from want…”
“The fourth is freedom from fear…”
“That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation.”
Indeed, FDR not only saw clearly what the future could be, but also what we must demand it should be. In essence, FDR reminded us that freedom was inviolable, indispensable, and imperative. That men and women must be free; free to speak his or her mind, free to honor his or her faith, and to be free from wanting to do so, or worse, fearing to do so.
It was this vision, and his unfailing belief in freedom, that led the allies to victory, built the modern international system, toppled the Soviet Union and ensured democracy – the only form of government in which freedom can be secured – would spread across the world. Freedom is the foundation upon which the legitimacy of our national and international laws rely; it is the fundamental prerequisite for any civilized society. And there is no doubt that the world, by any measure or metric, is far more free today than at any other time in human history.
But in reality, the fight for freedom has not yet been won.
Because to celebrate freedom, when the Temple Mount is held captive by rioters, criminals, and terrorists – aided and abetted by the Israeli government, which refuses to demand from them what they demand from the Jewish people – feels foolish, futile, and feckless… Click here to continue reading the story.