Securing the Land of Israel with Jewish Self Confidence and Love
By: Gedaliah Aronson
Inspired by The Lubavitcher Rebbe’s assurance that when we will have faith and trust in Hashem that the Land Of Israel belongs unequivically to the Jewish people than “no one will contest the matter.”
We, the Jewish People, must finally and firmly move on from the idea that we have to get the world to accept us and our right to exist. The fact is that Israel exists and the Jewish people exist regardless of whether anybody accepts this reality or “our right” to this reality or not. We do not exist by virtue of others giving their approval. It is not their approval to give. The fact that we exist, have existed, and will always exist is a reality not determined by the approval of other finite beings; it is a reality continually created and re-affirmed at every moment by the Creator of all things. Why should we care if anyone denies our right to existence? If you were sitting on the bus and someone approached you, and out of nowhere started shouting “you have no right to exist” would you waste your time “proving” to him that you have a right to exist? Would his statement actually make you doubt your right to your own existence? It certainly would be a strange occurrence and the person’s behavior would be puzzling, but you would move on rather quickly. No one can claim that anything lacks the right to exist because they did not bring it into existence. Even within the context of trying to impress upon others our right to exist, most of the people who we are trying to convince have already stated and shown very clearly that they do not accept that right. In fact, it just empowers them and they see it as a weakness to exploit. They see that we care so desperately for their approval and they do not approve, so psychologically they use this against us and will continue to do so until we assert with confidence that we could care less what they accept.
When attempting to “prove” our legitimate existence, as faulty and futile as it is to begin with, we always point to things that just don’t hold up and the world doesn’t accept anyway. For instance we point to the United Nations partition plan of 1947 and how the Arabs rejected it and we accepted it etc. It has been said regarding the United Nations that the only thing they unite on is condemning Israel. The same body that apparently we rely on for legitimacy prolongs the conflict by establishing refugee status laws and refugee camps that encourage a continued refugee problem as well as hatred towards Jews and Israel. This is the only “refugee crises” in the world that has it’s own agency (The UNRWA united nations relief works agency) and has had it’s own agency for over 60 years! Their definition of a Palestinian refugee is anyone who was living in the area between 1946-1948 and either fled, were pushed out (because of the 1948 war initiated by Arab invaders) or willingly left on their own accord. This status extends to their descendants as well! I have a feeling there is no desire here on the part of the U.N to make peace. Sadly the Palestinian refugee “crises” has become a business and a calculated political operation. Descendants of descendants and so on; according to the U.N’s own standard the Jewish People are far more legitimate than the “Palestinians” considering that we have been forcefully removed from our homeland repeatedly for thousands of years. It’s as if they stole the idea of right out of our Holy Torah. G-d promises Avraham (Abraham) that he is giving the land to his descendants through Yitzchak (Issac) as an eternal inheritance. Perhaps it’s yet another attempt to deny and cover up the very deeply rooted Jewish connection to the Land of Israel. The UNRWA has founded and funded schools, camps, and hospitals, and in these places it has been found that no concern on their part is made about the indoctrination of children by the various terrorist militias and it has been found that they have even aided these groups in their efforts against Israel. The ironic tragedy and injustice in all of this is that generations of innocent and unwitting Palestinian children are being, and will be used (G-d forbid) as political pawns by the very organization established to help them… and yet the world condemns Israel. The U.N. needs to prove their legitimacy far before we do. Additionally, the whimsical and very Israel hostile U.N could make a resolution tomorrow condemning our right to exist! Would we then conclude ourselves that our existence is illegitimate?
The Balfour declaration is by now overlooked and almost forgotten. Regardless it is certainly not considered by the world as binding. Even if it was considered “binding,” what is considered binding by international law today can be thrown out tomorrow. So the Balfour Declaration is not worth the argument either. If we are going to engage in the discussion of our legitimacy let’s make a real claim that reflects our Jewishness: G-d gave this land to the Jewish people as an eternal inheritance.
Furthermore, it is crucial for us to stop stressing our unwavering commitment to the peace process, the goal of which is quite clearly not our safety and security. We should also cease from pointing out all we have done over the years for the sake of peace. Quite frankly the other parties involved in the peace process and those who really don’t care for Israel are not interested in such actions or commitments and will always say that it is not enough. Unfortunately we cannot make peace with those on the terms we like if those we are trying to make peace with do not want peace! On the micro level, if you gesture kindly to someone and that person socks you in the face, would you return to him in an effort to make peace? If that is a person that you have to live and deal with on a regular basis your security from him and his respect for you is what matters. If you run after him seeking peace after he clearly showed you how he feels, he will walk all over you. So why do we do this over and over and over again on a macro level?
Who do we need to convince most about our right and our claim to our land? Ironically it is ourselves. Many people are inclined to talk about how terrible and destructive Obama’s policies towards Israel are (and they are!). Obama’s policies towards Israel are simply following the tradition of past administration’s policies. It may be becoming more apparent that whoever formulates, advocates, and dictates policy towards Israel for the past many years it has been moving in this direction does not have Israel’s best interest at heart. There is, however, no difference in trend between Bush’s policies and Obama’s. It’s not that I do not feel that these policies are absolutely abhorrent and have been so, but these policies would not be able to come to fruition whatsoever if we were unified as a people. Additionally, American and western policy in general towards Israel originally took its lead from our own continuous inner struggle and doubt about our rights.
Immediately after winning a defensive and existentially threatening war in 1967, emissaries were sent to Washington to express Israel’s willingness to return the territories they definitively and rightfully won. This stunned Washington and the Arabs. Imagine that for the first time in history territory that was won in a war was being readily returned, this is unheard of! Not only was it won in just any war, but a defensive war, a war for Israel’s very survival. Often we look at this and we are very proud of the fact that we were willing to show the world that we were not in it for the “spoils” of war, but that we just wanted peace and to be left alone in our own country. While this definitely shows our unique character and it is a character trait we should be proud of, we must be careful about how we express it. Does it and did it advance peace? It absolutely did not advance peace. The Arabs do not and have not responded to such overtures with grace to say the least; furthermore if Washington and the west as a whole wanted to formulate some sort of policy in the Middle East, for whatever reason, it became very clear whom they could readily pressure and who was readily willing to concede. Since then, and because of the unexamined script we have always come to repeat, we have become the De Facto party on all sides to receive all the pressure no matter how destructive what we are being asked to do is to us.
None of this is to ignore or undermine the absurd standards the world wants to hold only us to, which so often has to do with blatant anti-Semitism. This is all the more so why we must be strong and unapologetic about protecting our people and our land regardless of world opinion. I believe first and foremost we need to strengthen our own faith and trust in ourselves, in each other, in our unquestionable claim to all of Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel), and in The ONE Above, who’s promise to us is the only thing that makes our claim unquestionable and eternal. We must also increase in the all-encompassing Mitzvah of Ahavat Yisrael (love of one’s fellow Jew) this goes for every single Jew without any distinction. It is said that the destruction of the second Temple in Jerusalem was caused by baseless hatred amongst Jews and that the rectification of this is baseless love. This is a love that is not based on logic as it goes far deeper than logic. This is a love that just needs to be uncovered and not developed because it is inherent to our souls. The best way to combat anti-Semitism is not to convince the rest of the world to love us or to disprove the canards of those espousing them, it is rather to love each other first…. than we can deal with the rest, if it even remains.