Ariel Sharon

Everyone remembers how it was Sharon, who as Defense Minister,led the dismantlement of Yamit. NOT EVERYONE REMEMBERS that it was Sharon as Defense Minister, who suddenly gave the Arabs extraordinary leniencies in the territories.

When Ariel Sharon met with Arafat’s aid Abu Mazen, many were shocked and disappointed that yet another “giant” in the fight for Eretz Yisrael had bitten the dust. But on such a matter we have no complaints against Sharon, but rather on all those who criticize him. Such people never wanted to know the true philosophy of Sharon, who was never a man for Eretz Yisrael in the same sense that we are. Already for some time, Sharon has been involved in the new Israeli national sport of “sketching maps”, and everyone knows that his proposal for the final status arrangement is far from being one of “Not One Inch”!

Should this come as a surprise? The answer is no. Every time Sharon was given a prime position in the government (such as Defense Minister), he suddenly “toned himself down”, as if he wanted to combat his image as an extremist. Everyone remembers how it was Sharon, who as Defense Minister, led the dismantlement of Yamit. NOT EVERYONE REMEMBERS that it was Sharon as Defense Minister, who suddenly gave the Arabs extraordinary leniencies in the territories.

When Sharon was part of the Israeli negotiating team in the autonomy talks back in 1980, Shmuel Tamir, who was then part of the same team, said the following to one of the settlement leaders: “I know that you think I am part-traitor, but I am telling you that I am preventing catastrophe daily inregard with what Sharon wants to do with the Palestinian authorities.”

Without a doubt, Sharon is a military hero, who has brought great salvation to Israel. But like most military men, he has no obligation to any ideology whatsoever.

Zachi HaNegbi and the Bankruptcy of Secular Zionism

If there was not a Zachi HaNegbi, we would have had to invent him. What better example is there to illustrate the bankruptcy of secular nationalism. Who can better teach us how even the most fervent of them has no real true stance, because only faith in G-d is the ingredient which enables the Jewish leader to with stand the difficult pressures which one may be faced with. One who does not possess the objective and absolute values of Judaism cannot with stand the pressure. Some may require mild pressure to fold, while others may require more, but in the end, there is nothing real to hold him. And so he proceeds to convince himself that it isn’t so terrible, and it’s better to concede a little than to lose a lot, and all the other “cheshbonot” which there is no end to.

It is important to note how Zachi HaNegbi himself explains how he underwent his change: “As a result of my learning law, I began to understand that without democracy, there is no life on the “monument” (in his younger days, HaNegbi barricaded himself on the top of a monument in Yamit in an effort to prevent the “legal” government decision to evacuate Yamit). It is democracy which enables the people to fight for what it believes in, without having a hair on it’s head being harmed.” Afterwards, he proceeds to pour praise on the judge Aharon Barak.

On the other hand, someone who embraces absolute values according to the”halacha”, knows that the “halacha” is “stubborn” and can’t be toyed around with. What we have here is two entirely different and contradictory points of view which will eventually come to a head, as exemplified by the halachic ruling forbidding soldiers to fulfill orders negating the Jewish halacha. What is frightening, however, is how far some Jews, who started out with good intentions, can actually go.

By the way, last month Hanegbi as Justice Minister demanded that the rabbis cancel their “psak Halacha” which forbids soldiers to carry out orders which negate the Jewish law. Our faithful readers know how much we have stressed over the past few years the cultural war taking place in Israel between the Jews and Hellensits. And now, the Justice Minister’s call to the rabbis sounds like a returning nightmare which we thought had gone away and wouldn’t come back. After all, such behavior we had grown accustomed to in recent years from past Justice Ministers such as David Libai, or from the likes of former ministers Yosi and Shuli from the Meretz party who openly fought against Torah and Jewish halacha. And now, we are getting the same treatment from one of “our own” Justice Ministers, who, by the way, recently replaced someone who was spit out by the system because he was religious! Yes, one of “our own” is now demanding that the rabbis – the same rabbi swhom he boldly stood by in the struggle for “Eretz Yisrael”, take back their halachic ruling!

Well, let Zachi HaNegbi know: Just like your predecessors in all generations did not succeed in forcing Jews to cancel halachic rulings which are G-d’sword, so too will you fail to cancel even one halacha! You, who once barricaded yourself on the Yamit monument to prevent the withdrawal from the Sinai, and who now has become a supporter of the Hebron withdrawal and an eager servant to the ambitions of Netanyahu and your own quest for power; You, who with such utter ease went from being a bitter enemy of the left to a defender of the leftist-oriented legal system which today you warmly embrace – Know: Relief and deliverance will arise to the Jews from elsewhere, and you, despite your past “record”, will be tossed into the trash can of history in but a short while…

Mishpatim: They Shall Not Dwell in Your Land

Several months ago a group of 120 Rabbis from the “religious-Zionist” camp issued a statement regarding the prohibition of handing over parts of Eretz Yisrael to gentiles. The five part statement began as follows: “Eretz Yisrael in its entirety belongs to the Jewish nation, and we are commanded by the Torah to inherit it and to dwell in it, and not to leave it in the hands of any other nation. It is forbidden to allow the gentiles to have a foothold in Israel, as it is written,’do not allow them a foothold’, and it is also written, ‘they shall not dwell in your land’. Therefore it is forbidden to withdraw from any part of Eretz Yisrael, thereby leaving it, G-d forbid, in the hands of gentiles”.

Seemingly, there is nothing new here. Ever since the withdrawal process from Eretz Yisrael got underway under Menachem Begin, we have heard from many sources, including the chief rabbinate, about the Torah prohibition forbidding the handing over of parts of Eretz Yisrael to gentiles. But in this latest statement, there is an addition which caught our eye, and that is the inclusion of the verse from our parsha, “they shall not dwell in your land”.

The Obligation To Expel the Goyim
Up until now, it was customary for such pronouncements to only mention the verse, “do not allow them a foothold”. From here the sages learn that “it is forbidden to give them (the gentiles) a foothold in the land” (Trachtate Yibamot), and this is brought down as the halacha. But they would never mention the verse, “they shall not dwell in your land”, which is a clear prohibition against allowing gentiles to live in Eretz Yisrael while under Jewish sovereignty. Indeed we find that when the Rambam brings the halacha forbidding gentiles to live in Eretz Yisrael, he sites this verse as the source of the prohibition. Here are his words from chapter ten of Hilchot Avodah Zarah (halacha 6) “But at a time when Israel has power over them (the gentiles), it is forbidden to allow them to live amongst us. Even as temporary residents… as it is written ‘they shall not dwell in your land’ – even temporarily. And if they accept the seven mitzvot of Bnei Noach, then they have the status of a resident stranger. And we only accept resident strangers when the Jubilee is in effect”.

Why did the religious national camp refrain from quoting the verse “they shall not dwell in your land” when justifying our hold onto the land? The answer is obvious. During the holy struggle by the rabbis to prevent withdrawals from Eretz Yisrael, they uncannily omitted the requirement of driving out the gentiles. This requirement is the flip side to the mitzvah of “yishuv HaEretz”, inseparable from and essential to the mitzvah of Eretz Yisrael. There can be no inheritance of the land without a disinheritance of it’s inhabitants. In order to avoid this issue, they were reluctant to bring the verse, “they shall not dwell in your land”. [At this point we should mention that the verse, “do not allow them a foothold”, also refers to the prohibition against allowing gentiles to remain in those parts of the land which we control, and not just to the buying, renting, or handing over of land, which is certainly forbidden as well. In any event, the rabbis preferred bringing the verse “do not allow them a foothold” since it usually connotes the more limited prohibition of handing over Jewish land to gentile sovereignty, and thus avoids the bigger issue of removing the
Arab trespasser].

Making the “Psak Halacha” Complete
The inclusion of the verse “they shall not dwell in your land” in this latest pronouncement is certainly a positive development. The problem is that after quoting this verse, and the verse, “do not allow them a foothold,” we are told in the very same breath that the conclusion of all this is that “it is forbidden to withdraw from any part of Eretz Yisrael and leave it G-d forbid, in the hands of gentiles”. That is the only conclusion?? Can we not deduct something more from these two verses? If they are going to take the time to finally quote “do not allow them to dwell in your land”, should they not take the next step in pronouncing “that we must drive the gentiles out of all parts of the land which are under our control, and no longer allow them to live in our land”, (and then afterwards they can add) “and all the more so it is forbidden by the Torah to hand over parts of the land to the gentile”!?

Either Us or Them
By now it is crystal clear to everyone that the tragic withdrawal process we find ourselves mired in is derived from the fact that we failed to drive out the gentile inhabitants after conquering the land. It is only the presence of huge and hostile Arab population centers which brings us to the decision that “there is no choice” other than handing over land to them. If we would have fulfilled the verse “do not allow them to dwell in your land”, then we would have been spared the transgression of the prohibition, “do not allow them a foothold”. These commandments are intrinsically dependent on one another.

On the verse, “do not allow them to dwell in your land”, the Sforno comments: “On those parts of the land which you conquer and dwell in – they shall not dwell. This was not done in the time of Joshua. As it is written, ‘the Canaanites lived amongst them at Gezer’ (Judges chapter 2)…” In other words, our generation made the same tragic mistake as did the generation of Joshua. Yes, they captured the land. But by not driving out the inhabitants, they failed to actualize their conquest and sovereignty, which in effect, rendered their conquest insubstantial. (see Judges, chapter 2) “The deeds of the fathers are a sign for the sons”.

Rabeinu BeChayei, in his book Kad HaKemach writes: “It is forbidden to appear before a gentile court of law, but only before Jewish ones, as the Torah says ‘these are the ordinances which you shall set before them’ “, and Rashi comments: ‘before them, but not before the heathens’. And the sages teach us that it is forbidden to be judged before a gentile court, even if you know that regarding a certain law, they will decide it like the laws of Israel. And so, one can only go to a court of God-fearing Torah scholars, as it says “before them”… The major substance of the Torah are its laws, and if we do not use them, this is a Chillul Hashem, and he who does not protest against this desecrates the Name of God, and disgraces the Torah of Moshe, and gives a hand to idol-worship….

And so it is no coincidence, that the Israeli judiciary stands at the front-line of the Hellenist camp in this cultural war we find ourselves in the midst of. The recent decisions by the Israeli Supreme Court to coerce the chief rabbinate to defy the Jewish halacha regrading the laws of marriage, kashurt, and “who is a Jew” is a part of their overall goal to cut down their natural foe – the rabbincal courts. It is to show them again and again, who the “boss” is, what are the values upon which the state of Israel postulates – democratic values or Jewish ones


The countdown is well underway here and the constant thought of all those gathered in this beautiful town on the shores of the Mediterranean is: When are they coming? The thought is a grotesque one. “They” are the ones that the children have come to fear. “They” are the ones that hundreds of Jews have come to look upon as the threat. “They” are the Jewish soldiers of the army of Israel. It is the Kfkaesque tragedy.

… The truth is that I am appalled at the lack of organization and policy here. The settlers simply do not what to do. There is no definite line. When the soldiers come, what should the reaction be? Should people simply leave? Should they sit down and be dragged out? Should they fight? There are no directions from the leaders because they themselves are not sure.

The bomb shelters, which, if stored with food, water, light and other supplies would be ideal fortresses that would take the army days to break into and pull out the settlers, are all locked. [ed: Rabbi Kahane and his followers eventually took over one of these bomb shelters, calling it “Bunker Kiddush Hashem”. This stronghold turned out to be the only serious resistance against the dismantlement of Yamit) The settlers spend their time going to meeting after meeting, all of which end with ringing declarations that mean little, and a decision to meet again.

Sholom Oren meets me. He is the reporter for Israel Radio. What do I think of the situation? I tell him. What do I intend to do about it? I am forming a second command post which will advocate using counter force against any effort to drag Jews away by force. I make it clear that I am opposed to any force if the army does not use it but that the halacha is clear: “If the King comes to violate a law of the Torah, we do not listen to him.” That night, the interview is broadcast on state radio. A debate develops in Yamit.. I explain the halacha and add: “I respect anyone who refuses to lift a hand against the army. But let that person know that he will not stop the retreat. The army uses force and a Jew does not depend on miracles. Faith yes, but along with it, the self-sacrifice needed..

A number of rabbis, notably those from Merkaz HaRav, as well as Hanan Porat, are alarmed. They sense that many of the settlers are frustrated and want concrete answers. Some of the rabbis, including Rabbis Nerya and Aviner forbid any violence. Rabbi Nerya, head of yeshivot Bnei Akiva, is quoted in the papers as having told two of his students, now soldiers, that if the army orders them to drag away settlers, they must obey. I am appalled. The halacha is clearly the opposite.

..Unfortunately, the leaders of the Stop the Retreat Movement (ed: a conglomerate of Gush Emunim and nationalist Techiya party ) had no coherent plan to seriously deal with the naked fact of Israeli army force. The elementary question of how to deal with the arrival of the army was simply ignored. Does one resist or simply give in to the soldiers with guns, the gas, and the strength? If one resists, the questions remains how?.. If there are no plans to physically fight the soldiers, then the retreat is assured because Begin and Sharon will have no fears or hesitations about moving against people they know are not “dangerous”..

When I arrived and told the news media that the answer was either determined resistance or guaranteed retreat, many Jews were angered, but many others frustrated and hapless agreed. Above all, for the first time, a red light flashed in the government’s mind.

For months, Begin..has lived in fear of a serious clash in Yamit between Jews.. He has no fear of Tchiya, a Geula Cohen or Hanan Porat. They are “moderates” who will be forcably moved out with relatively little trouble. It was the sudden arrival of Kach with its image of “extremism” that caused the pulse rate of the PM’s office to quicken. The point is so clear and logical, that one almost wants to weep in frustration: The way – the only way to stop the Begin-Sharon steamroller is to have them believe that they are dealing with “fanatics” and “extremists” who may do anything…

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