The hatred is so thick, you can feel it in another country. The world screams for our blood. European politicians lean on Israel hoping to snap us in two. Crude pundits and politicians spew the kind of filth once found in Juluis Streicher's pornographic rag. Jewish neighborhoods burn throughout Europe because Israel has the audacity to defend itself.
On American soil, Obama shows us why he has earned the title of most anti-semitic President in U.S. history. He can't even hide it on his arrogant mug, nor does he wish to. John Kerry proves himself a worthy heir to Hillary. I imagine a job application for the U.S. Secretary of State includes the following question: What unique brand of anti-semitism does your skill set bring to the table?
As always, one can only find solace in the Torah, and more importantly, in its application. Hence the appropriateness of this week's Torah reading. How tragically ironic that while our soldiers (may The Almighty preserve them) are fighting the Arab Amalekites in the ancient region of Azza, we will be reading the weekly Torah portion which remains the sole blueprint for dealing with our enemies. The Torah speaks concretely and without ambiguity.
Parshat Masai. “Vehorashtem”- “You shall drive out all the land's inhabitants before you, and you shall destroy all their prostration stones, all their molten images you shall destroy, and all of their high places you shall demolish.” (Numbers 33: 52-53)
"If you do not dispossess the inhabitants of the land, those whom you allow to remain shall be barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land in which you live. Then, I will do to you what I had planned to do them." (Numbers 33:55-56)
You will note that the verse makes no mention of not harming “innocent civilians.” I had to point that out.
The Ohr HaChaim (classic Pentateuch commentary of Rabbi Chaim Ben Attar) addresses this issue. “You must drive out”. Although the verse said of the seven nations “you shall not allow any people to remain alive” (Deut. 20:16) Here, the Torah is talking about other nations found there beside the seven. It therefore was careful to say, “all the lands' inhabitants,” meaning, even those not of the seven. (Numbers 33:52)
In summation, the notion of ridding the land of hostile/dangerous elements is not limited to the historical seven nations that the Jewish people faced upon entering the land. It is a template that applies to enemies in all generations.
Many Jews, including too many religious ones, are uncomfortable with the Torah's words and would like to relegate them to the shelves of ancient history. Those who don't see the Torah as the literal word of The Almighty readily dismiss it as an ancient war- ethic that has no applicability in a modern age. Some will deem it barbaric by modern standards. There are many with kipot who will utilize more elaborate ways to evade the halachic requirement. Some are clever enough to argue that this, like Israel's other wars is a milchement mitzvah (biblical war-the correct general consensus of religious Zionists) but yet somehow maintain that the other elements of the mitzvah don't apply.
Those who are honest enough to state the halachic truth without compromise are few and they are demonized. In our times, only one prominent person dared to address this provocative issue. Naturally, I speak of the great Rabbi Kahane (may G-d avenge his blood) whose brilliant prose graced the pages of the Jewish Press for many years, ensuring that Jews would get an education they were unlikely to receive elsewhere. His magnum opus, entitled “They Must Go!” is a must read for anyone interested in Israel's survival. It was a terrifying read back in the 1980's before Oslo. Today it is a nightmare read that would be classified as horror were it not the truth. And for his honesty, the left and the right (the reasonable, respectable right) rose up and outlawed Rabbi Kahane's KACH party which was slated to win approximately 10-15 seats in the next Knesset. What did Rabbi Kahane do to raise their ire?
- Rabbi Kahane addressed the pressing issue of Arab demography which the politicians were unable/unwilling to answer. The high Arab birthrate threatens the survival of the Jewish State not merely by being a majority overall, but by being a majority in regions of the country. Prime Example: the Galilee has been an Arab majority for years. A hotbed of hate, and in our times, a dangerous region at times for many Jewish travelers.
- Rabbi Kahane understood that the Arabs hate Israel and view us as thieves. He understood that Israeli-Arabs with “citizenship” are far more dangerous that those in the liberated regions because they can vote, and thus undo the Jewish state from within.
- As a student of history, Rabbi Kahane understood that Israel faces a hostile fifth column who will mirror what the fifth column Germans did to their respective countries during World War II. And he predicted that the left understood it as well, and thus would come to the same solution, albeit turned on its head in a grotesque parody of sanity. Instead of transferring hostile Arabs, they chose suicidal territorial concession to the PLO, and the expulsion of Jews from their homes.
Rabbi Kahane spoke of transfer, because it was what the Torah spoke of. It was also necessary. Unlike Rehavam Zeevi (Hy'd) of Moledet, whose notion of “voluntary transfer” lacked teeth, Rabbi Kahane had a concrete plan. He wasn't asking them. He was telling them what he would do as Prime Minister. In the early years, the other parties and the press viewed him as a lunatic fringe with no power base. As his popularity surged in the 1980's and he received a Knesset seat, they became terrified. And the future was his. Polls showed it to be so. So he had to be silenced, and in a tragic marriage, Labor and Likud did away with him, politically. Rabbi Kahane maintained that the choice was ultimately Kahane or Arafat. As his voice was muted, the seeds were planted for Oslo. The politicians chose Arafat.
And that is why rockets are raining down across the entire length and breadth of the country. Because our leaders adopted the one policy that has historically doomed countries. Appeasement. They jammed the lie that Fatah was different than Hamas down the public throat, and we now have to deal with both of them on different fronts. Military experts arrogantly insisted that there was no danger of missiles reaching Israel. And even when the reality of rockets rose, they embarked on sterile, mini operations that were mere band-aids on a rotting limb. And that is why our soldiers are now on the ground in Gaza , seeking to identify and destroy a complex nightmare network of terror tunnels. Because our leaders twiddled their thumbs and left the impending nightmare for a future generation to deal with. And while Jewish soldiers return home in caskets, the ever present threat of a ceasefire looms. An assurance of future wars which will make this current bloodbath look like a skirmish.
Get Your Head Right!
I don't want to hear any more of the following grotesque statements, which are cliche in our times. The stuff of Facebook and twitter. They are undignified, because they deny us the full reach of our arm, which is a moral right.
- Israel has the right to protect itself. One either understands this, or one hates Jews and denies us this most human of rights. We get it. The U.N. Is a conglomerate of European and Middle Eastern anti-semites. This is hardly a revelation. “Moderate” Turkey, Jordan, Morocco, and Egypt are myths.
- No other country in the world.... or Israel goes out of its way and endangers....(lo aleinu) Nothing to be proud of here. There is nothing moral about warning a hostile populace that elected a terrorist entity as its representative. Nothing moral in the slightest about endangering a Jewish soldier to prevent future terrorists from reaping what the society has sown.
- Any statement from the late Golda Meir about how peace will come when the Arabs love their children.... What a revelation! They are savages. They've adopted the path of Amalek. They murder their own in order to murder Jews. Golda's statement weakens our resolve. It portrays a false human image dealing in fantastical sentiment which has no basis in reality. And with such a false construct in our minds, we cannot possibly generate the resolve to deal with the Arabs.
This is loser talk. Inherently unjewish and dangerous.
We can talk about not giving up an inch of land and building more communities. We can talk about destroying terror groups and maintaining a strong army. All of them good ideas, necessary, and true. And yet, it is not enough if we are unwilling to deal with the Arabs within who riot and burn down buildings. Or celebrate from the roofs when rockets are fired upon Eretz Yisroel. Who kidnap Jewish women and murder them. Who ambush Jews on the rural roads and gun them down. Who drive their bulldozers into crowds of Jews. Who vote and undermine the country from within.
To those who know “moderate” Israeli Arabs and view them as friends, I challenge them to check their friend's Facebook statuses. Note carefully whose videos they post, whose poison views they share. Have the kinds of conversations with them that you always avoided, naturally assuming that they were reasonable, moderate, people. Ask the difficult questions and hear their responses. Make them answer your questions without evasion. Most of them will be honest.
Until the Jewish people loudly resurrect Rabbi Kahane's message, we will be forced to consume the poison fruit of Oslo. Likud leaders will continue the path of Labor. Looking for moderates where there are none. Lacking the courage to destroy Abbas and his beasts rather than arming and funding them. Lacking the resolve to end the treason of Oslo. Transferring the Arabs can be done humanely, if they wish it to be so. But they cannot remain. We are at a critical historical juncture.
The left will cry racism. Challenge their assertions of racism and turn it on them. We wish to throw out the enemy; they would do so (and have) to Jews. Transfer has nothing to do with race, or blood, or Arabs for that matter. Numerous examples in history abound where countries expelled dangerous elements. The Poles and the Czechs expelled 12 million ethnic German after World War II. They didn't care what the world thought of them. It can be done.
Furthermore, it is the requirement of the Halacha. The Torah's notion of transfer is one of survival, knowing that hostile populations cannot remain without threatening the physical/spiritual integrity of the Jewish society. Transfer is applied to hostile gentiles who refuse to accept the Torah's halachic requirements as ger toshav-that is, a resident stranger. Naturally, the laws of the resident stranger is a complex halachic discussion and there are different rabbinical opinions on the matter. Nevertheless, the category exists and remains the sole criteria for the righteous gentile to remain. The Arabs are not resident strangers, nor do they wish to be. They have different tactics at times, but the goal of Israel's destruction remain the same. Hence the Chillul Hashem of Arab MK Zoabi in a “Jewish” Knesset. A woman who hates the State of Israel and openly supports Arab terror against Jews.
Perhaps we should adopt the language of the left and it will be more palpable for them to swallow. Note their universal usage of the euphemism “Gaza evacuation,” as if the Jews of the region were rescued from a flood or other natural disaster, rather than forcibly removed from their homes, so that Hamas could have living space. They all use the term. Liars create fiction if they are to live with themselves. The leftists are the real racists. (When I use the term leftists, I refer not to parties. Anyone who uses the tools of the left and embarks on its path is a leftist regardless of his political affiliation.) They throw Jews out of their homes. They beat them with truncheons and arm the PLO. They want all of the liberated areas handed over to the fiends who had them and went to war to destroy us. They also believe in transfer. They just want to apply it to Jews. Challenge every leftist with this. They cannot answer you. They will invariably smile sarcastically and shush you up. They cannot be honest.
Note the terrifying last words of the biblical verse I referenced before. "If you do not dispossess the inhabitants of the land, those whom you allow to remain shall be barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land in which you live. Then, I will do to you what I had planned to do them." (33:55-56)
The punishment of refusing to follow G-d's will is the seemingly incomprehensible inability to deal with an enemy who on paper should easily be defeated. Mass confusion and despair. Endless harrasment from the enemy. Death and devastation. The inability to control the country. The sense of having no solutions arises because of our refusal to accept Torah. Fortunately, solace can be found within the Torah. According to Jewish tradition, negative prophecies can be averted through repentance. Positive prophecies will come to those who earn it. And thus Am Yisroel can find authentic peace by following the Torah. This too can be a comfort. But it requires that we raise our voices.
Rabbi Kahane often bemoaned the many “closet Kahanists” who agreed with him but wouldn't admit it publicly. Today, many are fond of saying that “Kahane was right.” The slogan can be found plastered across Israel. But slogans mean nothing without an intelligent loud voice to disseminate the message. Nor does Rabbi Kahane's tragic absence detract from the truth of his message. The truth remains, and the responsibility remains ours.
They Must Go! The great Rabbi's immortal words scream at us from the grave. The masses must similarly scream and clamor for it. Otherwise, the death march of Oslo will continue.
Featured in the Jewish Press: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/guest-blog/transfer-still-the-only-solution/2014/07/23/