“The so-called ‘settlements’ are not bargaining chips in negotiations. They are the front lines for Jewish security for the people of Israel in the land of Israel,” writes Aliza Bas Menachem in her latest op-ed, following the Obama-sanctioned UN Security Council vote to condemn Israeli settlements.
by Aliza Bas Menachem
It has been a struggle to teach Shlaimos HaAretz. It is not politically correct. American Jews are cozy with what they call the Two State Solution. And the American way is that ‘if you cannot say something nice, don’t say anything at all’. Disturbing the Two State illusion would not be nice. So we have abstained from teaching Shlaimos HaAretz.
But with the latest UN condemnation of the “settlements”… a door has opened so that we can reveal the truth. We can teach the world what the Rebbe taught us.
Even someone like Alan Dershowitz, a Hillary supporter who is proud to be buddies with Obama, who considers the “settlements” to be nothing more than bargaining chips in negotiations with “Palestinians”, even he is appalled by the UN resolution – because it includes the Kotel!
The Rebbe pointed out that the same source of legitimacy of Jewish presence at Kotel in Yerushalaim, gives just as strong legitimacy to Jewish presence in Hevron and Shechem and their surrounding areas. And Aza.
Even Jews who put their faith in a Two State illusion, believe that Jews have a right to Daven at the Kotel. Whether their reasoning is based on Torah, on history or on security reasons… the same reasons apply to all of Eretz Yisroel.
The Gaza Strip is Judenrein. And what have the Arabs done after the “settlements” in the Gaza Strip were evacuated and destroyed? They use the land to launch missiles at Jewish cities. As bad as that is – it is to the south and off to the side. But Yehuda and Shomron – they are in the center of the country.
I have stood in Yitzhar in the Shomron, and Rosh Tzurim in Yehuda, facing west towards the Mediterranean, with no visual aids. From both vantage points, I could see the Jewish buildings on the highly populated coast. It would be suicidal to allow a foreign country to be situated in these locations. Especially a country that denies our right to exist and has a history of terror attacks against us. Even if they promise peace, and sign a piece of paper on the White House, we cannot position them on the hills overlooking to the north and south of Tel Aviv, including Tel Aviv.
The Jewish population centers on the coast are protected because Yehuda and Shomron are guarded by Jews. And by guarded, I don’t mean the army exclusively. Soldiers cannot be all places at all times. It is the towns – those pesky towns they like to call settlements – that are the first line of defense.
Soldiers are more effective when they are protecting people. Not empty spaces. And the people act as supplemental eyes and ears for the soldiers. Especially in the outposts that surround many of the towns in Yehuda and Shomron.
Jews living in the towns and outposts come and go on the roads. Keeping the roads safe. It is important that the roads do not fall under enemy control.
Prime Minister Netanyahu showed defiance of the UN resolution by lighting a Menorah at the Kotel. The next night he should have gone to Maaras HaMachpela in Hevron, and then to Kever Yosef in Shechem. This is not just about Yerushaliam and the Kotel. But Netanyahu is not ready to take that stand. He did say something about the “Palestinian” state demanding ethnic cleansing… but he did not say that the Jewish communities in Yehuda and Shomron are permanent. He did not say it is time to annex Yehuda and Shomron and make them part of the Jewish state, to be ruled under Israeli law. But if American Jewry would take that stand – Netanyahu might just have the confidence he needs to say and do what is right. And how will American Jewry wake up if Chabad abstains from telling them that the entire Eretz Yisroel has the same legitimacy as the Kotel? As many have said about the US abstention in the UN: Abstention equals acquiescence.
We will soon have a friendly ear in the White House. We can’t let that powerful receptive go to waste. But he won’t hear our message if we stay silent. It’s time to raise our voices!
The speech by the Israeli ambassador to the UN didn’t even refer to Jewish residency in Yehuda and Shomron. Not even under the name “settlements”. He had a chance to say that the “settlements” are legal under international law – which they are – and that they will continue to expand – which they will.
Shechem, Hevron and the Har HaBayit form the backbone of the Jewish homeland. These Holy places came under Jewish control in the miraculous Six Day War. These are the places that bind Jews to their homeland.
Avraham and Sarah, Yitzchok and Rivka, Yaakov and Leah rest in Hevron. Rochel in Bet Lechem, and Yosef in Shechem. David HaMelech’s first capital city was Hevron. The list goes on.
Even the part of the Ambassador’s speech about taking Paris from France or London from England or Washington DC from the USA. Really? If Americans were given a choice of negotiating away, between Washington DC and lets say… Nashville… Yes I’m joking. But what I am not joking about is that it is not only the capital city that is important to a country.
It’s time for followers of the Rebbe to stop hiding behind politically correctness. Come forward and explain that the Kotel is not the beginning and the end. It is part of a bigger geographic system based on numerous foundations of legitimacy: spiritual, historical and survival.
The “settlements” are not bargaining chips in negotiations. They are the front lines for Jewish security for the people of Israel in the land of Israel.
I see headlines proclaiming Rabbis criticizing the UN resolution when they are in the spotlight while lighting their giant Menorahs. But so far I am only aware of heartfelt, lame, diversions from the central message. I want to hear the Menorah lighters proudly proclaim that the Kotel, the Maara and Kever Yosef are not under the direction of the United Nations – they are essential locations of the Jewish homeland – they and their communities will continue to expand and prosper.