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Op-Ed: Now Is Our Chance to Teach Shlaimos HaAretz

“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.


  • 2. Don't criticize without offering an alternative. wrote:

    It’s very easy to condemn the 2-state solution, without offering a better option.

    The reason why so many Jews support a 2-state solution is because they feel that they have no alternative.

    If you consider the West bank and Gaza strip as part of Israel, then the Arabs living there are, by definition, Israeli citizens, and should have voting rights (unless you want to run an apartheid state).

    Arabs currently make up 48% of the population*, and within a few short years we may very well have an Arab Majority, and lose the only Jewish state we have.

    So we seem to have 3 options:
    1) Create 2 separate states.
    2) Create 1 non-democratic state where Arabs will not have rights (apartheid).
    3) Create 1 democratic state which will very soon have an Arab majority and cease to be a Jewish state.

    You need to pick one of these options or offer you own solution.

    I understand why you feel that a 2-state solution is a terrible option, but you aren’t offering an alternative.

    * There are 1.7 million Arabs in Gaza, 2.5 million Arabs in the west bank, and 1.6 million Israeli Arabs. Israel has 6.2 million Jews.

    • 3. Aliza wrote:

      To: Don’t Criticize Without Offering An Alternative

      Of your three alternatives, which would you say has the most potential for safety, well being and prosperity for people living in Eretz Yisroel, no matter what their ethnic identity?


The problem with number 2 is the word apartheid. Because of the implications of apartheid, it is not politically correct. And it understandably sends shudders down the spine of many Jews – specifically Jews who are projecting their own fears based on how Jews have been treated.


I would like to suggest that an apartheid in Israel would not include all the negative aspects that usually come with apartheid.

      Firstly, the Arabs whom we Jews are so concerned about giving citizenship to – do not have a history or culture of aspiring to self determination through democracy.

      Secondly, if an Arab wants to live in a country ruled by their own values – hey! look at the map. They have alternatives. And more than likely have relatives in some of those neighboring countries. Since most of their families are recent arrivals to Eretz Yisroel.


An apartheid system in Eretz Yisroel will benefit Arabs as well as Jews. It is not a perfect solution. It is not politically correct. But it will save the Jewish identity of the state and it will bring prosperity to all residents who want to remain and live peacefully. 

      When it is a choice between increased terrorist attacks implicit with option one or apartheid with option two or self destruction of option three… it is my hope that you would choose option two.

  • 4. No-Citizenship wrote:

    Don’t give the Arab population citizenship under Israeli law. This may cause an outcry but it’s a survival tactic Israel needs to use.

  • 5. To #2 wrote:

    I agree with you!! And also NOT having a two state solution would probably be legitimate suicide for Israel. There aren’t really any good options but please don’t just throw the solution in the garbage.

  • 6. Let it be out in the open wrote:

    What a great wake up call! So true- let’s stop being so meek and say what is open and outright! It’s ours, Hashem gave it all to us so why are we ashamed to talk truth! Who’s the chikd and who is the adult? Enough being Rabbi or Me. or Rebbetzin or Mrs. Nice guy!
    Very well written! Thank you Aliza Bas Menachem!

  • 7. Yisroel wrote:

    Excellent article surrounded by several foolish comments, confusions and make-believe bogymen. Eretz Yisroel was given to Am Yisroel by HaShem Yisborach forever. As Bennett told Kerry, “Open your Bible and read it.” If you don’t believe this, speak to your mashpiah and check your tefillin and mezuzos. The word “apartheid” is a term which applied to South Africa. In Eretz Yisroel, Arabs live, work, study and prosper in accordance with their abilities and motivation. Sure there are instances of discrimination, but by and large, Arabs overwhelmingly prefer to live in the so-called “apartheid Jewish state than in some so-called Palestinian country. The real problem is the religion of Islam. Once Arabs have lived somewhere, it is THEIRS. They will never allow land to return from the Daar al Islam to the Daar al Harab. Don’t you see what is happening in Europe? They stick-up for their religion, we have to stick up for ours. The only real solution is to limit Israeli citizenship and the right to vote to Jews.Anyone, Jew or gentile who does not like it, is free to leave.The Rebbe said we should build communities,towns and villages (not settlements) everywhere…and as fast as we can, and that is what should be done.. A freilichen Chanukah

  • 8. To Yisroel wrote:

    Yisroel, with all due respect, are you INSANE?! Limit citizenship and voting rights to Jews alone?! That would mirror the Sharia Law countries and maybe even worse. That is legitimate discrimination and it is by no means ok. I’m not even talking about political discrimination but just from the human being perspective. Don’t judge every single Arab the same way. There are many good ones out there, likewise with the bad ones. Also the international attacks Israel would receive would be the results in Israels true death. Jews would be attacked and hated. We need to be a light in the world, not a hate-filled darkness.

    • 9. Amused Observer wrote:

      Don’t you get it? When *their* side discriminates and limits rights to the choking point, it is horrible and discriminatory. When *our* side does it, however, it must be OK because of . . . um, something or other??

    • 10. Yisroel wrote:

      Actually, I am not insane. it is you who are mentally sick…delusionaL Do you know who you are dealing with? Regarding the enemies of Israel there can be no political correctness or liberal democratic values. Read your history? How did hundreds of millions of Indians, Africans, Indonesians etc become Moslems? Only by the sword. If you don’t recognize the danger, your grandson will be named Ahmed. The Arabs, like the Nazis do not conceal their intentions. The Torah commands us to guard our lives and souls. Wake up! Who cares what the Nation of the world think. They are Nothing as we say every day in the morning prayers. Good Shabbos.

  • 11. anonymous wrote:

    I think we need good hasbarah. Mike Huckabee gave numerous speaches interviews most recently to keneset Malai adumim community. He keeps on showing maps of Israel and he said don’t refer to the Yehuda shomron as west bank call it by correct name. No such thing as settlements call them cities upscale communities. It gives false impression that people are living in tents. He takes out a map and shows everyone Israel is one spect and Muslim countries dominate the whole area of the middle East. We are sovereign nation. Imagine USA negotiating with Mexico Mexican populations in California or Arizona?! Listen to Huckabee he says it the way it is. Most important based on the Bible our Torah Christians believe It’s Ours based on Biblical sources those Christians who are religious will support us all the way.


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