A CITY DIVIDED AND PIECED TOGETHER
October 21, 2015
Sholom Ber Crombie in #992, Shleimus HaAretz

Yerushalayim is the heart and soul of the Jewish People. Anyone who makes concessions on our sovereignty over the Old City cannot talk about a united Yerushalayim and the strength of the residents of the eternal capital of Am Yisroel. The General Security Services and the countrys military echelon know how to defeat the terrorists, but the politicians refuse to give the order. The Rebbe spoke decades ago about the censorship on the security situation, covering up reports on how the terrorist organizations were raising their ugly heads.

1.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon are absolutely right. The truth is that there isn’t much they can do to change the situation. Assuming naturally that there are no plans to alter the strategic balance of power, what would be the purpose in initiating a military operation at this time? No one intends to go around East Jerusalem and confiscate knives from the kitchens of Arab homes. Furthermore, when the operation’s sole objective is defensive in nature, e,g., gathering terrorist weapons, such tactics will do nothing towards improving the nation’s security. On this basis, there is no reason to start a war against the terrorists. Thus, it should come as no wonder that the proposed solution is to erect metal detectors at the entrance to the Old City, as if there’s a lack of knives and other weapons inside Arab houses in the Moslem Quarter.

The real problem is not a lack of ability on the IDF’s part or options for an effective military operation, rather a lack of true desire to vanquish the terrorist enemy. While there are several proposals before the Cabinet on a workable military solution to the prevailing state of affairs, the government ministers prefer to take small steps to calm the national outrage and soothe public opinion. They could call for bold and courageous measures. Although this would initially come at a high price, forcing us to deal with the pressures of international criticism, the deteriorating security situation will eventually stabilize. Unfortunately, all we get is a PR offensive on social media.

After Operation Protective Edge last summer, one prominent IDF officer said that the army could have retaken the Gaza Strip within seven hours, but those on the diplomatic track didn’t want to defeat Hamas. This is the very situation we confront today. We can defeat the terrorists, and we have a powerful and professional army that is capable of doing just that. The same Israel Defense Forces that devastated all the Arab armies – through G-d’s Divine kindnesses and His openly revealed miracles – can also conduct a victorious war against the terrorist organizations. However, instead of dealing with security considerations, the leaders in Eretz Yisroel politicize the army, concerning themselves with what the international community might say. This is exactly what the Rebbe warned about decades ago, when few people really knew what was happening in the faulty decision-making process for the non-existent war on terror.

What does the Prime Minister think the end result will be? We went through the first intifada, the second intifada, and the waves of terrorist attacks after the Oslo Accords. How did the journalist Chagai Segal put it? “By my count, this is the eighth intifada, not the third.” What else has to happen ch”v before Yerushalayim finally becomes a safe place once again? Instead of gaining security, we lose another part of our sovereignty over Yerushalayim to the rampaging Arab hordes with every wave of terrorist bloodletting. Those of us old enough to remember can look back fondly to the days when we could move freely around Sh’chem and Yericho. We’ll apparently be able to speak to our children about when we could walk to the Kosel via the Arab marketplace and the Moslem Quarter. We might even have to tell them that it was once possible to go to the Kosel without close armed protection. Who knows?

After the difficult scenes of recent months, many Jews refrain from walking to the Kosel along the usual paths, opting instead to take their cars via the bypass route. They always used to tell us that there was no reason to worry about walking through the Arab marketplace. After all, it was in the Arab merchants’ best economic interests to keep things peaceful. Economic interests supersede all other concerns – that’s a known fact. However, the pictures of a young chareidi, wrapped in tallis and t’fillin, fleeing in panic through the streets of the Arab market, make it abundantly clear that Arab hate is the prime motivation today. And if those pictures weren’t enough, we then saw the film clip of Adele Benita running with a knife stuck in her body, fighting for her life while the Arab merchants sat happily and drank Coca-Cola. Only the popcorn was missing for them to have a full entertainment experience.

All the myths about co-existence with the Arabs, if we would just give them a means of livelihood and proper municipal services, have been proven false with every successive terrorist attack. They have no rational basis whatsoever; this is nothing more than good old-fashioned anti-Semitism, plain and simple. That’s the whole story to this never-ending conflict. It’s definitely not a clash over municipal issues or national policy; it may not even be a religious dispute. This is sheer blind hatred: “It is a well-established law – Eisav hates Yaakov.”

2.

In the meantime, the pundits are struggling to provide an answer on how we should define this new situation. We most definitely don’t have a war here. The reality of ordinary Jews being stabbed and murdered on a daily basis is far from being called a “war.” This isn’t even an intifada – yet. In today’s world, the rule of thumb is that if it smells like an intifada and sounds like an intifada, then it’s an intifada. However, in Eretz Yisroel, it can sound like an intifada, even feel like one, but Heaven forbid that we should call it an intifada. So how exactly do we define a situation where Jews are stabbed every day by Arab murderers? The most we can expect is the phrase “wave of terror.” In other words, the terror in Eretz Yisroel is an accepted reality, a routine fact of life. Just as there are waves of cold and waves of heat, there are also waves of terror. It’s part of the scenery.

The problem is not the Arabs – they were in Eretz Yisroel before and will be after the current “wave of terror” – rather it’s the message we convey to them. When we convey a message of strength, they are terrified. However, when we cringe before them, they raise their heads. Since the last “wave of terror,” they haven’t been our good neighbors who followed the path of peace. They simply chose the path of fear. When we exercised our power of deterrence, they were silenced and we were victorious. But when the prime minister of Israel stands at the rostrum before the United Nations General Assembly and proclaims his support for a “two-state” solution, what can you expect from the hate-filled Arab merchants who want nothing less than to see us driven into the sea?

In the current situation, only instilling fear and dread within them can restore security to the Jewish homeland. There’s no need to collect all the kitchen knives from East Jerusalem and there’s no reason to do so either. However, it’s possible to go out on a military operation that will bring the IDF back into Arab cities throughout Yehuda and Shomron, it’s possible to declare the Oslo Accords null and void – especially since the other side has unilaterally broken them anyway, and it’s also possible to implement Jewish sovereignty over Gush Etzion or the settlement blocs – for starters. These are the steps that can truly tip the balance of deterrence in our favor and restore a feeling of national security. In addition, it sends a clear message that “the boss is very angry” and it wouldn’t be smart to provoke us.

However, instead of choosing this overall approach, Mr. Netanyahu prefers to deal with cheap public relations and proclaim that “the terrorists’ homes will be destroyed.” He just forgot to mention that he was referring to the terrorists responsible for the slaughter at the Har Nof synagogue last winter, whose homes had been scheduled for destruction long ago. We won’t discuss the fact that the homes aren’t really destroyed. The most they ever do is dynamite a few walls, and the next day, the money comes from Iran via Hamas and the house is rebuilt as if nothing has happened.

With all the madness in the streets of Yerushalayim today, it boggles the mind why its municipal government still hasn’t received orders to raze all illegally built homes situated near Jewish communities and thereby endangering the security of the people living there. In recent years, thousands of residential units have been erected near the city’s Armon HaNatziv and Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhoods. If someone wants to restore security to the citizens of Yerushalayim, he first must put a stop to the constant daily threats. When a woman living in Pisgat Ze’ev is afraid to open her window at night because there’s an illegal Arab house just yards away threatening her security, that’s a clear sign of a divided Yerushalayim.

3.

The Rebbe was already speaking about the loss of sovereignty over Yerushalayim immediately after the great victories of the Six Day War. While the entire Jewish People were celebrating the return of the Kosel and other holy sites, the Rebbe declared that there are those who want to give it all back. In dozens of sichos, the Rebbe mentioned Yerushalayim and the forfeiture of Jewish rule there. Even when the Rebbe cried out against the territorial concessions stipulated in the Camp David Accords, he explained that they won’t be able to stand firm afterwards on Yerushalayim.

In one lengthy sicha (Motzaei Shabbos Ki Sisa, Parshas Para 5739), the Rebbe laid out the web of concessions on the way to recognizing ‘Palestinian’ autonomy and the loss of Jewish sovereignty. It turns out that even back in those days, there were those who tried to censor news about the violence against Jews and sweep relevant facts on the security situation under the rug. “The main thing is that they let the terrorists enter the Old [City of] Yerushalayim!” the Rebbe said. “They also hit Jews and Jewish soldiers there, and they keep it a secret, thinking that if the papers are forbidden to write about it, then the sixty or seventy thousands Arabs living in Yerushalayim won’t find out. Furthermore, if the military censors say that it doesn’t ‘pay’ to publicize this, the Arabs will cover it up and won’t tell about it to a brother, cousin, or relative living on the Jordanian side. This is a lie that cannot be used to deceive anyone, even a small child.

“And as we have discussed, since we are in a doubled and redoubled state of darkness, G-d does not wait until they realize that two plus two equals four, not five or three – and He shows that they have already been striking Jews r”l near Chevron, near Sh’chem, and near the Old City of Yerushalayim, including even people in the army!”

The Rebbe continued: “The only thing that protects is the chief Guardian, i.e., ‘The Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps,’ except that G-d wants it to be based according to the ways of nature. Natural protection is when there are soldiers carrying weapons and they want to serve with self-sacrifice even for those who are “like grasshoppers in their eyes.” Several years ago, these people sent a “delegation” to Washington to ask for mercy and that they should take back everything conquered during the Six Day War – they’re even prepared to protect them! – using them not to let Jews settle along the border. Yet, a few months ago, they said that this was the only way to protect the border, and if it remains unoccupied, they can’t protect it, and therefore, Jews must settle there!”

Article originally appeared on Beis Moshiach Magazine (http://beismoshiachmagazine.org/).
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