August 1, 2013
Sholom Ber Crombie in #890, Crossroads, shleimus ha'Aretz

Since the Gush Katif expulsion, the political left in Eretz Yisroel has cried out for a strong Likud prime minister who will succeed in reenacting the crimes of his predecessor, Ariel Sharon. One prominent leftist wrote last week that “Prime Minister Netanyahu is the only person today who can achieve the idea of two states.” He added that Netanyahu has in fact already accepted the concept of partitioning Eretz Yisroel…

The date chosen to renew negotiations with our “Palestinian” enemies was a most symbolic one. In the same week when the Jewish People were commemorating eight years since the destruction of the Jewish communities of Gush Katif and the northern Shomron, the prime minister – who played a major role in the disengagement as finance minister – chose to make an official declaration of a new round of talks. Who knows where it will lead?

It’s a bit hard to understand what a short memory our people have. On the 18th of Menachem Av 5765, the last of the Gush Katif settlers were driven out. The residents of the northern Shomron were also exiled during that week. Tens of thousands of people mark the days between the 12th and the 18th of Menachem Av each year as the anniversary of the expulsion. For many of them, they represents days of personal mourning for their destroyed community and family life, their severe loss of income and livelihood, and a constant reminder of their inability to resume a normal existence.

Now, exactly eight years later, the prime minister has again proclaimed his eagerness to commit the sin of expelling Jews from their homes. Once again, a prime minister wishes to endanger the security of the People of Israel and hand over even more territory to the terrorists. It’s as if nothing has happened here in the years since the tragedy of Gush Katif.


This coming week, the prime minister will pass the final hurdle prior to the new round of diplomatic negotiations: Knesset approval of the state budget which includes harsh economic sanctions against the weakest sectors of the population. The budget is the main reason why the Labor Party and the ultra-Orthodox have been attacking the government since its inception. However, once the budget has been passed, they will be free to support any diplomatic initiative Netanyahu puts forth in negotiations.

Since the Gush Katif expulsion, the political left in Eretz Yisroel has cried out for a strong Likud prime minister who will succeed in reenacting the crimes of his predecessor, Ariel Sharon. One prominent leftist wrote last week that “Prime Minister Netanyahu is the only person today who can achieve the idea of two states.” He added that Netanyahu has already accepted the concept of partitioning Eretz Yisroel…

If that isn’t wretched enough, the very person who was voted in on the premise that he would block this kind of dangerous proposal—Bayit Yehudi Party chairman Naftali Bennett—agreed to bring this plan before the voters in a referendum. According to Bennett, there is apparently no problem with driving out Jews and giving away territory – if that’s what the people want… He merely demands that the process be carried out in a democratic manner – and that’s all.

Last week, the Cabinet member in charge of the negotiations, Justice Minister Tzippi Livni, declared that the members of the security Cabinet are unanimous in their support for a renewal of talks with the terrorists. Such a statement without a single Cabinet member issuing a denial means that even the one government minister who should oppose any future expulsions is actually a partner in the process.

As for the chareidim, they’re standing in a neutral corner, waiting for Netanyahu to present his diplomatic initiative. After the Bayit Yehudi leaders fought against them for six months at every available opportunity, including passage of legislation on compulsory military service and support for huge reductions in budget allocations for the ultra-Orthodox sector, they’re preparing to exact their vengeance against the “knitted kippa” community.


As the year began, Bennett and his brethren stabbed the ultra-Orthodox community in the heart by joining forces with its worst enemies. It appears that the chareidi politicians are about to make their own “swing around the circle” in coming weeks at the expense of the forces in orange.

The Bayit Yehudi people were the ones to engage in shameless warfare against the chareidim since last winter’s election campaign. Consequently, why should they now expect the ultra-Orthodox to stand at their side when the prime minister is expected to propose a new policy for uprooting settlements?

Under the direction of “the Jewish Home” (an absurd name for this party), all protective roadblocks have been removed. The reforms in religious services have brought down the final barrier against breaches in the wall of halachic conversion. The partnership with Finance Minister Yair Lapid and the Yesh Atid Party has pulverized the yeshiva world. The Bayit Yehudi parliamentary faction has given its ardent support to the forced military conscription of yeshiva students and the closing of ultra-Orthodox learning programs. Its faction leader also served as chairman of the Knesset committee that drafted the legislation on army service. Its representatives continue to attack ultra-Orthodox education, as if it’s their responsibility to educate the children of Meia Sh’arim. They have been instrumental in approving unprecedented policies compelling ultra-Orthodox schools to include secular studies in their curriculum. The Cabinet member from this party in charge of the religious affairs ministry is the one responsible for putting an end to Jewish plots in military cemeteries. There will be no more Jewish burials for those who risked their lives al kiddush Hashem! And we haven’t even begun to talk about the recognition of the Reform and Conservative movements and the opening of the Western Wall square in Yerushalayim to prayers by Reform women.

With such an appallingly long list, it’s no wonder that the ultra-Orthodox sector is extremely angry with the Bayit Yehudi Party and its leaders. The Rebbe long ago called them “Canaanite slaves,” and the situation has only become worse since then.

Nevertheless, we have always wanted to believe that when the territorial integrity of Eretz Yisroel is at serious risk, they will rise up and stop Netanyahu’s bulldozing tactics. We now realize that they have betrayed the cause of shleimus ha’aretz as well. The Bayit Yehudi chairman has declared only that he opposes a return to the borders prior to June 1967. We can thereby deduce how he conveniently leaves the door open just a crack. In short, while he opposes a return to the pre-1967 borders, another diplomatic agreement is something else entirely.


We never really expected much from the ultra-Orthodox politicians. Most of them never stand behind the name of their party – “Yahadut HaTorah.” After joining Sharon’s government on the eve of the withdrawal from Gush Katif and the northern Shomron, they got the message. Last year, its two Degel HaTorah members, Moshe Gafni and Uri Maklev, voted in favor of dismantling the Givat HaUlpana settler outpost. These are the same MKs who supported the High Court of Justice, while the political right-wing was trying to restrain its judicial activism. They hoped that the day would come when the learned judges would show them greater kindness and demonstrate support for the ultra-Orthodox sector – a totally baseless aspiration.

The chareidi politicians have always explained their left-wing agenda with the argument that it’s forbidden to provoke the Gentiles. Even the wretched vote by these chareidi MKs against Givat HaUlpana was justified in this manner.

In a sicha from the 24th of Teves 5738, the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach, said: “[This is] unlike those who claim that it’s forbidden to have any weapons, and it’s forbidden to speak vigorously since ‘Don’t provoke the little Gentile.’ This is not a matter of provocation, because when you’re talking about Eretz Yisroel and its borders, and about the defense of many times sixty myriad of Jews located in Eretz HaKodesh, we must stand with proper resolve.

“…We want to save Jews from Gentiles, and since ‘you are the least of all the peoples,’ we need help from Alm-ghty G-d. But why do we need to take weapons and desecrate the Shabbos – we should say T’hillim, learn Torah, not go out on Shabbos with weapons of war!?

“However, the Shulchan Aruch rules that in such a case, Alm-ghty G-d wants that ‘they must go out against them with weapons of war and desecrate the Shabbos,’ since Alm-ghty G-d wants them to make a garment by natural means.

“We must say T’hillim and learn Torah, arduously involved in ‘the voice is the voice of Yaakov,’ and know that Alm-ghty G-d runs the entire world. Afterwards, however, we have to take weapons of war and stand along the border, since this is a matter of saving Jewish lives.”





Article originally appeared on Beis Moshiach Magazine (
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