THE RIGHT IS LEARNING HOW TO RULE
June 17, 2015
Sholom Ber Crombie in #977, Crossroads

The political right has apparently begun to learn how to rule the Jewish state. Three new government ministersRegev, Shaked, and Hotovelyhave chosen to bring real change instead of mere cosmetic change designed for putting out fires.

Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry

1.

Two terrorist rockets fired last week at the cities of southern Eretz Yisroel served once again as a reminder of the volatile situation prevailing along the border with the Gaza Strip. It seems that it has been only a year since we completed a heroic military campaign, as our soldiers entered Gaza and destroyed the Hamas terrorist tunnels. However, in practical terms, virtually nothing has changed. It’s not that we didn’t demolish most of the underground passageways during the final days of Operation Protective Edge. The problem is that the terrorist infrastructure has remained intact. Hamas’ capability for digging new tunnels is the same as it was before last year’s conflict. While the Israel Defense Forces did destroy the tunnels, the terrorists still possess the military resources to rebuild them.

Following the conclusion of last year’s fighting, many in the Israeli defense establishment expressed their deep frustration. They claimed that they could have reconquered Gaza and crushed the Hamas regime within forty-eight hours. However, the policymakers chose not to confront Hamas – at least not this time – postponing the real battle for the next round. The tunnels had been destroyed last summer, but they were rebuilt the following winter. As long as there is no Israeli presence in the Gaza Strip, the hornets’ nest alongside Israel’s southern perimeter will continue to threaten us.

With almost perfect timing, we hold events at the same time of year to commemorate both the expulsion from Gush Katif and the Second Lebanon War - the military conflict against Hezbollah that came as a direct result of the expulsion the year before. This year, another set of memorial services will join the list to mark the events of last summer. The bereaved families from Operation Protective Edge will walk to the military cemeteries to say Kaddish at the graves of their sons. They will remember the soldiers murdered during the grueling battle that united the Jewish People – a battle that everyone says could have been avoided if no Jew had been expelled by his fellow Jews that summer.

2.

The fragile ceasefire along the border with “Hamastan” can be shattered at any moment. The residents of the Gaza Belt - many of whom are kibbutz members who enthusiastically supported the Gaza “disengagement” - live in constant anxiety. They remember the ambush that emerged from the underground tunnels and they are extremely apprehensive. Nine years ago, Gilad Shalit was kidnapped through these passageways. The tunnels that penetrated the border deep into Israeli territory and made the abduction possible failed to set off any warning bells within the military’s higher echelon. At the time, they were far too busy selling the victory of the previous year’s “successful” disengagement and expulsion from Gush Katif to the Israeli public. They wouldn’t dare speak openly about the danger of Arab terrorists digging tunnels under Jewish houses throughout southern Eretz Yisroel.

Terrorism was not vanquished during the last military operation because the policymakers asked: What will we do with the territory that we conquer? The truth is that they were right. If there is no intention of restoring complete IDF control in Gaza and putting an end to Arab terror once and for all, there’s no reason to endanger our soldiers’ lives by retaking Gaza only to give it on a silver platter to arch-murderer Abu Mazen (may his name be erased) and the “Palestinian” Authority. Until there is a drastic change in the political line of thinking in Eretz Yisroel, this situation will continue for years to come r”l. As someone once said, how does a person know that it’s summertime in Israel? Scorching hot weather, vacation from school, and missile attacks along the border…

For the residents in the south this is not a joke, it’s the reality of life. During the last war, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu claimed that he was doing everything he could, but his hands were tied. He had a justice minister from the ideological left-wing and Cabinet members from the Yesh Atid Party. Now, with the composition of the new coalition, he can no longer claim that he is being forced to make compromises.

This is another advantage in the creation of a narrow right-wing government: the ability to wage future combat to topple the Hamas regime and crush the terrorist organizations without compromise. As the Rebbe said to journalist Shlomo Nakdimon (Cheshvan 7, 5750): “Torah law states that pikuach nefesh defers all else, and as a result, there is a need for a strong government and a narrow government. When there are too many people in the government, nothing whole ever materializes, because they are busy talking. There must be a narrow government.”

Similarly, when Jerusalem Post publisher Yehuda Levy requested a bracha from the Rebbe for “a strong government quickly in Israel,” the Rebbe replied: “Not a large government; I’m for a narrow government.”

3.

Despite the missile threat and the submissive reaction of the new right-wing government, there’s also something good happening in the governing coalition: The minister of culture, Miri Regev, removed all government sponsorship of the ultra-leftist “B’tselem” organization. Deputy Foreign Minister Tzippi Hotovely declares the right of the Jewish People in their land as based in the Torah. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked speaks about putting an end to judicial activism. It would seem that this government is marching in the right direction.

“If the nations of the world should say to Israel, ‘You are robbers, for you conquered by force the lands of the seven [Canaanite] nations,’ if they say to us, the children of Israel, ‘You are conquerors,’ we must reply to them, ‘The Holy One, Blessed Be He created it and gave it to whomever He deemed proper. When He wished, He took it away from them and gave it to us,” so said Deputy Foreign Minister Tzippi Hotovely in a meeting with foreign diplomats. “The entire earth belongs to the Creator. When He wished, He took it away from them and gave it to us.”

Hotovely pulled out Rashi’s commentary as a trump card to convince the foreign diplomats of the righteousness of our cause. She is certain that these overseas ambassadors, confused and filled with doubts over the nature of this bloody regional conflict, received an authoritative answer from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Rashi’s commentary has become the foundation of the foreign ministry’s explanatory approach.

It seems that among the new ministers - particularly the female ministers, there are several who have taken their new role seriously, and have decided that this time there will be a right-wing government in reality, not just on paper. Until this day, the political left hasn’t known how to lose and the political right hasn’t known how to win. While the people voted for the right, in practical terms, Likud governments for nearly forty years have implemented the policies of the Labor Party, serving as an enabler for the ruling leftist junta. The new constellation of a narrow right-wing government has given birth to a new reality: ministers who are prepared to adhere to their ideology unconditionally.

Now, we have to hope that there will be more than just an end to budget allocations for extreme leftist causes or quoting Rashi’s commentary as a ruling principle. There also must be a new order of things, one befitting the homeland of the Jewish People. This government has assumed power with an unusual and unprecedented opportunity. Such an opportunity hasn’t come along since the narrow right-wing government of Yitzchak Shamir, formed twenty-five years ago with the Rebbe’s direct intervention during the coalition crisis of 5750. It was specifically the refusal of the left-wing parties to join the government that brought true victory to the right-wing – far more than the thirty Knesset seats Netanyahu managed to rake in during the waning days of the campaign.

4.

The current government of Israel has a whole list of essential missions to carry out. First and foremost, the political right-wing must accustom itself to ruling with true leadership. The appointment of Mr. Dore Gold as director-general of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs is one step in the right direction, demonstrating a new policy in relation to the working principles promoted by the Prime Minister’s Office. Gold is considered to be one of the most prominent right-wing figures within Israel’s diplomatic corps – a Jew wearing a kippa who is not embarrassed of his Judaism or our right to Eretz Yisroel. His selection as one of the country’s leading foreign policy spokesmen symbolizes an end to the era of constant guilt and the dawn of a new age where diplomats throughout the world will hear a clear and unapologetic message on our rights to the Holy Land.

What has caused the Prime Minister to change his course of action? Is it the composition of the new coalition and the need to give a wink and a nod to nationalist bloc voters, as political commentators explain, or are we talking about a real shift in policy?

We have to hope that Mr. Netanyahu understands that the difficult diplomatic situation confronting Israeli policymakers today is a direct result of years of prostrating before the nations of the world. The previous week started with a comprehensive discussion of the proposed legislation by the extreme leftist Meretz Party on marking all consumer products made in Yehuda and Shomron, and it ended with an announced boycott by the Orange telecommunications corporation against the Jewish state and its people. It turns out that the submission and kowtowing over several decades has merely driven us into a dangerous abyss. Every time we begged forgiveness, explaining that we really don’t run the show in Eretz Yisroel and we really don’t think that it’s our land, we dig ourselves into an even deeper political hole that closes in on us from every direction.

The answer to all the threats of boycotts, divestment, and sanctions must be clear and unremitting. A change in Israeli public relations is in order: an explicit reform of the judicial system, establishing a new set of principles based upon our inherent rights to the Jewish homeland, a rejection of all previously granted legitimacy for extreme left-wing organizations in the form of government funding of ‘B’tselem” exhibitions, and more. These three objectives have begun to take root in the last two months since the new government was sworn in. Now we have to hope that the government will administer these new policies vigorously. We will then begin to see a change in direction regarding the sad state of Israeli public relations - a fact that influences the struggle for our rights to Eretz Yisroel on all fronts.

Above all, the narrow right-wing government must set the blazing of a new trail of national consciousness as its objective, and when our people will be confident enough that Eretz Yisroel is truly our land, we will subsequently see a real change in our position before the world. With the government’s ministers advancing the premise that we are in the Land of Israel not due to the world’s kindness but in the merit of the Divine promise of “I will give it to you and to your seed to eternity,” we shall soon see a real change on the horizon. Instead of boycotts and leftist tactics instilling fear of a diplomatic tsunami, we will have economic prosperity and true national growth as is befitting the Jewish People in their homeland.

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