Ariel Sharon: “The Fate of Netzarim is the fate of Tel Aviv”1 (Election Theme Statements to NY Times April 24, 2002 1 - Click to see article)
by Rabbi Ben-Tzion Krasniansky - Chabad of Upper East Side
Argument #1: We don’t belong there. Why should 8,500 Jews insist on living amongst more than a million Arabs?
This is the question that prompted the forced evacuation of all Jews from the Gaza Strip.
Of all arguments for the “disengagement,” this one by far is the most objectionable.
It proves the power of propaganda—how people will parrot nonsense without realizing the foolishness of the argument. There are 20,000 Jews living in Berlin amongst 3.6 million Germans. No one would dare suggest that we should expel the Jews from Berlin because they may be a provocation to 3.6 million Germans. So let’s get this straight. A Jew is allowed to live in Berlin, a Jew is allowed in Moscow, in Melbourne and in Shanghai. The only place in the world a Jew is not allowed to live, is in Israel! Why? Because Arabs living in Gaza hate Jews too much to tolerate the sight of a single Jew before their eyes.
Israel Accomodating The Hatred Of Jews?
It defies belief that the government of Israel is doing all this to accommodate the hatred of Jews Israel is planning to evacuate the dead as well as the living, because Arab savages torched the grave of the biblical Joseph in Shechem (Nablus) which was handed over to Palestinian control under the Oslo accords. So Israel doesn’t trust that they will not desecrate the dead buried in Gaza. It defies belief that the government of Israel is doing all this to accommodate Arab hatred of Jews.
“Settler” A Dirty Word
People drip with disdain when referring to the “settlers” as if it’s a dirty word.
What exactly is their crime?
That they settled on their own land, insisting on a Jew’s right to live anywhere in the world, especially in Israel. Let us state the facts: The Jews living in Gaza did not steal Palestinian land. The “settlers” of Gush Katif took sand dunes that were never inhabited by the Arabs and with the sweat of their brow turned them into a paradise and a financial powerhouse. Every moral person must be appalled by the act of racism and apartheid of forcing Jews out of their homes to accommodate the murderous tendencies of Jew haters. One searches in vain through the annals of human history to find a single example where a nation shamefully exiled itself from its own land and so shamelessly capitulated to terrorism.
God’s Demographic Plan
By this logic, Israel should close up shop entirely. Is it practical to have five million Jews in a sea of hundreds of millions of Arabs and more than a billion Muslims? Or maybe we should disappear from the world completely: does it make sense that 14 million Jews live among 6 billion gentiles?
By this logic, Israel should close up shop entirely: Is it practical to have five million Jews in a sea of hundreds of millions of Arabs? Demographics don’t tell the story of Jewish history. The Torah has long ago determined that we will always be “the smallest of all nations” (Deuteronomy 7:7). Abraham and Sara stood alone against the whole world. Our power is not in our might but in our right.
As the Talmud puts it, the Jew is “a sheep surrounded by seventy wolves.” Running with the wolves won’t guarantee our safety. Rather, we recognize that it’s only the shepherd, the creator of heaven and earth—and the strengthening of our relationship with the Shepherd—that could guarantee our safety and security.
Argument #2: Israel is a Democracy. How can we second-guess the decision of the democratically elected government of Israel?
Under the democratically elected government of America in the 1950’s it was legal to racially discriminate against blacks. That doesn’t mean that it was moral, legal or just. Good people refused to accept the inherently evil notion of judging a person by his skin color. The expulsion of Jews is inherently an immoral act and even if it were a democratically-achieved majority decision, that wouldn’t make it right or just.
Demographics don’t tell the story of Jewish history In the most recent Israeli elections the choice couldn’t have been clearer. Amram Mitzna, head of the Labor Party, campaigned on a platform that proposed the expulsion of all Jews from Gaza; Ariel Sharon as leader of the Likud party and then later running in 2002 for the office of Prime Minister was vehemently opposed.
The fate of Netzarim is the fate of Tel Aviv
When running for election in 2002 on the platform of: “The fate of Netzarim [a Jewish town in Gaza] is the fate of Tel Aviv”, Mr. Sharon won in the biggest landslide victory in Israel’s history! Likud netted 40 seats in the 120-seat Knesset to Labor’s 19. (click here to see NY Times Article)
Sharon’s Democracy In Action
When Sharon came to power however, he abruptly made a 180-degree about-face. On the issue of Disengagement, Mr. Sharon promised that he would abide by his party’s vote. However he lost the Likud vote. In response, he promptly proceeded to ignore the vote and promised to abide instead by his cabinet’s vote. When he was about to lose the cabinet vote as well, he used a very “democratic” ploy, taking the unprecedented step of firing two ministers to create an artificial majority. Finally, when he was urged to allow the people to vote in a referendum on what the press was calling “The Sharon Disengagement plan”, he refused, fearing from previous votes that he might lose this referendum as well.
The only excuse for liberal democracy, why individuals agree to give up their inalienable G-d-given rights and succumb to majority rule, is the government’s promise to protect them. Democracy is a trade-off, freedom for security. A government that for political expediency places its own citizen’s lives in harm’s way, placing 144 Jewish communities on the firing lines of kasam rockets and worse, loses its legitimacy and is nothing more then a mafia with guns who will use brute force to force people out of their homes and beat them into submission.
To the great merit of the Jewish people, history will record that every time Oslo was put to a vote they overwhelmingly voted against it. Even today, if you count out the Arab vote in the Knesset and the abstainers, there would not be a majority of Jewish votes in favor of the expulsion.
Argument #3: We’re sitting comfortably in New York. What rights do we, Diaspora Jews, have to get involved in Israel’s business, whether they “disengage” from Gaza or not?
Do We Dare Not Get Involved?
The expulsion of Jews from Gaza is a clear and present danger to all of us, wherever we live The real question is do we dare not to get involved. The imminent expulsion of Jews from Gaza is a clear and present danger to our safety and security, to the safety and well being of our families, and to the safety of all Americans and all decent human beings.
Making Peace With Terror
Terrorism is like a cancer, and you never make peace with cancer. There are certain battles which we don’t have the luxury to grow tired of. If you play nice with cancer it will kill you. Show mercy to a tumor and it will metastasize and kill you and kill itself in the process. The only merciful thing to do is to eradicate, pulverize and destroy the tumor into oblivion.
From A War On Terror To Condoning Terror
Tragically, Israel, which was always on the forefront in the war against terrorism, is about to deliver, on a silver platter, the greatest reward to terrorists ever handed over in recent memory. One of the largest, if not the largest, concentration of terrorists today is in and around Israel. Instead of defeating them, Israel is about to move out of the way so that Hamas, Hizbollah, Fatah, and Al Qeida as well, will have a safe haven to train and develop thousands of new terrorists in total freedom, right at Israel’s doorstep, in Gaza.
Actions like these have consequences. The mindless surrender to terrorism has exploded in our face. Today London, tomorrow… The cancer of terrorism has now metastasized out of control. If the expulsion will go through in Gaza it will guarantee the next 9/11 and we will have no one to blame but ourselves.
America spent 300 billion dollars taking out one terrorist state in the Middle East, only to establish another one… At the present moment in the war against terrorism we are in full retreat. America’s proclaimed support for a Palestinian state was the first major victory for the terrorists. America spent 300 billion dollars taking out one terrorist state in the Middle East only to establish another one! The disengagement is another huge victory for the terrorists and will only serve the purpose of emboldening terrorism internationally. The expulsion will take the heroic sacrifices of our young soldiers and render them in vain.
The Holy Land is the heart of the world. When the heart is healthy the whole organism is healthy. When the heart is ill and loses its vigor, the whole organism becomes critically ill. What happens in Israel today will happen to the rest of the world tomorrow. At the end of the day, the fate of Gush Katif is the fate of New York.
Snatching Defeat From the Jaws of Victory
For the first time ever in the millennia-long struggle between good and evil, evil is on the run. Our generation has personally witnessed and experienced the miraculous collapse of communism and despotism throughout the world and the consequent freeing of billions of people from oppression.
In G-d’s world everything needs a spark of truth and goodness in order to exist. Pure, undiluted evil self-destructs. Witness the biblical Generation of the Flood or Hitler’s thousand-year-Reich, which self-destructed. Today we are facing new strata of evil, a brash declaration of war against life itself and against G-d’s desire for existence by terrorists who are plumbing new depths of depravity. Even the Nazis didn’t kill themselves just to kill Jews.
The good news is: if this is evil’s best shot, then evil must be scraping the bottom of the barrel The good news is: if this is evil’s best shot—total nihilism, absolute destruction for destruction’s sake—then evil must be scraping the bottom of the barrel. Apparently it’s all over and evil knows it. This is evil’s final act of desperado, its last hurrah. It’s suicidal in every sense of the word. One could even detect an ever-so-slight backlash developing even amongst Muslims against the mindless, blood-curdling, head-sawing evil being perpetrated against Arab civilians and children.
How tragic that at this critical moment, with the scent of victory in the air, the Jewish people, who have courageously led the battle against evil for 3,800 years, have abandoned the good fight and have deserted the front lines. It’s surreal; while Americans are fighting, Jews are surrendering! The Jew courageously led the world in the battle against terrorism in 1967, in Entebbe in 1976, in taking out Iraq’s Atomic reactor in 1981. Today, however, the Jews are running for the hills.
In an astounding feat, beginning with Oslo and continuing with the Jewish expulsion from Gaza, Israel has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. In an astounding feat, beginning with Oslo and continuing with the Jewish expulsion from Gaza, Israel has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Instead of holding out for genuine peace with democracies founded on righteousness, human dignity and respect for human life, Israel has surrendered to the status quo of war. Why Israel has chosen a moment of triumph to send a defeatist message projecting weakness just as our wildest dreams are materializing before our very eyes, is truly puzzling.
We Can Learn From The Warsaw Ghetto How To Defend Israel
During the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, a thousand Jews, fighting practically with their bare hands, managed to hold off the Germans for close to a month, while Israel, boasting one of the mightiest military machines in the world, can’t deal with a few thousand murderers. Israel has just called up its reserves in the largest peacetime mobilization ever, not to fight against the daily rocket assaults and terror attacks, but to subdue the Jewish settlers and their supporters.
The Rebbe’s Idea: Peace through Strength
A wise man once quipped: It’s easier to take the Jew out of exile than to take the exile out of the Jew. Instead of exiling themselves from Gaza, it’s high time that the Jewish people removed the deep, dark and corrosive exile from within.
Peace through strength holds out the only hope for that troubled region. By standing firm, Israel could deliver the coup de grace to terrorism around the world. By helping to hasten the inevitable collapse of dictatorship and totalitarianism in the Middle East; instead of being part of the problem, Israel could become part of the solution and earn its honorable place in history.
Originally appeared on: Chabad.org
1. New York Times, By SERGE SCHMEMANN- April 24, 2002 - “Mr. Sharon also reiterated his position that he would not evacuate any Jewish settlements in the West Bank or Gaza. ”The fate of Netzarim is the fate of Tel Aviv,” he said. Netzarim, a settlement in Gaza, is often cited as one that would have to be dismantled in any peace settlement. Mr. Sharon’s hard line on the issue was widely perceived as a political shift to the right in anticipation of calling new elections, in which his major opponent would be Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister, who has taken positions consistently to the right of Mr. Sharon’s.” http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/24/world/mideast-turmoil-mideast-israelis-to-delay-un-fact-finders.html?pagewanted=4