Pinchas the son of Elazar the son of Aharon the Kohen has turned
My wrath away from the children of Israel, in that he was very zealous for
My sake among them, so that I consumed not the children of Israel in My
jealousy. And so I say, behold I give him my covenant of peace. (From
this week's Torah portion, Pinchas, Exodus 25:11-12)
Surprisingly, Pinchas' zealotry and his uncompromising battle to preserve
Israel's separatism and national identity advance peace.
Sometimes, it may seem that a blurred identity and essence will foster
peace. The entire "peace process" and the "New Middle East" strategy are
based on trashing the concept of borders and identities (Shimon Peres, The
New Middle East, page 72 in the Hebrew edition). But the Torah teaches us
that just the opposite is true. Only he who knows his own identity is
capable of living at peace with himself and his neighbors.
To highlight this point, this week's Torah portion ends with a section on
the Sukkot sacrifices, in which all the nations of the world take part. When
the Nation of Israel is settled securely in its Land, holy city and Holy
Temple and makes G-d King of His world, we enjoy true peace. The world is
waiting for us to be ourselves, to fulfill our destiny – for it. Then we and
the entire world will merit a genuine, lasting peace.
The Levi Report on the settlements in Judea and Samaria was like
cold water on a parched landscape. The members of the committee who drafted
the report and dared to publicly say what every child in Israel can and
should know deserve credit and appreciation. The report factually states
that there never was an occupation in Judea and Samaria because no entity
there was ever occupied.
In the War of Independence (1948) Jordan forcefully took over Judea and
Samaria. After World War I, the Commonwealth of Nations transferred the
mandate on the territory to Great Britain so that the Jews could establish a
national home in what was slated to become Israel. Later, the Jordanians
refuted any claims of sovereignty on the territory. Thus, when the IDF
captured Judea and Samaria from Hussein, who didn't even pretend to be its
owner, it was hardly an occupation.
The local Arabs, who have suddenly invented the Palestinian Nation, cannot
claim that the territory was captured form them. First of all, they are the
ones who started the War of Independence, dragging the regular Arab armies
into the fighting. According to international law, whoever initiates a war
cannot claim territory that they lost during the fighting. But what is even
more important is the fact that there never was national "Palestinian"
sovereignty: Not in Judea and Samaria or in any place on the globe. In the
Six Days of Miracles, the IDF liberated Judea and Samaria from the Jordanian
army, not from the residents of Ramallah.
Those of us who have become unfortunately accustomed to the State toeing the
brazen and false radical leftist line – the Talia Sasson Report, for example
– might see the Levi Report as a sign of the Messianic era. However, respect
and appreciation for the authors of the report and the PM for requesting it
notwithstanding, the logical conclusion is missing from its findings.
It is like an expert doctor who has been called to the bedside of a dying
man. The doctor calls in a team of experts, who examine the patient from
every possible angle. When they finish, they call the family together and
announce their conclusion: The patient is allowed to get better. And then
It is difficult to know if the Levi Report heralds real change or if it is
just part of the zigzag syndrome that we have been witnessing recently. It
is very important to stop the damage wrought upon the settlement enterprise
by the Sasson Report. But the fact that the Levi Report is not coupled with
positive measures means that the strong forces that have been pushing Israel
into harmful declarations and deeds for years can continue their activities,
undisturbed. The Report does say that Israel is not an occupier, but it
doesn't draw the logical conclusion: This is our Land. The Report does not
recommend the vital next step: Israel must immediately annex all parts of
the Land of Israel in our hands, as we did with all the territory captured
by the IDF in 1948, to a lesser extent in Jerusalem and fully in the Golan
Heights. This is the Israeli law: Every part of the Land of Israel under
Israeli control at any time automatically becomes part of the territory of
the State of Israel.
Since the days of Menachem Begin, the Jewish majority in Israel has received
glorious gifts that turned out to be nothing more than fancy wrapping.
Begin's "There will be many more Elon Morehs" turned into the reality of the
great retreat from Sinai and the destruction of the Yamit settlements. On
one hand, the Likud has built more than any other ruling party. On the other
hand, all the destruction and major retreats are also on its resume'.
Without faith-based leadership for Israel, the Right will necessarily drift
leftward; if not in word, then in deed.
The Levi Report is another step in the right direction. It is a positive
development, along with MK Yariv Levin's proposed legislation against the
High Court dictatorship and MK Miri Regev's proposals for annexation of
Judea and Samaria. While the PM put the brakes on those two proposals, the
very fact that they were brought up creates a positive cumulative effect.
We must not fool ourselves, though. If tomorrow Abu Mazen turns around and
shows willingness for some type of compromise, the entire media will clamor
to advance "peace" full steam ahead, the justice system, security officials
and academia will join in to ensure that the new 'peace' will get past the
public's healthy skepticism and the Levi Report will make no difference as
we march toward another mass destruction.
While there is an important, positive evolution taking place with regard to
the settlements, what we really need is to revolutionize our leadership and
its ideas. If not, this evolution will end up as another forty years in the
desert and the loss of much that we hold dear.
In an apparent response to the Levi Report, President Shimon Peres
took advantage of the memorial ceremony for visionary of the State of Israel
Theodore Herzl to attack the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria. To
prove his point, he brought the demographic demon back from the dead,
explaining that by building and remaining in Judea and Samaria, Israel will
have to incorporate the Arabs living there and will succumb to the Arab
birth rate. The demographics these days actually favor Israel and not the
Arabs, no matter how much some Israeli politicians and media try to scare us
with the ‘demographic bogeyman’. For details, see Israeli Ambassador Yoram
Ettinger’s detailed demographic
And what exactly were the
demographics when Herzl first initiated the idea of a Jewish state in the
Land of Israel?
At the end of the 19th
century, during Herzl's lifetime, approximately 26,000 Jews and 450,000
Arabs lived in Israel. In other words, when Herzl called to establish a
Jewish state here, the Jews were just 5% of the entire population of the
Land of Israel.
It's a good thing that Herzl didn't ask Peres and his demographic exorcism
team for advice before he got to work.
Prime Minister Olmert is convicted in court of breach of public trust, a
crime legally considered a 'disgrace' that can get him up to five years of
imprisonment - and he is all smiles. Nothing more is necessary to show us
what type of person he is. Can anybody imagine Menachem Begin or Yitzchak
Shamir leaving the courthouse with a broad smile after a similar conviction?
Olmert can certainly qualify for the title of most contemptible PM that
Israel has known. The fact that he was acquitted of most of the charges
against him means that he is very devious – not that he is honest.
Nonetheless, when Attorney General Mazuz announced that he would be
conducting an investigation against Olmert, I wrote the following:
I do not have many good things to say about Olmert. In truth, I don't
have anything good to say about him, at all. But I am deeply opposed to this
investigation. Moreover, I will act to advance legislation that will provide
immunity from police investigation for prime ministers and possibly
ministers for a year after they have finished their term."
"With all the disgust that I feel toward certain politicians, I prefer to
let them off the Attorney General's hook while they hold office, and not to
allow a group of people who have never been elected by the public to extort
our elected officials."
Leave the Prime Minister Alone (NRG Sept. 29, 2007)
Four years later, after another scandal erupted, this time with Yoav Galant,
a candidate for Chief of Staff, I wrote the following:
The witch hunt against Israel's senior officials that has turned into a
national sport is a negative phenomenon that must stop. While Olmert was
being investigated I wrote that we must enact legislation that would ensure
immunity for all those who hold senior government positions while they are
serving their term. Olmert was never my cup of tea, but I consider the legal
attacks against him a greater danger than the intrinsic danger of the man
What we are witnessing is actually a putsch carried out by the 'rule of law'
gang, backed by the media's attack dogs of 'democracy'. It is a putsch
against the legitimacy of government by the people and its elected
officials. It serves to effect a steady retreat from the sovereignty of the
people by undermining the status of its elected officials."
From the Shikmim Farm to the Galant Farm: (NRG: Feb. 6, 2011)
The AG investigated Raful, Ne'eman, Ramon, Lieberman, Sharon and of course,
Olmert. The common ground between all of them is one of two factors: Either
they attempted to undermine the undisputed supremacy of the justice system ,
as in Olmert's appointment of Friedman as Justice Minister; insistence –
against the will of Chief Justice Aharon Barak – that the Judicial Selection
Committee write a protocol of its proceedings (Ramon); or they were a
candidate for Justice Minister (Ne'eman). In other words, the AG's offices
attacked anybody who could threaten their ruling hegemony. Further, they
advanced their own agenda of retreat from Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The
investigations against Sharon that disappeared at the moment that he
announced his Disengagement plan are a glaring example of this phenomenon.
To save Israel's democracy from the Attorney General, three important
reforms must immediately be put in place:
1. A commission of inquiry into the scandalous conduct of the Attorney
2. Immediate separation between the position of attorney general and public
3. Change of the law so that, outside of serious exceptions that will be
determined by legislation passed by a privileged majority in the Knesset,
the prime minister and government ministers will enjoy immunity from
investigations and initiation of court proceedings while they are still
serving their term of office.
In a democratic state, the people are sovereign and it is they who should
determine who will lead them and to where.
The agreement struck between Ze'ev Chever and
the leaders of Beit El and the government on the Ulpana neighborhood gave
rise to a horrible phenomenon never before seen among us: Torah learning
Jews who fear Heaven and are loyal to the Land hitting their brothers and
pulling on their peyot: What happened to us as we approached the
Three Weeks, 5772?
We could analyze the roots of the phenomenon to understand how we reached
this situation. The historical associations are horrifying. But there is no
reason to do that: Every side in this conflict must do its own
The poison boiling over what happened in Beit El cannot remain unattended.
We must deal carefully with the fallout from events at the Ulpana Hill, for
it is a precedent that must never happen again. Ignoring it can ignite a
real internecine battle, G-d forbid, and destroy everything. Such things
have happened in the past. When loyal Jews expel other Jews for the Left and
the government that rushes to do its bidding, it is an extremely serious
warning sign of what we can expect in the future.
Please take account of what happened and banish this phenomenon from our
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