The Fate of Gush Katif is the Fate of New York
by Rabbi Ben Tzion Krasnianski

Gaza vs. Berlin

Why should 8500 Jews insist on living amongst 1.4 million Arabs? This is the question prompting the evacuation of all Jews from Gaza beginning on August 15th.

From all arguments this one by far is the most objectionable. It proves the power of propaganda how people will parrot nonsense without realizing how foolish they sound. 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, the only place in the world a Jew is not allowed to live, is in Israel! Why, because some Arab Nazi doesn’t want to see a single Jew before his eyes. Israel is planning to evacuate the dead as well because Arab savages barbarically burned the grave of the Biblical figure of Joseph so Israel doesn’t trust that they will not desecrate the dead. It is unconscionable that Israel is going to accommodate Arab Nazis!

People drip with disdain when referring to the ‘settlers’ as if it’s a dirty word. What is their crime? That they settled on their own land, insisting on a Jews right to live anywhere in the world especially in Israel! The ‘settlers’ of Gaza took sand dunes that were never inhabited by the Arabs and through the sweat of their brow turned them into a paradise and a financial powerhouse. Every moral person must be appalled by the illegal 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 so shamefully exiled itself from its own land and so shamelessly capitulated to terrorism.

By this logic, Israel should close up shop. Is it practical to have 5 Million Jews living in a sea of hundreds of millions of Arabs and billions of Muslems? Demographics don’t frighten us. The Torah (Deuteronomy 7:7) promises us that we will always be the smallest of all nations. Abraham & Sara stood alone against the whole world. Our power is not in our might but in our right. 

The Jew is a sheep surrounded by seventy wolves. Running with the wolves won’t guarantee our safety. A Jew recognizes 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.

Israel is a Democracy

How can we second guess the decision of the democratically elected government of Israel?

In the democratically elected government of America in the 1950’s it was legal to racially discriminate against blacks. It 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 democratic and majority decision it wouldn’t make it right or just.

In the last elections the choice couldn’t have been clearer. Mitzna for the expulsion and Sharon vehemently opposed, stating that the fate of Gush Katif is the fate of Tel Aviv. Sharon won in the biggest landslide in Israeli history! When he abruptly had a 180 degree about-face, Sharon promised that he would abide by his party’s vote. When he lost the Likud vote, he promptly proceeded to ignore that vote and promised to abide by his cabinet’s vote. When he was about to lose the cabinet vote as well he used the very ‘democratic’ ploy of taking the unprecedented step of firing two ministers to create an artificial majority. When he was urged to allow the people to vote in a referendum he refused, knowing full well that he would have lost the referendum

The only excuse for liberal democracy, why individuals agree to give up their inalienable G-d given rights to liberty is because of the governments 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 harms 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, Sharon does not have a majority of Jewish votes in favor of the expulsion. 

We’re Sitting Comfortably in New York

What rights do we, New York Jews have to get involved in Israel’s business whether they disengage or not?

The real question is do we dare not get involved. The imminent expulsion of Jews from Gaza is a clear and present danger to our safety and security and to the safety and well being of our wives and children and to the safety of all Americans.

Terrorism is like a cancer, and you never make peace with cancer. Certain battles you don’t have the luxury to grow tired of. Terrorism is a malignant tumor and you don't make peace with cancer. If you play nice with cancer it will kill you, show mercy to a tumor and it will metastasize and mercilessly kill you and kill itself in the process. The only merciful thing to do is to eradicate, destroy and pulverize the tumor into oblivion. 

Instead, Israel who was always on the forefront in the war against terrorism is about to deliver on a silver platter, terrorism’s greatest reward. The biggest harborer of terrorism in the world today is neither Afghanistan, nor Iraq, but Israel who is about to get out of the way of the terrorist 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 doorsteps. 

Ideas have consequences. This mindless surrender to terrorism has exploded in our face in Iraq. 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.

At the present moment in the President’s war against terrorism we are in full retreat. The President’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 in order to establish another one. The disengagement is another major, huge victory for the terrorist and will only serve the purpose of emboldening terrorism international. The expulsion mean that three hundred billion dollars spent in Iraq was for naught and it will turn the heroic sacrifice of our young soldiers and render them in vain. 

Israel 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. The world is a global village and 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.

A Lost Opportunity

The Jewish people were the first ones to introduce to the world the idea of embracing conflict as a way of life and seeing conflict as something positive and wholesome. Life is a battle royale between good vs. evil, material vs. spiritual, potential vs. actual, truth vs. lies, darkness vs. light. The belief in one G-d ultimately means that man has the potential to reflect that unity by living a life that’s unified, consistent, connected and wholesome. The only way to achieve this breakthrough is through great effort and struggle to overcome our inner tensions & conflicts that results from our external ego that distorts our genuine Divine nature.

Those, however, who don’t believe in G-d loath conflict and desire peace at any price even at the expense of losing their soul. The Torah (Job 5:7), however, states: Man was created for hard work. It is what distinguishes men from brutes and connects us with eternity leading us on the sure path towards a meaningful life.

In the millennium long struggle between good and evil, for the first time ever, evil is on the run. We have personally experienced and witnessed the miraculous collapse of communism and despotism throughout the world and the consequent freeing of billions of people. 

In G-d’s world everything needs a holy spark of truth and goodness in order to survive. Pure, absolute and undiluted evil self destructs. Witness the generation of the flood or Hitler’s thousand years 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 terrorist who are plumbing new depths of depravity. Even the Nazi’s didn’t kill them selves. 

The good news is, if this is evil’s best shot: total nihilism, absolute destruction for destruction sake, then evil must be scraping the bottom of the barrel. It’s all over and evil knows it. This is evil’s last 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 curling, head sawing and random evil being perpetrated against Arab civilians and children. 

How tragic that at this critical moment, with the smell of victory in the air, Jews who have courageously led the battle against evil for 3800 years have totally 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, and in 1981 when Israel took out Iraq’s Atomic reactor in 1981. For the first time in Jewish history, however, 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!  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. Why Israel has chosen a moment of triumph to send a defeatist message projecting weakness, while our wildest dreams are materializing before our very eyes, is truly puzzling. 

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 which boasts 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 fight the settlers and their supporters. 

Peace through Strength

A wise man once quipped: While it’s easy to take the Jew out of exile, it’s difficult 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