by Rabbi Ben Tzion Krasnianski
This article has been published on Arutz Sheva.com, Sunday October 6, under the title What Happened to Israel.
According to the Torah, when the Jewish people wage a war that is morally permissible let alone obligatory, the objective must be the unconditional surrender of the enemy. War is war, and if we are justified in going to war then the goal must be total victory. This has been the doctrine that the United States has successfully followed during World War II. The Allies during WWII mercilessly, and by military means alone crushed Fascism, obliterating it from the face of the earth. Consequently, the Germans came crawling on their knees begging to surrender.
President Truman was forced to resort to drastic measures in order to once and for all break the back of Japanese imperialism. He understood that there could be no negotiations or a truce with those who committed Pearl Harbor and plunged the world into WWII. He settled for nothing less than the unconditional surrender of Japan. Eventually the Japanese came around begging to surrender. Consequently, we have enjoyed close to sixty years of genuine peace and uninterrupted tranquility with the Germans and the Japanese!
How ironic, that the people of the book, the very book that predicted the eternal survival of the Jewish people, have totally abandoned its life-affirming guidelines, and proven formula for peace. Because Israel is not prepared to go all the way, it is losing the war. Although Israel has won five out of five battles, and it will win the present battle as well, it has never delivered a crushing blow to its sworn enemies to the point that they beg to surrender.
I will never forget my memories as a child back in 1973 during the Yom Kippur war. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson o.b.m, publicly urged the Israeli Government to march into Damascus and Cairo. Had the Arabs been forced to surrender, Israel would have ushered in a hundred years of peace, tranquility and stability to the entire Middle Eastern Region. When General Arik Sharon crossed the Suez with the road to Cairo wide open, he begged from his superiors for permission to march into Egypt’s Capital. No one in leadership had the guts, or the courage of their conviction to give the green light.
While Israel was once held in awe, today, fifty-four years after its miraculous founding, Israel has reached its nadir. Never before has it been more isolated, lonely, abandoned, maligned becoming the world’s favorite punching bag. Even in America, Israel’s only true friend, the intelligentsia on College Campuses across the country, continue to denigrate, humiliate and harm Jews by pressuring Universities to divest themselves from Israel. Not since the 1930’s and Hitler have we seen such overt Anti-Semitism rear its ugly head. Even the majority of American Jewry has abandoned Israel and have simply stopped coming.
The well being of a country is measured by the safety and the well being of each of its citizens. When America was attacked, it responded normally by immediately declaring war against the enemy. Entire countries are being taken out: yesterday Afghanistan, tomorrow Iraq. The United Sates refuses to negotiate with Saddam Hussein. Its clearly stated goal is Iraqi disarmament and Saddam’s unconditional surrender.
In Israel, however, it took two years, hundreds of dead, thousands of wounded, millions of hostages and the Passover Massacre until Israel even acknowledged that there was a war going on. Incredibly, Israel has publicly proclaimed and solemnly pledged not to harm Arafat’s terrorist regime. Those “courageous heroes” who are anything but suicidal, who bravely send other people’s children to their death were given a life insurance policy by Israel! The issue shouldn’t be whether or not to exile Arafat. He and his gang of murderers should be brought to their knees. They should come crawling, begging to surrender.
While the pronouncements, decisions and thought processes coming out of the political leadership in Israel are truly dismal, the recent interview with army commander Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon in Haaretz was a stunning revelation. At least someone in Israel has his head screwed on straight. What a breath of fresh air. As a true professional should he gave an accurate diagnosis of the problem. He called the Arab terror a “cancer” and Israel’s military operation he labeled as “operation chemotherapy.” The clearly stated goal: the total eradication of the tumor.
The Jewish people could conveniently play the blame game, cry victim, beg for mercy, and try to ingratiate themselves with their enemies, or they could do the manly thing, the Jewish thing, and take full responsibility for their situation.
Why does Israel refuse to go all the way? Because Israel does not truly believe that the land is Jewish, it does not react as if it is their own home that is under siege. If someone comes to your house and starts to shoot at your wife and children you react normally, unless you don't truly feel at home. If you feel like a thief in your own home than you may empathize with the thug. Israel has practically conceded that Jews are thieves, bandits, colonialists and occupiers who have stolen the land from the Arabs.
If one does not believe in G-d and in his Torah then indeed we are a bunch of criminal bandits. Tel Aviv and Jaffa are occupied territory, indeed all of Israel is one big settlement, and all Israelis are settlers and usurpers. The moral thing to do would be to forthwith relinquish the entire land of Israel to its rightful owners the Arabs, and to go back to Odessa, to Poland or move to America.
Jews are not thieves. The Lubavitcher Rebbe once observed: Thousands of years ago, when large portions of humanity were still cannibals, the Jewish people stood at Mt. Sinai and were educated not to steal or take anything that does not belong to them!
How dare a Jewish leader get up and proclaim before the whole world that the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sara, Rivkah, Rochel and Leah, millions and millions of Jews living moral and holy lives over the past 3,300 years, believing that Israel is their rightful, eternal home -- were all thieves. Shame, shame, shame on you! No wonder Jews are being butchered in Israel for the sole crime of being Jewish.
The primary mission of the Jew is to be a light onto the nations. Instead of respectfully educating the Arabs to be moral and ethical, the architects of Oslo have turned them into thieves and murderers encouraging them to steal land that never has and never will, belong to them.
It’s high time that the false prophets and the mad visionaries of Oslo should retire to the funny farm where they could entertain each other with their fantasies and delusions. Ideas have consequences. Why should innocent men women and children continue to die as a result of these tragic and lethally flawed assumptions and intellectually bankrupt ideas?
Let us admit that we have tried out every alternative to the real thing and we have reached a dead end. The political leadership is clueless. Why not try the one genuine and authentic response: the Torah response. Israel should unabashedly proclaim before the whole world the simple truth, the only truth that the world can and will accept: The only reason the Jewish people are in Israel is because G-d gave it to us as an eternal inheritance. This is our home, our permanent home and any guest who misbehaves will be dealt with swiftly and decisively. Anyone who dares to even whisper or breathe the word suicide or homicide will immediately forfeit the privilege of living in the “Kings Palace”!
The burning issue of the day is not the welfare of the Jewish State rather it is the state of the Jew.
The Jewish people must lead the way out of this dark, harsh, oppressive and bitter exile. We have to rediscover our inner sense of pride and dignity and re-ignite the spark and turn it into a blazing flame. We must hold a candle of truth to the ocean of lies engulfing us from within and from without. The Jewish people will ultimately be victorious, triumph and win, not only the battle, but also the war. This is a forgone conclusion, because G-d has promised us so.
We hold the deed and the guarantee in our hands: the living Torah that contains the eternal promise of a genuine and complete redemption through our righteous Moshiach. May we merit its immediate actualization, full-blown implementation and complete realization. Now.