A Bill That Is Long Overdue

This has been a tumultuous week.  It has culminated with Netanyahu’s Cabinet approving the Jewish-State Bill, sending it to the Knesset for a vote.  Proponents say it is necessary and should be passed immediately;  detractors say it will only foment the Arab-Israeli minority and lead to more violence.

During this same week, in a CNN interview with Alan Dershowitz, anchor Ashleigh Banfield justified the murder of civilians by Moslem terrorists, saying that Israelis “are or will be” soldiers, and targeting them is consistent with war strategies.  Banfield did not back down from his position even when asked if the car ramming of a three-month infant fell within his definition of a combat target.  If this were not broadcast worldwide potentially encouraging more violence in the streets of Israel, Europe and the United States, it would be merely pathetic and misguided.

Sandwiched between this broadcast were the murders of rabbis engaged in morning prayers in a Jerusalem shul and the brutal attack Friday night of students leaving from Shabbos meals to return to their yeshiva in the Mount Scopus area.  Jews are cautioned to limit their movements near the Kotel and to avoid entry into East Jerusalem. A friend of mine, whose daughter is studying at a seminary, told me that the girls are “locked down” and directed not to leave the confines of the seminary for fear of violence.  While Israelis have to watch their backs, there are daily celebrations and passing out of sweets in the streets of Ramallah and Gaza, each time a civilian “target” is killed or wounded.

Last week, I posted a blog that the War of Words is where the real battlefield has been waged for the last two decades. Leftist media has charged Israel with the “crime” of its Iron Dome, because its success created a “disproportionate body count”, as one reporter blood-thirstingly said.

The Gaza conflict is temporarily on hold, while the tunnels are being re-built and missiles being re-plenished. There is a new — but familiar — strategy emerging from the futility of the missile and mortar barrages.  Go after civilians — the world will justify it!  Instead of supporting the necesary reprisals and defensive measures that come in the aftermath of each terrorist attack, Israel remains the “aggressor”.

The two-state solution is clearly ineffective.  In truth, neither side wants it even though it is the persistent agenda of U.S. and U.N. diplomats. Hamas and the so-called moderate Moslem world will not recognize Israel’s right to exist, and the world refuses, after more than 60 years, to declare Jerusalem to be the capitol of Israel.

So, if the world will not legitimize Israel or condemn the murder of innocent babies, young students, rabbis and random victims on the streets of Israel, then the steps being taken by Netanyahu in advocating the Jewish-State bill are of critical importance.  Its passage is not a mere formality or token gesture.  It is essential in combating the War of Words, employing the language of our enemies and detractors, not to tear down, but to solidify reality.

As has been clear to all, except those who are blind and/or biased, is that Anti-Israel is tantamount to Anti-Judaism.  The State of Israel was created by a U.N. vote that would not have occurred but for the Holocaust!  Sadly, the Holocaust survivors are dying out and the passage of time has permitted the Holocaust deniers to have a voice and convinced millions that the Land of Israel is up for grabs!

Israel, the Jewish homeland, was created by an Act of God thousands of years ago!  Its eternal right to exist does not depend on the media or a vote, but in these times of misinformation and media manipulation of Truth, it is time to provide, at least, the legislative clarity of who we are, fundamentally and unalterably.

We should boldly and resolutely support the Jewish-State bill. Other nationalities and religions may share the landscape, but any blurring of Israel as the Jewish homeland must not take place by fiat or public opinion. Policy and determination of basic principles of government should lie in the hands of its Jewish leaders, religious and secular, to confirm its Biblical origins and its present-day mandate.  By so voting, the Knesset may provide a record of its affirmation that both the citizens of Israel and the world should hear loud and clear.  It will reject the actions of Sweden, Spain or any other country. It will stand strong against the U.N. General Assembly, made up of scores of nations that are anti-Israel (and, frankly, anti-Jewish).

Only if we are strong and clear in who we are do we dilute our enemies’ messages.  We will not be loved — and we have to stop compromising our principles in order to win that love.  We have to be respected and allowed to have self-determination.  Get behind the Jewish-State bill!   Advocate for it, pray for it!

About the Author
Naphtali Perlberger is a senior lecturer for AISH HaTorah and gives weekly shiurim at Chabad of Golden Beach and Aish Chaim of the Main Line. He is one of the founders and a past president of the Philadelphia Community Kollel. He is Founder & President of Philadelphia Chapter of Children of the Holocaust, and past FJA Chairman of Men's Organizations; past President of Kosloff Torah Academy; and, talk show host for a radio show, "G-d is Listening".