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Tamar Adelstein

Saying It Straight – the Lubavitcher Rebbe and Israel

BS”D

Israel’s safety and security was an issue the Lubavitcher Rebbe discussed passionately and thoroughly throughout the decades of his leadership, going all the way back to when the modern state of Israel was founded.

JEM, Jewish Educational Media, researches and produces recordings of the Rebbe’s legacy and teachings: their latest series covers the Rebbe’s views on achieving complete victory and lasting peace:  The Rebbe and Israel

Peace and security, taught the Rebbe, begins with our own unwavering personal and collective belief that G-d gave us, the Jewish People, the Land of Israel for an eternal inheritance.

For all the many thousands of words penned or spoken trying to justify our claim, the Rebbe advised we simply say it straight by quoting Rashi’s opening commentary on Parshas B’reishis:   G-d created the world.  He gave Israel to the Nations and then took it from them and gave it to the Jewish People as an eternal inheritance.  For all the noise and censure coming out of the UN, when one Israeli ambassador had the courage to speak this truth, the world’s high and mighty representatives immediately fell silent – after all where would their religious beliefs be without the Bible!

The Rebbe continues with a clarion call for Shleimus Haaretz – the imperative to preserve Israel’s territorial integrity and borders in order to safeguard and protect Jewish lives.  This mitzvah, Pikuach Nefesh, must, implored the Rebbe, take precedence over all other considerations.

While stressing the Halachic obligation for our Jewish army to take every necessary step to confront and rout the enemy, at the same time strengthening our trust in G-d is what maximizes our real power – to the extent an enemy will not even dare to provoke us – saving their lives as well.

The Rebbe warned against hesitating to preemptively thwart enemy plans, or far worse, tarrying on delivering swift, forceful and unrelenting blows against Arab terrorism and war. He cried out repeatedly in pained protest that this endangered Jewish lives, r”l!  Under no circumstances, he said, should Israeli leaders wait for US, UN or the Media’s approval to act let alone acquiesce to conditions that embolden the enemy or hinder eliminating him once and for all.

The world has its own calculations and self-interests and a recent Op-Ed by Tzachi Levi illuminates just how prescient the Rebbe was about Egypt long before Israel relinquished the Sinai to them:

No intelligent person would agree to rely on the Nations, certainly not on the assurance of Egypt or Russia [or, we might add, the US or even the Abraham Accords] which are solely concerned with their own interests.

How can one not understand that the cease-fire was needed by Egypt only for (future) war preparations.” The Lubavitcher Rebbe in an interview with reporter Yona Cohen in 1970

Levi writes:Anyone who follows the strengthening of the Egyptian army from visible sources and sees the huge bridging array it is building above and below the Suez Canal, and the military procurement in the tens of billions of dollars in all army arrays: sea, land, air and even satellites, understands that Egypt sees Israel as its main military adversary, in spite of the peace agreement.

Most of Egypt’s military exercises are directed against Israel, and that is why we can see reports, in the open media, about a long series of Egyptian violations of the peace agreement, which limits the deployment of Egyptian forces in Sinai, under the pretext of a war against ISIS.

For many years, Egypt has allowed the strengthening of terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, during both the Mubarak and Morsi eras. During the el-Sisi era, Egypt increased its supervision and control over what entered the Strip while building a massive barrier on the Egyptian side of the border. All this is just an indication that what did enter, apparently entered with an Egyptian “blind eye”.

Israeli leaders’ consent to allow trucks into southern Gaza without inspection not only defies common sense but  won’t win them much, if any, admiration from Hamas’ growing horde of  anti-Semitic sympathizers.  Nor does it  do much to help those Gazans at the Rafah Gate who truly want to quit the fight against Israel and move on to a better life.

Far better for us and them would be to implement Tzachi Levi’s proposal:  Get them into Egypt after which the US and other world powers can compensate Egypt generosity with a hefty financial grant to absorb them and at at the same get a much needed boost for the country’s failing economy.   Egypt can then either house the Gazans in its more than two million vacant apartments or use part of the money to help them emigrate to places like Turkey and Europe.  See:  The diplomatic battle between Israel and Egypt can decide the future of Gaza

About the Author
I am originally from Buffalo, NY and although I did not have a religious upbringing I always felt a strong connection with Yiddishkeit and Eretz Yisroel. I still get chills recalling the moment the Rabbi announced that Israel had been attacked on Yom Kippur. In the weeks that followed, even though I really didn't understand all the details, I was the one student in my 10th grade Social Studies class who challenged our German-American teacher when he said Israel would be wiped out. Interestingly, the rest of Jewish kids in the class who came from much more Jewishly -oriented homes than I were silent. Years later I met one of them and was astounded to find out how they were all silently cheering me on. On the day the Jews were "disengaged" from Gush Katif, I was stopped in the grocery store (in Buffalo) by a little Jewish lady who whispered to me that she didn't think it was right what Israel was doing. Which just goes to show that there is a vast silent majority of Jews who agree with the Rebbe's approach to peace.
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