“Settlements” and Israel

In Israel, the hot topic appearing almost daily is applying sovereignty and withdrawal over “settlements”. The Prime Minister and Minister of Defense both want withdrawals and complete autonomy for the “Authority” and to turn “Authority” into a state.   That of course is the next step for people seeking their independence, on THEIR land and THEIR country.

The Oslo accords, did not exactly have Zionism in mind for Yehuda and Shomron, nor did forcing the fleeing enemy in 1967 back into his land at gunpoint, something in my study of human history for the last 6000 years has never once been done in the history of mankind.   Two huge mistakes.

The idea of separation, based on an armistice line, to define the land of Israel, is not at all consistent with any version of Zionism.   It is known as post Zionism, an ever shrinking and contorted view of what is Israel. If Israel means nothing to you, an ever shrinking percentage of the number of Jews vs non Jews, you should be very excited looking forward to the diminishing of the Jewish state and all of its ideals.

The concept that Israel stops at the green line, is certainly a concept that Ben Gurion did not espouse, and he was the ultimate Zionist to all those who consider themselves today Zionists, but are in reality post Zionists, or better termed anti Zionists.   Ben Gurion stated, Israel is wherever the army is, wherever the army controls that defines the land.

Israel has made mistake after mistake since 1967, where a Jew could walk proudly from one end of the land to the other, and no terrorist would dare attack him.   We are far far from that.   Its been 50 years downhill, starting with giving back the oil rich Sinai, which could have brought us a level of fuel independence and wealth the country desperately needs.   Instead giving back the Sinai was mistake number one, and the root of it is based on where you draw the line in the sand, what is Israel and what is outside Israel.   A military and economic blunder.

The land of Israel is defined by religious standards in the five books of Moshe, and is mentioned over and over again.   The Sinai is part of biblical Israel, but is not part of the second Temple era Israel.    So, if you want to start a religious law discussion, we can go back and forth whether the Sinai is Israel or not.   What the Sinai is now, is a home for Al Queida, Deash (ISIS), Hamas, our enemies have taken root there.   It is a lawless land, inhabited by terrorists.   Was that necessary?   Did giving the Sinai back bring peace with Egypt or did our nuclear weapons?   Which one do you think means more to Egypt?   Which one corresponds to the time that Egypt stopped land incursions into Israel?   The development of deployable nuclear weapons or giving back of the Sinai.   Do your research and you will see that by 1973 Israel had deployable nuclear weapons and the Sinai was given back much later in the 1979.

This was not the Menachem Begin of the Etzel, whose fighters together with the Lechi/Sternists drove out the British.   Yes, Israel was different in 1979, and far more powerful, a nuclear power.   What made Israel powerful in spirit was its unity and idealism, everyone will tell you how the country was more unified back then and more idealistic.

What happened?   How did we go from Etzel and beating the British and vanquishing our enemies in five wars to giving back the Sinai, Aza and withdraw from parts of Yehuda and Shomron and becoming the anti (post) Zionists of today?

The answer is lack of vision on the leaders, not understanding who we are as a nation, and our rights to the lands.   This is the fundamental issue when we discuss settlements in Yehuda and Shomron. Whose land is it Were we wrong to take it in 1967? Were we wrong to invite the fleeing enemy back in? Were we wrong to not annex it?

Historically, had Israel annexed the West Bank in 1967 after the war, no one would have blinked. Israel had gained new respect among the nations in its spectacular victory.   Not only that, but had Israel leveled the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa mosques on the spot no one would have blinked.   It would have been considered the price to pay for going to war.

Capitalizing on windows in time, is critical for leaders.   One leader that comes to mind, is Geronimo, who saved his entire people by bringing them up North to Canada, away from the crushing US Army, whose genocide of the American Indian was about to see more victims.   Would one dare to say that foresight for ones nation is NOT a critical leadership quality?

The question of whether the settlements are Israel or not Israel, and whether we must grant citizenship upon annexation, or give it up and withdraw, is all the same in my mind.   It all violates the spirit of Zionism, the true Jewish value system known as Torah.   When you annex and your enemy occupies your land, have you expanded Israel?   Is applying Israeli law to them a victory?   Now they answer to your laws, and are continuing to build the same illegal weapons factories meant to overthrow you, and are learning the art of war and jihad in their mosques, TV and radio.    This is victory?   Those who want annexation, but like the lost ones of the past do not know what to do in foresight, with the hostile population, that prefers sharia law to Israeli law, are just as dangerous, have only one plus, in that they kept the army holding their defensive positions established in 1967 and did not give that away either.

In other words, there is a correlation between belief systems and the dilemmas and solutions proposed.   If you are against the ideals of Zionism, you define the settlements as stolen land.   The goal is give it back and watch as the terrorist state 100 times the size of Aza is created.   Then go to war in the southwest and the east at the same time, a two front war.

Those who propose the idea of withdrawal, including the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister, do not have the foresight to understand military strategy.   Interesting that they are in positions of supreme authority over the Israeli Defense Forces, and yet they talk of giving the enemy complete victory.   The Prime Minister discusses his support for two states for two peoples (autonomy and conditional withdrawal), and the Defense Minister discusses population swaps (which I agree with 100%) and complete withdrawal from Yehuda and Shomron (disaster of Oslo that will threaten the entire Jewish state).   These are dangerous people to have in office as far as I am concerned, traitors in every sense of the word.   People who support the narrative that settlements are not Israel, not worth fighting for, that those who live past the Armistice line of 1949 are thieves.   That when Ben Gurion empties an Arab village its not stealing inside the Green line and when Moshe Dayan did outside the Green line it is stealing.   Either we are thieves or we are the rightful rulers of the land.   To those who somehow lost the idea of history and say its thievery, would they not concede that strategically it is a disaster to withdraw from the hills of Shomron that overlook the airport and all the major cities in Israel, Tel Aviv, Netanya, Haifa, Moddin, and more?   Do they not understand, that the unity government of Abu Mazen and Hamas will shell Israel with mortars upon withdrawal of the Israeli army, invite the Russians or Iranians in (Hamas is supplied by Iran and Turkey) and arm themselves to the teeth?   How could someone deny this is a possibility?   Either the IDF is there or the land will turn into a lawless land of jihad.   Do we not have enough historical examples to at least forsee this as a real possibility?

Is Israel safer now with drones, an iron dome, David’s sling and an Arrow defense shield than it was in 1967?    No, it is a different country.   It is much more dangerous to walk the streets now than in 1967.   To support this proposition, millions of Israelis have left Israel, for a quieter existence, and the Orthodox Hareidi have stayed and multiplied.   It is only a matter of time before they take over Israel.   How could a population that made up such a pittance of the overall population be the majority 100 years later?    Only by millions of secular Israelis leaving Israel, the end of Zionism.    Had they stayed, Israel’s population would probably be 12 million including their children.   Instead they went and even assimilated by marrying non Jewish spouses, or put their children in public schools in their hosts countries and they married non Jews.   Idealism matters, it shapes the nation and its narratives.

The so called settlers are those who believe in settling the entire land of Israel, and fulfill the Ramban in the Sefer HaMitzvot (4th addition to positive commandments) to the letter.   These are special courageous people, that sacraifice their entire lives to settle the land.   They are under protected and live day to day with deadly attacks that go unpunished.

The army steps in to separate the two sides, like a referee.   It also steps in to destroy Jewish settlements there.   One by one, they are being destroyed, house by house.   If is an ominous sign for the future.   The houses demolished, town by town, to let the sworn enemies of Israel run free, is the end of Zionism.

So, lets at least agree, no matter what your stance on Zionism is, that withdrawal, like the withdrawal from the Sinai and Aza, has the potential to create a terrorist state that will stab Israel in its heart.   If you love Israel, you are not afraid to say so.   Settlements are vital to the security interests of Israel and are in no way up for discussion.   They are ours now, rightfully ours to those who believe in the Torah and Zionism, and they will remain ours.   Giving them up is pure suicide, and no sane nation would do so.

In a future article I hope to discuss the solution to the settlements, of which has not been discussed almost anywhere before in recent decades.

About the Author
Grew up in NYC. Graduated from Wharton Business School 1995. Moved to Israel in 1997. Went to Yeshiva in 1997, married and has 5 children. Went back to advance my career in the USA in 2006 for nine years and returned again to Israel in 2015.
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