Mr. Netanyahu, it’s time to leave the bunker
By Rabbi Joseph Gerlitzky,
Chairman of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace
The story goes that sometime, toward the end of the 1940s, a passerby chanced upon a decrepit army bunker, in which two soldiers crouched in the mud, clutching their weapons. Apparently, they had been holding out there since the Second World War, seeing that word of the war’s conclusion had never reached their ears. Instead, for nearly half a decade, they remained at their posts, waiting for the enemy to arrive…
In a pathetic interview given to channel CBS by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on December 11, 2016, the famed Israeli prime minister sounded not much different than those two benighted soldiers, crouching in the mud, clutching their rusty weapons, blind to the fact that the world beyond their bunker had radically changed.
Even a blind person can tell that the world around us has undergone a transformation. Political correctness is in its death throes. In every country across the globe, decent and honest citizens are raising their voices against Islamic terror and the waves of Arab immigration that flood their borders. Gone is the illusion that these innocent Arabs seek only political refuge and peace with their new neighbors. A new president has been elected in the United States who is a firm supporter of Israel’s security and its undeniable right over the entire land of Israel – more so than most members of the Israeli Parliament themselves. The entire United States government is undergoing a 180 degree change of direction, as the President-elect appoints senior advisors who consider the Palestinian Authority nothing more than a rank terrorist organization.
And as for Bibi Netanyahu? He is still crouching in his rusty, old bunker, clutching at the same foolish mantras, especially: “two states for two people.”
Hundreds of millions of American voters are looking forward to the day when, finally, a new tune will be heard echoing from the Middle East. Donald Trump and his staff ceaselessly declare that, from their perspective, the Arab world in general, and the Palestinian entity and its supporters in particular, will no longer be the ones calling the tune. The entire world is watching and waiting for Israel to arise and shake of the mud it has been forced to wallow in by the previous US administration.
Yet for all that, Netanyahu remains crouching in his bunker, hoping that “Trump will help him advance the two-state solution…” Indeed, he will be the one to convince Trump that, perhaps, despite all that has happened, recognizing a Palestinian state is a worthy endeavor.
It is superfluous to discuss the great catastrophe that would result from the establishment of a Palestinian state in the midst of Israel. One need only regard the danger already posed by the current situation, even without the “official” recognition of a Palestinian state. There are no words to express the foolishness of the Israeli government in creating a new threat to its very existence, in the heart of its own land. Netanyahu himself has criticized the disengagement from Gaza as “having brought Iran straight to our southern border.” A Palestinian state would go even further, bringing the Islamic State and every other dreadful terrorist organization into the heart of Israel. Is there really anyone, in the entire enlightened world, who still believes that the Palestinians will be content with the establishment of a small, peaceful and modest state? Just check their record until now! Read the textbooks they distribute to their school children, listen to their hate speeches, watch their blatant, two-faced lies, and you will know exactly what they are hoping for – conquest, destruction, and the wholesale murder of every Jew in the Holy Land.
No one is ignorant of this anymore. In fact, no one even hesitates to admit it. Everyone knows what Israel received in exchange for its previous withdrawals, its compromises and capitulations to international pressure – more deaths, more acts of terror, more innocent blood spilled. And all the while, the Israeli government is stuck in the mud of the past. As the saying goes, you can take the Jew out of exile, but it is nearly impossible to take exile out of a Jew. You can remove the political pressure of the United States government from off the heads of Israeli statesmen, but is it almost impossible to remove the internalized pressure that has become deeply implanted in the DNA of the nation’s leaders themselves.
Netanyahu’s supporters excuse his words as mere political rhetoric, pointing to the fact that he has not transferred or relinquished any territories to the Arabs. However, herein lies the problem. His declarations and pronouncements of “concessions” are as bad as the acts themselves! When the Prime Minister of Israel bows to international pressure and discusses the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the possibility of “painful concessions,” he is doing nothing less than inviting terror organizations to exert even more pressure and to strike Israeli citizens again, in order to gain more concessions. This is not mere theory: it is stated clearly in the Code of Jewish Law (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Hayim §329). And it has been the living experience of Israelis for many years now. All such declarations bring only increased terror in their wake.
Thus, when an Arab terrorist witnesses Jews being forcibly evicted from Amona, he doesn’t ponder the matter too deeply. From his perspective, this is one more proof of Israeli irresolution and lack of confidence in its own legitimacy and ownership of the land, with the natural conclusion being more acts of terror, more Jewish blood spilled, in order to force ever more withdrawals.
Let this be stated clearly: the entire world, especially the United States, longs to see a strong Israel, firm and committed to its own survival. A country that does not enter negotiations concerning a single inch of its territory, and certainly not with its enemies that are longing for its destruction – whether they express it openly or not. An Israel that proudly affirms its inalienable right to the entire expanse of the Holy Land, which was promised to the patriarch Abraham. An Israel that builds extensively through its entire domain, and never removes or destroys a single Jewish home, God forbid. An Israel with a strong arm, which cuts off the false dreams and bloody hopes of its enemies. The nations of the world do not want to see Israel make further concessions and bow to international pressure and terrorism, which merely sparks the imagination of young Arabs around the world and encourages them to join international Jihad organizations. The winds of change are blowing throughout the world, and the eyes of the nations are toward Israel, to see how it deals with such problems within its own territories.
Heaven has granted Benjamin Netanyahu a rare historic opportunity, following the results of the United States elections, to change, once and for all, the entire, absurd, approach of the Israeli government. Yet, to our great sorrow, he seems to be willfully and intentionally blinding himself to the situation, and letting the opportunity slip through his fingers.
Yet, it is not yet too late. We must take advantage of the rare opportunity that has resulted from the American elections and finally leave our decrepit, old bunker, to shake off the mud of past mistakes and announce that the rules of the game have now changed: “The Oslo Agreement and the principle of disengagement were a mistake. From now on, we have no Arab ‘partner.’ There will be no more negotiations, and no talk of a Palestinian state. We will not evacuate a single inch or house from the entire Holy Land. The Land of Israel is ours. God has given it to us, as promised in the Torah, and we will decide where we can live and where we can build.”
This is the only way to achieve true peace for the Jewish people.