There Is An Alternative


Rabbi Eliezer Waldman - Rosh Yeshiva,

Yeshivat Nir Kiryat Arba

November 9, 2000

Thank G-d some of the leftist leaders and media have at long last come to the conclusion that we have no partner for peace. After the murder of a Jewish soldier by his PLO joint patrol buddy in Kalkillya; after the lynch of Jewish reserve soldiers guilty of making a wrong turn into Ramallah, and after the the shooting at a Jewish neighborhood in Gilo, Jerusalem, it is hard to imagine how anyone can still harbor a suspicion that Arafat wants to make peace. Yet there are still a die hard few who don't see the light. They are still in darkness because they refuse to understand that the root of the matter is that we cannot have any partner for Eretz Yisrael. We cannot have any partner for Jerusalem. And we certainly can have no partner for our holy Temple Mount. Eretz Yisrael is our Divine inheritance. One does not share his inheritance with strangers, certainly not with enemies.

Eretz Yisrael is called the Land of the Living "Eretz Chayim", (Ezekiel 26:20). The PLO are a people of death and destruction. They continue to incite hatred and destruction in their media and school system. Their declared end goal is Jihad, a holy war against the Jewish People. In this process they continue to torch and destroy our land such as with the Tomb of Joseph and the synagogue in Jericho. This total disregard for the life of a people and its country even strikes at the lives of their own children. They send them to the front lines so that they will be killed and serve as a propaganda weapon against Israel. Arab parents welcome the death and martyrdom of their children with a religious fervor. It is nothing short of madness to continue to declare our commitment to peace with a "partner" who is shooting our people with guns we gave them and whose goal is to replace the Jewish State with a PLO state of terror. Let's face the truth. Death cannot be a partner of life, just as powers of destruction cannot be allied with creative powers of life. War and Peace cannot coexist.

Unfortunately some of our brothers on the left, despite all that has happened with recent acts of terror, murder and jihad, are still willing to continue with this partner because "we have no alternative". They turn to us and ask, "What is your alternative"? Our alternative is simply the alternative of life. Life of our people; the blossoming life of our homeland, Eretz Yisrael. And both of these serve as implements for the expression of a Torah life. Without the Land of Israel there is no complete life for the Jew. Even more so, our ideal destiny is to bring this blessing of life to the entire world. As HaShem said to our father, Abraham:

"Go on. . . to the Land which I will show you and I will make of thee a great nation. . . and you will be blessed. . . and in thee shall all the families of the Earth be blessed." Genesis 12:1-3 In fact we have been commanded by our G-d to choose life. "I call heaven and Earth to be witnesses that I have set before you, life and death, a blessing and a curse, and I command you to choose life, that both you and your children may live."

Deuteronomy 30: 19

Choosing the alternative of life obligates us to defend the life of our people and our country which are interdependent. Our leaders have been responding in an abnormal way to the powers of destruction surrounding us. Something has gone wrong with our survival instinct. How could they permit our soldiers and citizens to be abandoned under fire without making real efforts to rescue them? Instead of rescuing our bleeding soldier at the Tomb of Joseph, because it would mean recapturing at least that part of Shechem which surrounds that shrine, we let him bleed to death. Instead of silencing the fire upon the civilian hikers at Mount Eval to rescue the wounded, our attack helicopters merely fired in the air. As a result another Jew needlessly died of his wounds. There can be no excuse for that. If the IDF can reach out to Entebbe to save Jewish lives, how can they not rescue Jews within our own homeland? And they are using the rationalization that they do not want to escalate the conflict. This neglect of responsibility for Jewish life only stimulates and escalates attacks by our enemies. There is even a worse rationale being used and that is an over sensitivity to the lives of our enemies when Jewish lives are in danger. And if even among our enemies some may be called innocent, aren't our people innocent victims of PLO hatred? It seems that Jewish twisted minds and stony hearts have been poisoned by a distorted sense of "liberal" morals? Certainly no other nation would respond in the same manner to those who come to destroy it. This abnormal behavior by the Israeli government is perceived as a weakness by our enemies. It actually provokes more hatred and incites our enemy to escalate their attacks.

We are also told that we cannot do things which will arouse the world against us. Not only are we told that fighting back would escalate the violence, but we are told to use restraint in the face of open attacks against our very lives! Powers of life cannot be restrained when endangered. To do so is to endanger life. We are told that we must respect international law. Recent history has demonstrated that protecting Jewish lives supercedes even international law. And when we live up to our responsibility to Jewish life, although we may be condemned by some nations, we also gain their respect.

Three such examples are: During the Six Day War, when Israel was threatened to be destroyed by her enemies she initiated a pre-emptive attack which brought us back to the heart of our homeland; Then there was the Entebbe raid which saw Israel violate the territorial integrity of Uganda in order to rescue hijacked Jews; And, under Menachem Begin, the Israeli government decided to bomb the nuclear reactor in Iraq before it was capable of producing nuclear weapons. Yes we were condemned by many nations at these times, but we were respected by all. Respect is gained by choosing life and defending your homeland and not allowing powers of destruction to overcome our will to live with self-respect and pride.

I call upon our government to open its eyes and awaken to reality. If they are not willing to exercise our normal powers of life and direct the IDF to take the initiative and prove that we are a people who choose life, let them turn over the reins of power to those who are willing to do so. The powers of life are stronger than the powers of destruction. In this way, not only Israeli lives will be saved, but, in the long run, also Arab lives will be saved when the powers of destruction will be deterred from their path of death. The return of Jewish life to all of Eretz Yisrael, which is the essence of the Zionist process, is the only alternative to the dangers we face from our enemies. The final result of this coming back to life will be the projection of a blessing from Zion to all the nations of the world. Respect and admiration for the people of Israel will only come when we regain our self-respect.

"And many people shall go and say, Come ye and let us go up to the mountain of the L-rd, to the house of the G-d of Jacob; and He will teach us of His Ways, and we will walk in His Paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the L-rd from Jerusalem." Isaiah 2:3

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