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The Fate of Gush Katif is the Fate of New York
by Rabbi Ben Tzion Krasnianski
Thursday, 11 August 2005, 0 0
The Jewish people were the first ones to introduce to the world the idea of embracing conflict as a way of life, and seeing conflict as something positive and wholesome. Life is a battle <I>royale</I> between good and evil, material and spiritual, potential and actual, truth and lies, darkness and light. The belief in one G-d ultimately means that man has the potential to reflect that unity by living a life that's unified, consistent, connected and wholesome. The only way to achieve this breakthrough is through great effort and struggle to overcome our inner tensions and conflicts that result from our external ego disconnect, which distorts our genuine Divine nature.

Those who don't believe in G-d loath conflict. Peace at any price is their motto in life, even at the expense of losing one's soul. The Torah (Job 5:7), however, states: Man was created for hard work. It is what distinguishes men from brutes. It is our connection to eternity and the sure path towards a meaningful life.

In the millennium-long struggle between good and evil, for the first time ever, evil is on the run. We have personally experienced and witnessed the miraculous collapse of communism and despotism throughout the world, and the consequent freeing of billions of people.

In G-d's world, everything needs a holy spark of truth and goodness in order to survive. Pure, absolute and undiluted evil self-destructs. Witness the generation of the flood or Hitler's Thousand Year Reich, which self-destructed. Today, we are facing new strata of evil, a brash declaration of war against life itself and against G-d's desire for existence by terrorists who are plumbing new depths of depravity. Even the Nazis didn't kill themselves.

The good news is, if this is evil's best shot: total nihilism, absolute destruction for destruction's sake, then evil must be scraping the bottom of the barrel. It's all over and evil knows it. This is evil's last act of desperado, its last hurrah. It's suicidal in every sense of the word. One could even detect an ever-so-slight backlash developing even amongst Muslims against the mindless, blood-curling head-sawing and random evil being perpetrated against Arab civilians and children.

How tragic that, at this critical moment, with the smell of victory in the air, Jews who have courageously led the battle against evil for 3,800 years have totally abandoned the good fight and have deserted the front lines. It's surreal; while Americans are fighting, Jew are surrendering. The Jew courageously led the world in the battle against terrorism in 1967, in Entebbe, and in 1981, when Israel took out Iraq's atomic reactor. For the first time in Jewish history, however, Jews are running for the hills.

In an astounding feat, beginning with Oslo and continuing with the Jewish expulsion from Gaza, Israel has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Instead of holding out for genuine peace with democracies founded on righteousness, human dignity and respect for human life, Israel has surrendered to the status quo. Why Israel has chosen a moment of triumph to send a defeatist message, projecting weakness, while our wildest dreams are materializing before our very eyes, is truly puzzling.

During the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, a thousand Jews, fighting practically with their bare hands, managed to hold off the Germans for close to a month, while Israel, which boasts one of the mightiest military machines in the world, can't deal with a few thousand murderers. Israel has just called up its reserves in the largest peacetime mobilization ever not to fight against the daily rocket assaults and terror attacks, but to fight the settlers and their supporters.

<b>It's All the Settlers' Fault</b>

Why should 8,000 Jews insist on living amongst 1.4 million Arabs?

Of all arguments, this one by far is the most objectionable. It proves the power of propaganda; people will repeat nonsense not realizing how foolish they sound. There are 20,000 Jews living in Berlin amongst 3.6 million Germans. No one would dare suggest that we should expel the Jews from Berlin because they may be a provocation to 3.6 million Germans. So, let's get this straight. A Jew is allowed to live in Berlin, a Jew is allowed in Moscow. The only place in the world he is not allowed to live is in Israel. Why? Because some Arab Nazi doesn't want to see a single Jew before his eyes. It is unconscionable that Israel is going to accommodate Arab Nazis. Israel is planning to evacuate the dead as well, because Arab savages barbarically burned the grave of the Biblical figure Joseph, so Israel doesn't trust them that they will not desecrate the dead.

People drip with disdain when they use the word 'settlers', as if it's some dirty word. What is their crime? That they settled on their own land, insisting on a Jew's right to live anywhere in the world, especially in Israel. The 'settlers' of Gaza took sand dunes that were never inhabited by the Arabs and, through the sweat of their brow, turned them into a paradise and a financial powerhouse. Every moral person must be appalled by the illegal act of racism and apartheid of forcing Jews out of their homes to accommodate the murderous tendencies of Jew-haters. One searches in vain through the annals of human history to find a single example where a nation shamefully exiled itself from its own land and so shamelessly capitulated to terrorism.

By this logic, Israel should close up shop. Is it practical to have five million Jews in a sea of hundreds of millions of Arabs and billions of Muslims? Demographics don't frighten us. The Torah promises us that we will always be the smallest of all nations. Abraham and Sara stood alone against the whole world. Our power is not in our might, but in our right.

The Jew is a sheep surrounded by seventy wolves. Pretending to be a wolf won't guarantee our safety. A Jew recognizes that it's only the shepherd and our relationship to the shepherd that could guarantee our safety and security.

<b>Israel is a Democracy</b>

How can we double guess the decision of the democratically elected government of Israel?

In the democratically elected government of America in the 1950s, it was legal to racially discriminate against Blacks. It doesn't mean that it was moral, legal or just. Good people refused to accept the inherently evil notion of judging a person by his skin color. The expulsion of Jews is inherently an immoral act, and even if it were a democratic and majority decision, it wouldn't make it right or just.

The only excuse for liberal democracy, why individuals agree to give up their inalienable G-d-given rights to liberty, is because of the government promise to protect them. Democracy is a trade-off, freedom for security. A government that for political expediency places its own citizens' lives in harm's way, placing 144 Jewish communities on the firing lines of Kassam rockets and worse, loses its legitimacy and is nothing more then a Mafia with guns, which will use brute force to force people out of their homes and beat them into submission.

In the last elections, the choice couldn't have been clearer. Amram Mitzna for expulsion and Ariel Sharon vehemently opposed, stating that the fate of Gush Katif is the fate of Tel Aviv. Sharon won in the biggest landslide in Israeli history. When he abruptly made a 180% about-face, Sharon promised that he would abide by his party's vote. When he lost the Likud vote, he promptly proceeded to ignore that vote and promised to abide by his cabinet's vote. When he was about to lose the cabinet vote as well, he used a very 'democratic' ploy and took the unprecedented step of firing two ministers to create an artificial majority. When he was urged to allow the people to vote in a referendum, he refused, knowing full well that he would have lost the referendum.

To the great merit of the Jewish people, it must be stated for the record that every time Oslo was put to a vote they voted against it. Even today, if you count out the Arab vote in the Knesset, it is doubtful that Sharon has a majority of Jewish votes in favor of the expulsion.

<b>We're Sitting Comfortably in New York</b>

What rights do we, New York Jews, have to get involved in Israel's business whether they disengage or not?

The real question is do we dare not get involved. The imminent expulsion of Jews from Gaza is a clear and present danger to our safety and security, and the safety and well-being of our wives and children, and the safety of all Americans.

Terrorism is like a cancer and you never make peace with cancer. Certain battles you don't have the luxury to grow tired of. Terrorism is a malignant tumor and you don't make peace with a tumor. If you play nice with cancer, it will kill you. Show mercy to a tumor and it will metastasize and mercilessly kill you and kill itself in the process. The only merciful thing to do is to eradicate, destroy and pulverize the tumor into oblivion.

Instead, Israel, which was always on the forefront in the war against terrorism, is about to deliver, on a silver platter, terrorism's greatest reward. The biggest harbor of terrorism today is neither Afghanistan nor Iraq, but Israel, which is about to get out of the way of the terrorists so that Hamas, Hizbullah, Fatah and now Al-Qaeda will have a safe haven to train and develop thousands of new terrorists in total freedom, right at its doorsteps.

Ideas have consequences. This mindless surrender to terrorism has exploded in our face in Iraq. Today, London, tomorrow...? The cancer of terrorism has metastasized out of control. If the expulsion will go through in Gaza, it will guarantee the next 9/11 and we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

At this point, the US president's war against terrorism is in full retreat. The president's proclaimed support for a Palestinian State was the first major victory for the terrorists. America spent 300 billion dollars taking out one terrorist state in the Middle East in order to establish another one. The disengagement is another major, huge victory for the terrorists and will only serve the purpose of emboldening Terrorism International. The expulsion means that three hundred billion dollars spent in Iraq was for naught, and it will betray the heroic sacrifice of our young soldiers and render them in vain.

Israel is the heart of the world. When the heart is healthy, the whole organism is healthy. When the heart is ill and loses its vigor, the whole organism becomes critically ill. The world is a global village and what happens in Israel today will happen to the rest of the world tomorrow. At the end of the day, the fate of Gush Katif is the fate of New York.

<b>Peace Through Strength</b>

Peace through strength holds out the only hope for this troubled region. By standing firm, Israel could deliver the coup de grace to terrorism around the world. By helping to hasten the inevitable collapse of dictatorship and totalitarianism in the Middle East, Israel could become part of the solution instead of becoming part of the problem, and earn its honorable place in history.

A wise man once quipped: While it's easy to take the Jew out of exile, it's difficult to take the exile out of the Jew. Instead of exiling themselves from Gaza, it's high time that the Jewish people removed the deep, dark and corrosive exile from within.

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