ו' לחודש הרביעי תשע"ה
There are those on the so-called “right,” who have been employing the “indigenous” argument a lot lately. The "indigenous argument" is that Jews have a right to live in Eretz Yisra'el (The Land of Israel), and to have sovereignty over it, because we are indigenous to it.
I would like to refute this argument, but Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaqi z”l (RaSh”I) already did the job for us almost a thousand years ago, in his commentary on the beginning of the Torah.
אמר רבי יצחק: לא היה צריך להתחיל [את] התורה אלא (שמות יב ב) מהחודש הזה לכם, שהיא מצווה ראשונה שנצטוו [בה] ישראל, ומה טעם פתח בבראשית, משום (תהילים קיא ו) כוח מעשיו הגיד לעמו לתת להם נחלת גויים, שאם יאמרו אומות העולם לישראל לסטים אתם, שכבשתם ארצות שבעה גויים, הם אומרים להם כל הארץ של הקב"ה היא, הוא בראה ונתנה לאשר ישר בעיניו, ברצונו נתנה להם וברצונו נטלה מהם ונתנה לנו:
“Said Rabbi Yitzhak: Shouldn’t the Torah have begun with “From this month, for you…” (Ex. 12:2), which is the first mitzvah which Israel was commanded. So what is the reason that the Torah opens with “In the beginning…?” – Because “He has told the power of His works to His people, to give them the inheritance of nations” (Psalms 111:6). So if the nations of the world would say to Israel, “You are robbers, because you have conquered the lands of the seven [Canaanite] nations!” – they say to them, “The entire world belongs to The Holy One, Blessed Be He. He created it and gave it to whomsoever he saw fit. According to His will, He gave it to them, and according to His will He took it away from them and give it to us.”The text of the Torah specifically states that not only were we Divinely promised Eretz Yisra'el, but that in order to do this, Eretz Yisra'el had to be Divinely taken away from its previous owners.
יח בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, כָּרַת יְהוָה אֶת-אַבְרָם--בְּרִית לֵאמֹר: לְזַרְעֲךָ, נָתַתִּי אֶת-הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת, מִנְּהַר מִצְרַיִם, עַד-הַנָּהָר הַגָּדֹל נְהַר-פְּרָת. יט אֶת-הַקֵּינִי, וְאֶת-הַקְּנִזִּי, וְאֵת, הַקַּדְמֹנִי. כ וְאֶת-הַחִתִּי וְאֶת-הַפְּרִזִּי, וְאֶת-הָרְפָאִים. כא וְאֶת-הָאֱמֹרִי, וְאֶת-הַכְּנַעֲנִי, וְאֶת-הַגִּרְגָּשִׁי, וְאֶת-הַיְבוּסִי. (בראשית טו,יח-כא)
In that day the Lord made a covenant with Avram, saying: 'To your seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.' the Kenite, and the Kenizzite, and the Kadmonite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Rephaim, and the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Girgashite, and the Jebusite.' (Gen. 15:18-21)
That’s right. The Canaanites were here before us.
Some would argue that the Jewish People is indigenous based its inheritance from No’ah’s son Shem, through Ever, and his descendant Avraham.
But, neither Shem nor Ever was born within the current borders of Eretz Yisra’el. Nor did either of them ever had control over Eretz Yisra’el. Actually, I have yet to hear that anyone has bothered to make this claim.
Incidentally, Avraham was not born in Eretz Yisra’el either. He never had control over Eretz Yisra’el, nor did his son Yitzhaq, nor did his grandson Ya’aqov, who eventually left, and went down to Egypt, although they were all well-respected while residing here.
Avraham purchased a plot of land in Eretz Yisra’el, now known as Ma’arath HaMakhpelah (Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hevron. Ya’aqov purchased the city of Shchem, which the Romans called Neopolis, in bastardized Arabic. King David purchased land as well, Har HaBayith (the Temple Mount).
Of course, it is a misswah (Torah commandment) to redeem Eretz Yisra’el. One may even have a non-Jew prepare a document of sale on Shabbath, a day on which Jews are forbidden to conduct commerce. Such was done with K’far Ivri, now Jerusalem’s northern neighborhood of Neweh Ya’aqov.
|Eretz Yisra'el (Joshua, Judges)|
(Click to enlarge)
The Land is ours, but at this point, we not going to succeed in completing the conquering and settling of the Eretz Yisra’el, through hasbara (PR), and certainly not through the indigenous argument.
At one point, Arafat ysh”w attempted to claim that his Pseudostinian people were Jebusites, one of the seven nations (Gen. 15:21, Num. 33:50-56), in an attempt to make the same indigenous argument, Jews are trying to make now. But, as soon as he realized that this lie was not working, he quickly changed his tune.
The only, I repeat only, justification for any claims on Eretz Yisra’el by the Jewish People is that The Almighty promised it to us, as recorded in His Holy Torah.
Any beliefs and feelings of non-Jews are irrelevant, and thus so are any efforts to convince them of one thing or another, is also irrelevant, and a waste of time.
Esau (The West) and Yishma'el (Arabs/Muslims) both want Eretz Yisra'el for themselves. They all want a piece. The Vatican, the Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches, the Evangelicals and Christian Zionists, the U. S., and one does not need to say, the Arabs, all want a piece (Zech. 12-14). Nothing has changed since Esau and Yishma'el fought each other for control over it, during The Crusades.
They only care about their own interests. They certainly do not give a damn about any argument, indigenous or other otherwise, which conflicts with their interests.
It simply does not matter if Jews are indigenous to the Land of Israel, or not. Some make the claim that certain Bedouin clans and even some of those Arabs identifying themselves as "Palestinians," are also indigenous.
But the ONLY thing that matters that The Almighty promised it to us, the Jewish People, and not to any other people, indigenous or otherwise.