ראש החודש השני תשע״ח
Times Of Israel Blogs: Israel’s separation barrier: legitimate in theory, malicious in practice
Michael Aarenau, March 22, 2018
“The Apartheid Wall,” “The Security Fence,” “The Border Wall.” All of these words and more have been used to describe the barrier that separates parts of Israel Proper from the Occupied West Bank. Interestingly enough, how one titles the structure is often a key indicator of how they view the conflict overall.
Anti-Israel activists will typically refer to it as The Apartheid Wall, focusing on the different realities faced by Israelis inside Israel Proper compared to those of the Palestinians living on the other side of the barrier in the West Bank. On the other hand, Israel advocates typically refer to it as The Security Fence, focusing on the defensive purposes of the structure, and underscoring that the vast majority of the structure is not a wall at all, but rather, barbed wire fencing. Some Israel advocates (and even some Israeli diplomats/peace negotiators) refer to it as The Border Wall, noting its purpose in dividing boundaries between a sovereign state and a hostile non-sovereign entity that may one day come to be autonomous in its own right.
I, however, will be using the term “Separation Barrier” throughout this article as it’s more politically neutral and more importantly, it addresses the central themes that I’ll be focusing on throughout this piece. (cont.)
Sometimes, I just don't know why I bother writing responses to opinion pieces like this. The author probably won't read it. And even if he does, it will just make his eyes roll, and he'll employ the strategy I myself often employ, which is to ignore and discount responses. Well, in my case, I often ignore responses, which do not include Torah-based sources to support their case.
And although I am sure I should be devoting my time and energy into writing something else, I do believe that it is worth it to point out some details about the "security fence," or as Aarenau refers to it, the "separation barrier," which you will not see reported by the mainstream news media.
First off, there are just so many problems with the logic of this piece, I will just hit on a few of my favorites.
But before I do that, I will point out the irony which rarely, if every, gets picked up by the news media. The left-wing Jews, European non-Jews, and self-identified anarchists may be the primary force in protesting the existence of Aarenau's "separation barrier." However, they do so for the wrong reasons.
On opposite side of the barrier battle, the so-called "right wing" supports the wall. But, of course, they do so, for the wrong reasons.
The Torah nationalists -- you know, those Jews who are demonized for being right-wing extremists, even though they no long see things as being right or left -- do not want a wall running down the middle of their homeland. Most of them are focusing on other crucial issues, and so they are quite happy to let the anarchists and other assorted activists take one for the team,... so to speak.
The term Apartheid Wall is also quite ironic, in and of itself. Jews get upset at this term, mostly Jews on the so-called "right," as they are offended that we would be accused of violating anyone's human rights. They are quick to point out Jewish participation in the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa, not to mention those of us on college campuses in the 1980's demonstrating for "Divestment" from South Africa, and boycotting companies doing business there. Sound familiar? (Hint: #BDS)
In spite of these Jews getting it right (this one time), they forget that Jews are supposed to be a separate and distinct people. In an ideal, geulah (redemption) based world, only certain non-Jews will be allowed to reside in Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel). But, even these gerei toshav (resident aliens) will have limitations set upon them, including where they may live, and who they may marry, according to halakhah (Torah Law).
Hmm... Sounds like Apartheid to me.
I thought Religious Zionist meant being a part of the geulah
(redemption) process, and actively working toward the goal of making Torah a reality in This World, instead of waiting for Mashi'ah
to come and do all of the work for us. But the rhetoric of these "Religious Zionist" Jews, indoctrinated from a young age in the Israeli public, "religious" education system, seems much more like the very groups of Haredim
* they often like to bash. Sure, they encourage aliyah
(Jewish immigration to Israel). But, then that's it. (*Haredim are often referred to by the silly term "ultra-orthodox.")
- "We cannot ascend Har HaBayith (the Temple Mount)."
- "We cannot build Beth HaMiqdash (The Temple)."
- "We cannot bring the Qorban Pesah (the Passover offering)."
- "[We can annex land, but] 'Im lo torishu' of (Num. 33:50-56) does not apply today."
- "The mitzvah of 'lo tehonem' (Deut. 7:2) does not apply to Muslims or Christians." -even though the Ramba"m (Shu"T 148), the Tur (Hoshen Mishpat 249), the Beth Yosef, and Ba"Ch all say that it does.
Until when? Until Mashi'ah
comes? THAT is not even clear when you ask various Religious Zionist groups.
Well, I guess, so far, I haven't actually gone after the author of this piece himself. Rather, I have gone after the ridiculous logic used by the quasi-right-wing, including those of whom I like to refer as Religious Zionist Light, Mamlakhtim
(diehard State loyalists),...or worse. In fact, Aarenau quite correctly criticizes the separation barrier going through [east] Jerusalem, and even correctly criticizes the lack of logic in this. I will go far as to call it hypocrisy. Even though Aarenu himself does not use this word here.
I do not even take any issue with his use of the term "West Bank," like many so-called "right-wingers" would. It is is a fact that Yehuda
(Judea and Samaria), or more precisely the ancestral territories of Western Menashe
, are located on the West Bank of the Jordan River. Nor do I take issue with the probable connotation embedded in his application of the term. Since, after all, the "East Bank" belongs to us, too.
Of course, as one who keeps Torah and mitzvot
to best of his ability, I completely disagree with Aarenau's perspective.
Aarenu refers to "Israel proper," which I assume he means to be the State of Israel.
But, in all fairness to Aarenu, many so-called Religious Zionists attribute the same power to international law (ie. non-Jews telling Jews what to do), as Aarenu appears to do, and even go so far as to confuse the State of Israel with Eretz Yisrael
(the Land of Israel).
But, the borders of Eretz Yisrael
have already been determined by The Holy One, Blessed Be He. Several times in recent history already, it appears that He has allowed us to expand these borders, to the Jordan River (Deut. 2:9, 27:2, 32:47...)
, to the Egyptian River (Gen. 15:18)
, including Gaza (Gen. 26:1-6)
, and even to the Litani River (Josh. 18:24-39)
. Yet, time and time again, the State of Israel has refused to follow through.
If Aarenau is referring to what the majority of the non-Jewish world, including the UN (Useless Nothings), believes to be the borders, I cannot disagree with him. I simply do not believe we should allow the rest of the world, including Yishma'el
(The West, Christians, and progressives alike), and the Erev Rav (Ex. 12:38)
to distort, deny, or ignore HaShem's
Even to those who say, "Yes, but there's nothing we can do about it, except defend oursenves, and work within diplomatic means," I say, we have no excuse for not at least talking about potential strategies and solutions. And, we must not be deterred by the arrests of rabbis in Jerusalem, Hevron, and Yitzhar, and elsewhere, for doing just this through teaching Torah.
This "learned helplessness" is nothing but an artifact of our nebechy
(exilic) mentality, which we were all fooled into believing we had gotten over, as evidenced by the the War of Independence, the Six-Day War, and the Yom Kippur War. Well, we haven't.
Those fighting for the rights of Arabs, while the rights of Jews residing in the supposedly Jewish State of Israel fall by the waist side.
Plus, the fact that most of these Arabs have not resided within the Land of Israel for very long doesn't seem to raise anyone's eyebrow either. Just talk to the wealthy Arab from the eastern part of Jerusalem who brags about speaking Arabic like a Beiruti, and calls the Hevron
Arabs idiots. This should beg the question as to how the Beiruit's regional dialect got to Jerushalem. But, no one dares to ask it. Then, of course, there are the conflicts among the clans in Shchem
(Arabs call it Nablus
) and Jenin
, not to mention the conflicts between Bedouin clans.
However, I really have no interest in how long the Arabs have or not been within the [true] borders of Israel, including the Bedouin communities, some of which are praised for their loyalty to the State by none other than the so-called right-wing,
Sure, we Jews have our own internal conflicts. However, The Holy One, Blessed Be He, never promised the Land of Israel to the descendants of Yishma'el
(Arabs/Muslims). Their territory is to be much farther south. For that matter, neither did The Almighty promise the Land of Israel to the descendants of Esau/Edom/Rome
(The West, Christians and progressives alike).
He promised the Land to the Jewish People, and to us alone.
Unfortunately, the State of Israel decided long ago, right under our noses, what the final status agreement will be.
|Hizmah Checkpoint, entering the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev|
Even if it isn't called a border crossing, if it looks like a border crossing, if it sounds like a border crossing, feels like a border, and smells like a border crossing, then guess what!
It's a border crossing.
However, the final status agreement is not what you think. It is not just the giving up of some land for the sake of other land, with the approval of the United Nations [UN] and other international bodies.
So-called "right-wing" Jews were fooled into voting for Ariel Sharon for prime minister, although no one will ever admit it. And even when he announced his unilateral
expulsion of Jews, his supporters thought that this would grant him legitimacy to go back into Gaza, when the attacks started up again, as we all knew they would.
|(Click on the image to enlarge it.)|
But, the final status agreement is also not the recognition of a
State, so that any future attacks can be considered acts
of war, incurring armed responses now legitimized, without any doubt, in
the eyes of the international communities. Some Likudniks
actually believe this. But, they, too, are wrong.
No. The ultimate goal of the Erev Rav
, whether Aarenau himself recognizes it consciously, unconsciously, or at all, is the assimilation of Eretz Yisra'el
and Am Yisra'el
into a Western (ie. non-Jewish) culturally-dominated, global community.
So, not to worry, Michael Aarenau, if the Erev Rav
, which by the way comes in all shapes and sizes, gets its way (חו״ח), your separation barrier will come down. But, you won't have your secular democratic Israel, which I am guessing that's what you want. Correct me, if I'm wrong.
No. You won't have any Israel, nothing recognizable as such anyway.