By Boris Shusteff

The deafening silence in Israel in response to Ehud Barak's decision to continue the withdrawal from the lands of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha) according to the Wye Agreement timetable is a strong indication of a pending Israeli demise. The indifference and fatalism of the Israelis has become so widespread that it is almost impossible to draw a distinction between the behavior of the vast majority of the Jews of a Ghetto herded toward their death in the ovens of Auschwitz and the behavior of the Israeli Jews herded toward the "peace of the braves."

It appears that the Jewish state has become so demoralized and submissive that it is simply incapable of adequately comprehending the situation. Using all kinds of twisted logic, the Israeli leaders try to explain why it is necessary for the Jewish state to get rid of its heartland - the lands of Yesha. It seems that everybody is in a hurry to deliver the soul of the Jewish state to its enemies. It is assumed by default that as soon as the land of Yesha is given to the Palestinian Arabs and the Golan is given to the Syrian Arabs the Arab world will embrace the Jewish state and peace will descend on the Middle East. Rabbi Berel Wein wrote on August 8 in the Jerusalem Post article "Recasting History" that "there is a tendency among many Jews to beatify their former foes, give them the benefit of the doubt and explain away their faults." This tendency plagues us throughout all of our history. Lacking autonomy for almost two thousand years, we are especially sensitive to others' struggles to achieve it. It does not matter that they want to do it at our expense. It does not matter that we have to give up our land for them. The magic words "autonomy" and "peace" are the keys that open the doors to the treasury called Eretz Yisrael. Our obsession with "autonomy" was already noted by Zeev Zhabotinsky in 1924 when he wrote that:

"The Jewish publicists and politicians, even from the national camp, considered it to be their duty to support the autonomous aspirations of their enemies. Apparently autonomy is a sacred thing. We in general consider it to be our duty, as soon as we hear "The Marseillaise" to freeze at attention and yell hooray-- and it does not matter if Haman, himself, plays this melody while Jewish bones are cracking in his barrel."

The desires of the leaders of the Israeli "peace" groups to establish another autonomous Palestinian state while forsaking the lands of Yesha amply prove Zhabotinski's observation. The "peaceniks" are even ready to question the value of Jerusalem to the Jewish people. The advertisement that the Gush Shalom group ran on August 6 in The Jerusalem Post and Ha'aretz stated:

"Trying to maintain exclusive Israeli rule over Jerusalem is a provocation to the whole world. Peace is real if the great majority on both sides accepts it whole-heartily as a fair compromise. The logic of the brain is not enough, the logic of the heart is needed too. Not only the political attitudes of the Palestinian people must be taken into account, but also their feelings, anxieties and hopes."

The deep self-hatred of the Gush Shalom leaders which oozes from every line of the ad is obvious. Even more despicable is that while caring about the "feelings, anxieties and hopes" of the Palestinian people, the feelings, anxieties and hopes of the Jewish people are completely discarded. However, there is one line in the Gush Shalom ad that needs to become a front page headline in all the Israeli newspapers. THE LOGIC OF BRAIN IS NOT ENOUGH, THE LOGIC OF THE HEART IS NEEDED TOO. This is the answer to all Israeli troubles. The logic of the heart is needed too. Before giving up the Jewish land we should ask the Jewish heart whether it can accept this sacrifice.

We shall ask the Jewish heart and it will remind us of hundreds of generations of Jews who were unable to tie their destiny to the land of their forefathers. It will tell us of the yearnings of millions of Jews who dreamt of the mountains of Judea, the valleys of Galilee and the hills of Samaria. It will remind us that in spite of bans and prohibitions, in spite of the most improbable and dreadful circumstances, there was never a period throughout the centuries of exile without Jewish emigration to Eretz Yisrael.

We shall ask the Jewish heart and it will tell us the unsurpassable story of the Jewish clinging to the Land. It will tell us of hundreds of thousands of Jews that drained the swamps, irrigated the stony soil and reclaimed the marshes. We shall ask the Jewish heart and it will burst in unbearable pain and will drown us in the tragedy of millions of Jews who perished in the Holocaust because the Jewish state was not yet reborn. We shall ask the Jewish heart and we shall hear again the heartbeat of the 20,000 Israeli sons and daughters who gave their lives defending the Land in the unending war for survival of the Jewish state.

And if we ask the Jewish heart it will give us an unequivocal answer. The thunderous and unquestionable NO is the only response to the attempts to surrender more Land. The logic of the Jewish heart demands that the millennia old feelings, anxieties and hopes of the Jews must be taken into account. The logic of the Jewish heart demands that the future of the Jewish people must be taken into account.

The Land of Yesha - the Jewish Land - was promised to the Jewish people by God. The Jews must cling to it and must settle it for the sake of their children and their children's children. The surrender of even a single inch of the Land is tantamount to tearing apart the Jewish heart. A Jew without a Jewish heart is not a Jew. Israel without Yesha is not a Jewish state. A people that betrays its God and its Land can end up only in the dustbin of history. [08/10/99]


Boris Shusteff is an engineer in upstate New York. He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.

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