By Gary M. Cooperberg

The major problem which seems to have stymied the right-wing in this country, is the fact that, after they strove so hard to get Netanyahu elected Prime Minister, his government has, in fact, continued to implement virtually the same policies which were designed by the left-wing government we sought to throw out! The nagging questions are: "If we protest against Netanyahu, who will replace him? And if we don't protest against his giving away our homeland, what will stop him?" It really seems like a no win situation.

This being the case, there are many who throw up their hands and say, it can only get worse so we might as well stick with what we have. But the problem with that is that we become willing accomplices in our own self-destruction. An interesting example of the confusion this situation presents was shown last week when Transportation Minister, Shaul Yahalom came to visit the Jewish Community in Hebron.

While clearly expressing his support for the community, he found it necessary to explain why he will vote with the government even should it implement another retreat from our homeland. The policy of the National Religious Party has always been to take a pragmatic approach when faced with ideological dilemmas. Consistent with this policy, Yahalom explained that another retreat is inevitable. This being the case, it is better that he remain in the government in order to lessen the damage such a retreat will cause.

What the minister apparently fails to realize is that, by agreeing to any retreat from Jewish Land, he will have set a precedent which places the veritable symbol of religious nationalism as advocating rejection of the Zionist process. Such an expression would effectively nullify the fundamental ideology of his party. In such a case who needs the NRP?

An absurd counterpoint to this alleged "policy" came in reaction to the police raid on Arutz Sheva. Rather than be consistent with their policy to accept threats to Jewish ideology in the belief that their presence in the government can mitigate such threats, party leader, Yitzchak Levy actually threatened to bring down the government should the station be shut down!

Now I love Arutz Sheva too, but what makes it more holy than the Land of Israel? Why is the NRP leadership prepared to sacrifice its position in the government for a radio station, while it refuses to make the same sacrifice rather than surrender Jewish Land to Arafat? Clearly this Oslo fiasco has poisoned the minds of even those politicians who are labeled right-wing, nationalistic or religious.

It is noteworthy that two former Chief Rabbis, Avraham Shapira and Mordechai Eliyahu, rabbinical leaders of the religious and national movements, have unequivocally stated that should the government agree to surrender any more Jewish land that we should actively strive to bring down the government. In spite of this halachic ruling, the leaders of the National Religious Party have refused to accept it!

The problem we face is really one of Judaism versus pragmatism. Pragmatically speaking, Netanyahu, in theory, is a proponent of the Zionist concept of Jewish return to all of our homeland. For strictly "pragmatic" reasons, he has decided that ideals need to be compromised in order to reach a workable solution to our problems.

Judaism is made up of principles which are not subject to compromise, as they are Commands of G-d and not within our power to annul or change. One historical example which may bear some similarity to our predicament is to be found in the Book of Esther. Esther found herself in the incredible position of being Queen of Persia. When her uncle, Mordechai learned of the plot to destroy the entire Jewish People, it was clear to him that Esther had to intervene. When he first suggested to her that she approach the king, her immediate reaction was a pragmatic one.

If she were to approach the king without an invitation, she might well be executed on the spot, in which case she certainly would be of no help to the Jews. Clearly, Esther was a saint and not one given to political whims. She was just thinking logically. But what was Mordechai's response? Did accept her logical reasoning? He loved his niece dearly, but his responsibility to the Jewish People came above even his own niece. He bitterly chastised her, telling her that it may well be that this difficult moment was the very reason why she had attained such a position as Queen of Persia. And, more than that, if she were to refuse to stand up for her people in this terrible time of challenge, then G-d would send a savior to the Jewish People from another place, and she and her father's house would be destroyed.

What kind of way is that to speak to a nice Jewish girl who really means well? What other source? Was there another Jew in a better position to save the Jews than was Esther? How could Mordechai risk alienating the only person in the world who could intervene with the King? Would it not, indeed, have been wiser to just wait for the right moment when Esther might be in a better position to plea for her people rather than just burst in on the King?

The answer is simple. In Judaism there is no room to be pragmatic when the Jewish People is being threatened. Every Jew must be prepared to make any and every sacrifice to save his people and his homeland. Mordechai was speaking as a Jew who believed in G-d. He knew that G-d would never desert His people. He was certainly not aware of any other source of salvation other than prayer. But he knew that when Jews are prepared to sacrifice for their beliefs, that is when G-d performs miracles for his people.

Today the Jewish nation is facing the greatest threat to its very existence since the War of Independence in 1948. And the threat we face today, despite our mighty army and our friendship with the United States, is even greater than that which we faced back then. The reason is simple. Although in 1948 we were greatly outnumbered and had few friends, and no army to speak of, we had two things which we lack today. We had Jewish unity and we all understood that we had no choice but to fight for our existence. Today we find Jew opposing Jew on issues as basic as our right to a Jewish homeland, and, even worse, the majority of Jews, from all camps, have a nagging doubt as to whether or not we really need to fight for our existence.

This is why we find an alleged "right-wing" government prepared to risk our very existence by trusting our safety to the likes of an Arafat. There is only one way for a Jew to deal with threats. We must never back down to them. We must stand up to every challenge with pride, not cowardice. Netanyahu did not have to give away Hebron. He did not have to shake hands with a terrorist murderer. And he did not and does not have to accept a terrorist presence in our homeland. Rather than planning on how much more of our land we can give away, he should be planning on how to evict our enemies and repossess that which has always been ours.

I do not know who is waiting in the wings to lead the Jewish people as a proud nation. I certainly do not want to see a leftist government come to power. But what we have now is a sheep in wolf's clothing. A leadership which came to power because the people of Israel were fed up with Oslo has deceived its constituents by continuing on the same mad path to self-destruction.

It may well be that we have no better choice that we can see. But this cannot obligate us to participate in our own self-destruction! It matters not what clothing the sheep is wearing, it is still a sheep and it is still leading us to slaughter. If we support this path, no matter who is leading us, then we must share in the guilt for bringing the horrors which await us upon our own heads. We must trust in the Living G-d of Israel to send us a genuine Jewish leader. Until then, it is our obligation to oppose anyone who advocates surrendering to Arafat, no matter how good his intentions.

 HOME  Maccabean  comments