"THE FINAL METHOD"
by Prof. Paul Eidelberg
In his "Epistle to Yemen," Maimonides tells us how the nations have tried to destroy Israel. He begins by saying "God has made us unique by His laws and precepts, and our pre-eminence is manifested in His rules and statutes, as Scripture says ¼, 'And what great nation is there, that has statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this Law [the Torah], which I set before you this say?" (Deut. 4:8).
Although history records various individual gentiles who have praised the Jews in superlative terms, far more typical are the calumnies the nations have heaped upon the Jewish people. Maimonides explains: Because of Israel's unique and divinely inspired way of life, "all the nations, instigated by envy and impiety, rose up against us..." In each era they employed a new method to destroy Israel and its Torah. Maimonides first mentions brute force, for example, Amalek, Nebuchadnezzar, and Hadrian. A second and more refined method was "argument." Thus the Greeks sought to demolish the Torah by means of philosophical controversy. After this, "there arose a sect which combined the two methods, conquest and controversy, into one, because it believed that this procedure would be more effective in wiping out every trace of the Jewish nation and [its faith]. It, therefore, resolved to lay claim to prophecy and to found a new faith, contrary to our Law, and to contend that it was equally God-given [but that it superceded the Torah]." None of these methods, says Maimonides, has succeeded in destroying Judaism or in thwarting the will of God. The Jews survived and remained loyal to their Torah.
Turning to modern times, a fourth method has been used to undermine the Torah, namely, "biblical criticism," which denies the Torah's divine origin and, therefore, the chosenness of the Jewish People. This method, which begins with Spinoza in the seventeenth century, was amplified by the nineteenth-century German school of bible critics. These critics tried to prove, by literary analysis, that the Torah is a human product of multiple authorship. Although this method has often been refuted, most recently by means of computer analysis of the text, it remains very much in vogue. Indeed, its skepticism has shaped the mentality of Israel's intellectual and political elites.
I now turn to a new method which is being employed to destroy Israel and its Torah, that of "peace." Some preliminary statements are in order.
Ever since the Six-Day War of June 1967, when Israel miraculously gained control of Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Sinai, and the Golan Heights, the nations have sought to roll Israel back to its pre-1967 borders. This is the true intention of UN Resolution 242, which declares the following principles: (a) Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories of recent conflict, and (b) Termination of all claims of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force."
Inasmuch as the Arab states have never recognized Resolution 242, it harbors a fundamental contradiction. For the borders which Israel deems "secure"-and which Israel alone is qualified to determine-will simply not be "recognized" by Israel's Arab neighbors. Nevertheless, Israel's government acquiesced in Resolution 242, which means it sanctioned a policy of "territory for peace." That Israeli governments agreed and still agree to Israel's territorial contraction is truly remarkable, given the obscene anti-Semitism and the enormous military expenditures of Israel's Arab neighbors, including Egypt. Most observers attribute Israel's adherence to the policy of "territory for peace" to American pressure. It may also be said that this policy has been utilized by the Labor Party to win the Arab vote on which that party's power ultimately depends. Be this as it may, we have touched only the surface of the "peace" method of destroying Israel and the Torah.
The UN policy of "territory for peace" means that Jews must forsake their heartland, Judea and Samaria, including eastern Jerusalem and its Temple Mount. The loss of the Temple Mount strikes at the heart of Judaism, of biblical prophecy. It places in question the Torah, its truth and its promise. It fosters doubt among Jews and undermines their national self-confidence. It degrades God's Chosen people, but therefore the God of Israel. Therein is the ultimate price of the "peace process." We must now enlarge on the fact that Jews are not only the victims but the villains of this peace process.
In his commentary on parashat Pinchas (Numbers 25:12), the illustrious Torah philosopher Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch's defines peace as a state of the most complete harmony, and not only between man and man, but between man and God. God's covenant of Peace or "Brit Shalom" with Pinchas represents God's promise that peace will ultimately reign over the whole world.
Hirsch emphasizes that "True peace of men with each other rests on the peace of all of them with God"-meaning the God of Israel He points out that he who dares to wage war with people who are against the Torah is actually fighting for the Brit Shalom on earth. Conversely, "he who, for the sake of so-called peace, quietly leaves the field to people who are at variance with God, his love of peace is at one with the enemies of the Brit Shalom on earth" (my italics).
Hirsch's commentary has shocking implications. What is shocking is not that the policy of exchanging land for peace has nothing to do with true peace. That should have been obvious to any intelligent and forthright student of Arab-Islamic culture. It is simply stupid or dishonest and cowardly for Israeli governments to pursue a policy of land for peace with Arab despots, no less so than it was for England and France to have pursued such a policy with Nazi Germany (at the expense of Czechoslovakia). What is shocking is that the dishonest and cowardly quest for peace in Israel applies not only to its secular parties but to its religious parties!
According to Hirsch's commentary, those who oppose the Torah-hence Israel's secular parties-do not seek true peace because true peace requires making peace with God. But Hirsch also indicates that he "who, for the sake of so-called peace, quietly leave the field to those who are at variance with God [including those very secularists], his love of peace is at one with the enemies of the Brit Shalom on earth"! Which means that the religious parties, which have acquiesced in the policy of land for peace, are no less blameworthy for Israel's degradation and distance from the Brit Shalom promised by God.
It must be emphasized that nothing has so degraded the Jews as the "peace process." This is precisely the intention of Arafat's terrorist war. Arafat is the Amalek of this generation. Ponder carefully Rabbi Matis Weiberg's commentary on parashat Bishlach, where he refers to Amalek's war against Israel: "Amalek's attack does not take the form of anti-God argumentation. In fact, it takes no intellectually overt form whatsoever-their entire focus is on perception, not reason. They were willing to suffer [great losses] in order to strike a blow at the perceived godliness and prestige of Yisrael..."
Weinberg then quotes from another commentary: "Yisrael left Egypt and God split the sea for them and destroyed the Egyptians; and everyone was in awe of them. Until Amalek attacked. They suffered terrible losses, [but] they deflated the image of Yisrael in the perception of the nations." Weinberg continues:
A terrorist organization may take enormous risks to carry out an operation whose only strategic value is damage to the government's aura of invincibility. The Amalekites do the same. They are the image breakers; they play to the media, utilize communication to manipulate perception. The name of their game is defamation in the literal sense-to defame, tearing down esteem and maligning fame.
In a marginal note Weinberg quotes Emil M. Fackenheim: "The whole purpose of the [Nazi] program was to reduce Israel to excrement. That program included the God of Israel." This, in effect, is the program of Arafat. We see the results of this program: the Temple Mount has been desecrated; suicide bombers reduce Jewish women, men, and children to body parts, and politics continues as usual, flying the banner of peace. This peace is burying the State of Israel.