Thursday, July 31, 2008

Maasei—Jewish Geography

The passages regarding the imperative to settle the Eretz Yisrael and the consequences of allowing an alien population to settle there with Jews (Bamidbar 33:50-56) is a favorite of Kahanists and other “not-one-inch”-ers. They’ve attempted to apply the status of shiva amemim/Amalek to the Arab/Muslim inhabitants currently between the Jordan and the Meditteranean.

I one heard a shiur from Rav Moshe Sosevky, one of the founders of Yeshivas Ohr Yerushalayim, that there is a qualitative difference between what he called “galus Yishmael” and other galuyos: the other galuyos were contingent directly upon bnei Yisrael’s behaviors. The contingencies regarding galus Yishmael, who has zechuyos of his own deriving from his being a ben Avraham Avinu, aren’t as clear cut.

In other words, there may be more hashkafically salient positions than the most ostensibly right-wing one.

Lest anyone think I am advocating for a Palestinian or “bi-national” state, I will spell out a few of my political positions in this area, as briefly as possible.

The Palestinians: have no legitimate status as an ethnicity, geographic entity, or political entity. The idea of a “contiguous” Palestinian state in both “territories” exists only to undermine the stability of the State of Israel.

The Disengagement form Gaza: was a good idea that has been bungled. One might say that having 10,000 civilians to defend there might have endangered the rest of Am Yisrael, not unlike Moshe’s original concern with Reuven, Gad and Menashe.

The “Peace Process”: the only people who really want a Palestinian state in any form are the far-left “post-Zionist” Jews who have always wanted a secular state. Yoram Hazony and Hillel Halkin, among others, have written extensively about the (secular) belief (which mirrors the Satmar/Neturei Karta position) that the Jews cannot really fulfill their true mission unless they remain stateless. As long as the Beilinese don’t really run the country (or, at least, get control of the Mossad), we’ll never leave Judea and Samaria, and there will never be a Palestinian state.

What does this have to do with the Parsha?

Take a look at what’s in it: setting the federal borders, the arei levi’im, the arei miklat, even the institution of intra-tribal marriage as a result of the agitiation of benos Tzelaphchad. Heavy politics; this before any battle of kibush ha’aretz is fought.

The Torah knew nothing in Eretz Yisrael would ever be cut and dry.

1 comment:

Moshe said...

How was the disengagement bungled? We very successfully disengaged. That the Palestinians would start smuggling weapons and firing rockets on Israel was (or should have been) obvious. The militirization of Gaza is much more of a threat to Israel than maintaining the occupation of Gaza.

Besides the fact that disengagement was a bad idea that drastically worsened the security situation, just the idea that focibly removing Jews from disputed territory is OK, but forcibly removing Palestinians from disputed territory is not, is fundamentally wrong. I would even say antisemeitic except that so many Jews support it.