Saturday, 30 January 2016

“We [the government of Israel] have agreed to give you whatever you want”

Jewish boy stabbed by the Shechem Gate, Old City of Jerusalem
  In the days of the Hasmoneans there were four kingdoms ruling Israel. The Jewish people were divided in their method of dealings. On the one hand there were the Hellenists [Jews who had discarded their Jewish faith] who in line with their system of thinking, continuously groveled after one or the other of these kingdoms, caving in to all of their demands. 

The second category: not only did they not run after, flatter or fawn any nation; rather these nations humbled themselves before them. As the Talmud recounts how the Queen of Sheba subjugated herself before Rabbi Judah the Prince because of his strong stand for the principles of his faith. 

Today we see the very opposite taking place. Israel runs after the Arabs and is prepared to give them everything. The main objective of the government is to receive some word of praise from the gentiles. Israel gets to the point of saying harsh words to the Arabs, but, behind closed doors tell them: “Please listen, for a specific reason we have no choice but to publicly raise our voice against you and state that we will under no circumstances agree to your demands. But please, know, we have already agreed to give in to whatever you want.” 

We once spoke at length that today’s situation parallels that of the Seven day war against Aram. Israel won a resounding victory, yet they begged Hadad King of Aram for peace [Kings 1.20]. So too today, it is now three years [the Rebbe was speaking in 1971] that the government is begging the Arabs every single day to please agree to take back conquered territories. 

I argued with a certain Israel diplomat: “Why are you pursuing negotiations with only one gentile [the Arabs]? If you were to negotiate with two different nations you would thereby benefit. When the gentile [Arab] sees that you have other choices and you aren’t bound to depend on him because you have another partner with whom to negotiate, he will agree to a price in the dealings”. 

He replied: “Now, that’s not nice, how can I mislead this gentile [Arab] or the other?” [This is what he actually said to me!]. I replied: “Wait, you are a diplomat, right? Can you please tell me of one single diplomat who has ever spent a day which his 24 hours were truthful words?” He remained unconvinced. 

I said: “I will bring you proof of a gentile nation who is doing just this. Egypt negotiates this way, but differently to Israel who have no self respect. They pursue negotiations with a sense of self dignity. Egypt pursues negotiations with two nations at the very same time when they have needed to do so. They send a mission to Washington, and thereafter to Moscow. Both of these parties know that Egypt is connected to another party”. 

After he heard this from me, he said: “I have to think about it”. 

I continued asking him: “When you run after the gentile [Arabs] wanting to give away territory, why give him only Hebron the place of the Cave of Machpela, perhaps give him Jerusalem with the Western Wall?”