The whole package of problems with which we are struggling are all bound together in one source: concern of (what) the nations (will say). The problems of Jewish spiritual leadership; also of the Orthodox; both in the Golah and in Eretz Israel; the burning problems of American Jewry with new events unraveling; the problems of the territories in Eretz Israel – all of these flow from a lack of a clear and fortified Jewish independent stand vis a vis the Gentile.
|Millions of endangered Jewish lives:|
90% of territories returned
Regarding the problems of the territories, the view of the Rebbe is clear. We must strengthen the territories and annex them to the State of Israel regardless of all of the problems which such an annexation will bring with it.However, the reasoning of the Rebbe regarding such a stand, is far different from the reasoning of the people who belong to ‘the movement for the Greater Land of Israel’. As far as the Rebbe is concerned, their motives are neither mystical nor visionary, but quite straightforward: his is the way of the world; the conqueror conquers and takes control and is not concerned with what others say. (The Rebbe’s view is as follows) No one would have considered the return of the territories had Israeli statesmen not spoken of it first. True, one and a half million Arabs within the boundaries of the state are likely to be a problem. However the Rebbe asks: ‘What would be ‘the best alternative’ to holding on to the territories? An Arab or Jordanian State, independent or federal, in which there would be one and a half million harmful Arabs? Would it be better to have one and a half million Arabs in their own country a firing shot away from the cities and villages of the Jewish State, rather than to have one million Arabs subject to the scrutiny of the State within her borders, with all the problems which this would create?
According to the view of the Rebbe, we have here (in our retreat and assistance in establishing a Palestinian state,) a severe threat to Jewish lives. The Halachic ruling (that to do so, is absolutely forbidden) is clear. Had the State of Israel made this (the annexation) a fact on the ground both in Jerusalem and the territories immediately after the conquest, no one would have protested. Now that we have shown our weakness the Arabs and our enemies raise their voice of protest over every stone that is moved in Jerusalem. All of this has befallen us because we want to find favor in the eyes of others.
Interview of Mr. Pinchas Peli with the Rebbe