Many political commentators, both in Israel and throughout
the world, have reached the conclusion that paradoxically
the bloody riots of October and November 2000 were prompted
by the Prime Minister's decision to bring the peace
negotiations to a dramatic conclusion, in which once and for
all the Middle East conflict would come to an end. This
analysis, which was confirmed by various Arab sources and
key Palestinians, claims that our partner for the peace
negotiations is not at all interested in a comprehensive
settlement and in real peace. A long line of unsolvable
problems prevents such a total solution of which the primary
obstacles are the question of Yerushalayim and the Arab
"right of return."
Ehud Barak, of course, will claim that only good intentions
guided him. The Prime Minister only wanted to accelerate the
process because he was self-deluded into thinking that only
he could end successfully the peace process within a few
weeks, although doing so appeared to any other non-biased
party taking part in the peace process as needing to take
much time and being incredibly complicated. His swollen
pride, a pride that damages Barak himself but unfortunately
drags in its tide everyone living in Eretz Yisroel, induced
him to think like this.
When Barak arrived at Camp David he was sure he could prove
to everyone that overnight he would solve all the area's
problems and reach a comprehensive and agreed upon solution.
What really happened is that all his attempts to force the
issue frightened Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian Authority's
chairman, and additional Arab leaders. These leaders
maintained that a "comprehensive solution" is impossible and
no way out exists for many problems at the negotiation
table, and they wanted desperately to avoid any decision.
What remained for them to do was to order the flare up in
the settlement areas.
Barak the revolutionary, the conceited politician who
pretends to fancy there being a new socio-political reality
in every topic, quickly and impetuously hurried to make
boasting proclamations lacking any real backing. He imagined
he could cast a miraculous spell that would terminate the
Middle East quarrel in the twinkling of an eye but instead
he caused near destruction. "The king by justice establishes
the land, but an arrogant man tears it down" (Mishlei
29:4, see Rashi).
As mentioned, a consensus between Israeli and
international commentators possessing diverse ideologies
exists in analyzing our present political predicament and
this view has been certified by renowned Arab pundits. As
far as we are concerned, what has happened can teach us
about the general picture too.
We will neither discuss political questions nor directly
relate to current events and various developments. We will
only delve into the basic question of what should be the
relationship of Jews and other nations while looking at it
through the Torah outlook as we infer from Chazal. Our Torah
can never be altered. The Torah's principle approach fits
every time, even for changing realities and times of radical
upheavals and shocks. Only ideologies not based on the Torah
need to reorganize and occasionally readjust to new
developments. The eternal approach of our Torah is
different: it is relevant and fitting for each time.
It is general knowledge that "historical events" such as the
summit at Camp David interest us immensely, and not only
because of the specific topics on the agenda. If we look at
political processes as being another effort to prevent
bloodshed in this area--something of primary importance for
every Jew who values the sanctity of life -- some think
peace conferences are much more important than the concrete
questions discussed there. They see in these conferences a
catalyst that could cause -- in this stage or another -- a
"sweeping solution" for the hardships of the Jewish
Every such peace conference awakens the hope that at long
last the Jewish Nation will reach peace and tranquility.
This is not only because of the improved feeling of security
in the Middle East but mainly in the merit of Israel's
joining "the family of nations" that will eventually lead
the Jewish Nation to the hoped for "normality" after two
thousand years of exile.
This is not only a purely tactical dispute about the correct
way to tackle difficult political occurrences. It is a much
more fundamental question, one that expresses the scathing
historical arguments between the Torah observant and the
The Zionist Movement not only wanted to control our people's
lives and be a sort of administrative "communal committee"
but pretended to bring the "redemption" for the Jewish
Nation and suggested an "overall solution" for the suffering
of the golus in which we were emerged. These ornate
slogans voiced by the Zionist heads in Europe enticed the
suffering masses to join the new movement that promised an
"end" to their daily hardship and a "return to normality"
for the Jewish Nation.
Because of their aims there could not and can never be any
way to compromise with Zionism. Besides the fact that
Zionist's motto is uprooting Torah and mitzvos, they also
want to rebel against the decree of golus and wage a
"war" just like those of the Babylonian tower once did
against Hashem's conducting of the world.
This fundamental approach is what is behind a policy of
national pride and stubbornly and arrogantly opposing other
nations and world powers. The Zionist heads did not study
parshas Vayishlach before they made international
decisions. What interested them were the books of non-Jewish
leaders and revolutionaries who demanded independence for
their people and fought to realize their nationalist
aspirations. The secular leadership compared the Jewish
Nation to other nations and thought what is good for them is
good for us too. This was their fundamental mistake that
cast tragedy on our nation and occasionally put it in
That same heretic outlook also prompted the formation of
Leftist policy. Their policy that seems to be the opposite
of the militant approach of the Rightists, actually is
nourished by the same roots and sources. Both pretend to
offer us a "total solution" through man's power and to bring
nearer the Redemption from our hardship with their own
hands. The Leftists, however, made a 180-degree change and
switched the Zionist hope of "redemption through power" to
the delusion of a "political redemption" through inclusive
and far-reaching peace arrangements, which will once and for
all bring an end to all the regional problems and create a
"new Middle East."
On the other hand, Torah Jewry always walked in the way of
the Torah which dictates that until our future Redemption
the Jewish Nation will not have any cures for its physical
problems, the yoke of other nations will not be removed, and
anything we do no matter how cunning will not help us at
all. Jews who follow the Torah always knew that when dealing
with other peoples we must be extremely careful and only
carry out temporary efforts to influence them. We are not
looking for an overall solution but rather an improvised
local treatment for problems. No way in the world can
forever put into order the Jewish Nation's situation in a
quick once and for all method.
A Jew who believes in Torah does not trust the power of
force or man's wisdom that will help him when faced with
those who hate the Jewish Nation. He knows that it has been
decreed upon us to hear the threats of the nations and face
their hostility, as a sheep among seventy wolves. We can
only rely on our Father in Heaven and strengthen ourselves
in Torah and virtuous deeds and wait for Hashem's salvation
that will come at the future Redemption.
End of Part I