Latest update: May 12th, 2013
Just a few weeks ago we celebrated the anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria in the Six-Day War of 1967.
With the help of the God of Israel we returned to the cradle of independent Jewish life in our homeland – to the ancient towns and cities: Jerusalem; Hebron; Bethlehem; Jericho; Beit El; and Shiloh.
We returned to the hills of Judea and Samaria – to the geographical heights which helped to defend Jewish life in the valleys.
We also returned to the spiritual heights of prophecy and Divine morals which permeated the national life of the Jewish nation in Israel. We understood then that the gates of our homeland were opened, calling upon us to renew Jewish life in these areas.
What a Divine privilege that our generation was enabled to implement and begin to fulfill our destiny.
Thank God that in the last 42 years we were witness to the beginning of the fulfillment of a dream. The barren hills of Judea and Samaria have seen the building of homes; the paving of roads; the establishment of institutions of Jewish learning and culture; the joy of young Jewish families bearing children. . . all this projecting the light of the process of the redemption of Israel.
“I will resettle the cities and rebuild the ruins and the desolate land shall be tilled. Whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by, They will say that the land that was desolate will become like a Garden of Eden. And the wasted cities have been fortified and inhabited” (Ezekiel 36).
We can see this with our own eyes and feel blessed to be part of this Divine Process.
Does President Obama really mean to interfere with this Divine Process? The God of Israel is recreating Jewish life by replanting our roots in the natural soil of our homeland. Does he really want to “freeze” the life of a redeemed people in its land? Does he fail to understand the immorality of such an attempt? Does he think it possible to go against the Living God of Israel and the eternal rights of the Jewish people?
In his address in Cairo he attempted to explain the connection between the establishment of Israel and the Holocaust, suggesting that the tragic suffering brought upon the Jews obligated the world to give them an independent state.
I would ask Mr. Obama the following:
Do you seek to lend legitimacy to the Arab denial of our roots in the Land of Israel? Do you accept the Arab view that Israel is a foreign intruder in the Arab world? How can you close your eyes to biblical and historical reality? Do you not know that the scriptures have detailed descriptions of hundreds of years of the Children of Israel living an independent life in the holy land with Jerusalem as their capital and the holy Temple and the Temple Mount serving as their spiritual center? No other nation in history ever held sovereignty here.
Our legal and historical rights were recognized by the international community, by the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and by the League of Nations in its proclamation in 1922 calling for the reconstitution of a Jewish homeland in the Land of Israel. All this was before the Holocaust.
True, we have a disagreement with the Arabs and some nations with regards to Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. Our claim to sovereignty is based on the previously mentioned historical, legal and biblical facts. Even if you support the claim of Arab rights to sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, how can you demand the freezing of Jewish life in these areas? How can you justify a double-standard morality that would have Arabs living under Israeli sovereignty with rights of citizenship and representation in the Knesset while denying Jews the most basic right to live in Judea and Samaria?
President Obama is the leader of a great country – the champion of human rights and democracy. He proudly carries the American tradition of equal rights for all peoples, as the founding fathers of the United States so eloquently expressed: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Is Mr. Obama hinting or suggesting that tens of thousands of Jewish families, men women and children, be denied these basic rights? By uprooting them from their homes in Judea and Samaria under any future political arrangement he would be denying them their most basic human rights. How can he suggest “freezing” Jewish life? Is this not a form of racism?
I cannot believe that such a position can even be considered by an American president, let alone accepted by the Congress or the people of the United States. It certainly is unacceptable to us. We – who have been living in Hebron for more than forty years and have brought up third- and fourth-generation offspring who have created blossoming Jewish communities throughout Judea and Samaria – refuse to be “frozen” and uprooted.
I’d like to close by asking American Jews how they can sit by quietly while their president is taking such an immoral and unjust position toward Israel. Why do we not hear your voices sounding loudly? Where are your protests against a clearly racist policy aimed only against the Jews of Israel and negating the basics of American traditional values?
We need you to participate with us in securing the State of Israel and the lives and basic rights of the Jewish people. By expressing and demonstrating a proud Jewish and human position you will certainly bring a blessing to the people of Israel and to yourselves, and restore the moral principles of the people of the United States.Rabbi Eliezer Waldman
About the Author: Rabbi Eliezer Waldman is rosh yeshivaof Yeshivat Nir Kiryat Arba.
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