Israel is for Jews

Found this on the forum: an email asking a prominent Jewish rabbi why Israel is trying to take Gaza and the West Bank from the Palestinians.

I want to know why the Israelis want to take over gaza and the west bank?

----------------- Original Message -----------------

From: Mercedes
Date: Jul 12, 2007 10:23 AM

I want to know why the Israelis want to take over gaza and the west bank?
I also want to know, how long where the jews living in palestine for? and who kicked them out? and how come when they came back they are kicking people out off land?
What is the purpose of the apartheid wall?
What does the torah have to say about this? any facts on torah talking about the holy land and who it belongs to?

i have more questions but thats all i can ask for now

thank you

----------------- Reply -----------------


Your questions are good ones, I will try to answer them them well. If you feel that something is not being covered feel free to ask again.

The people of Israel entered the land of Cannan in the 13 century before the common era. According to the Bible the land was promised numerously by HaShem (God) to the sons of Avraham, Itzchak and Yaakov, who all lived in the Land until Yaakov (Jacob) and all of this children went to Egypt for food during time of severe famine. Consequently they became slaves and were stuck in Egypt for over 400 years.

Getting back to the 13 century BCE, under the leadership of Yehusha Bin Nun, the people of Israel crossed the Jordan river and entered the Land. Note that in Hebrew we call our country "haAretz" which means "The Land". With an emphasis on "The" because for us it is the only land. The Jewish people are commanded to observe 613 commandments in the Torah. Many of them (more than half) can only be carried out in the Land of Israel. That being so a Jew living outside of "the Land" can not possibly observe our faith in its fullness. Or in other words living in Israel under our own government is part of our religion. "The whole of the commandments which I command you this day to observe to do is in order that you may live, propagate, come to and inherit the land which the Lord has sworn to your ancestors." (Deut 8:1)

Seven nations of Cannan dwelt on the land and were conquered by Yehoshua (Joshua) and his army - the first State of Israel was born. "He declared to his people the strength of his works, in order that he might give them the land of the nations" (Psalms 111:6).

From that our people lived in an independent Jewish state for over a thousand years. Our King Solomon built the holy Temple in Jerusalem that was the center of our culture. The first Temple stood on the Temple Mount in our capital city Jerusalem for nearly 500 years until it was over run by the Babylonians who slaughtered many and exiled the survivors. We were punished for not following in the words of the Torah: "You shall not defile yourselves ... for the nations, whom I am sending away from before you, have defiled themselves with all these things. The land became defiled, and I visited its sin upon it, and the land vomited out its inhabitants." (Leviticus 18:24-25).

Our people were marched away in chains to Babylon and there they "sat on the rivers of Babylon and cried while they remembered Jerusalem "Psalm 137". They did not forget and did not give up hope. The first Zionists 2500 years ago rose up and returned to our land. They were poor and the land was burnt and over-run and new comers had settled in part of the land. The returners did the best the could and rebuilt the Temple on the Temple Mount. The 2nd Temple stood for over 400 years until it was destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 CE. Thought history there we alway a Jewish presents in the land, at times the Jewish population was small minority and the general population was not that big ether.

Most of the survivors were again exiled. From that time on the Jewish people wondered the four corners of the earth never forgetting our homeland, never giving up hope to return and re-establish our independent country on our land. From that time Jewish people where ever that might be prayed three times a day to haShem to return us to our land. Over those many years the Jewish people were not able to re-gather, but that started to change about hundred years ago and the historical miracle of the inter-gathering of the Jewish people began. After nearly 2000 years of exile, spread out all over the world the Jewish people began to return to our land. Jews from Yemin, from India, America, Morocco Europe and Australia gathered together in the Land of Israel and our independent Jewish State was reborn.

Over the years of our absence, many armies and peoples past though our land. The control past hands from Romans to Greeks, from Persians to Egyptians, from Assyrians to Arabs, from British and French Crusaders to Mongolians and Kurds, from to Turks to British and then back to us. With each of the passing nation and armies the make of of the population changed many died, some left others were chased out and some stayed. Demographics changed again and again. But one thing is for sure. Since our last exile in the year 70 CE until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 there was no independent state on this land. There was no king or government other than representatives of foreign rulers? There never was a Palestinian state or king or government or even people for that mater. The "Palestinian" idea only came to being less then hundred years ago as a local response to Zionism the return of the Jews - the rightful owners of the land.

Gaza and the "West Bank" of the Jordan river are part of our historical homeland and were liberated by the Jewish army the IDF as a result of the neighboring Arab countries assaulting the Jewish State of the pre-1967 borders. Had Egypt, Syria and Jordan not attacked Israel in June of 1967, the West Bank would still be occupied by The Hashamite Kingdom of Jordan, Gaza would still be controlled by Egypt and The Golan would be in Syrian hand. But they all thought otherwise, they were sure that the power was in their hands to force the Jews into the sea and being an end to the Zionist dream. Baruch haShem they were wrong. They went to war and lost. And you know what when you go to war and loss - you lose.

If you ask me the Israelis were very nice about it. If the Arabs were to win how many Jews do you think would be living in refugee camps in Palestine? For that matter how many Jews were allowed to stay and live in the Palestine authority? Do you know Jews are not even allowed to pass through the PA. Now tell me about apartheid.

If you ask me the wall that the Israeli government constructed that you call "the apartheid wall" is an incredible mistake. The reason that they put it up is because terrorists had been coming in from the West Bank in to Israeli cities and blowing up buses and shopping centers. The truth must be told that since the construction of the wall and the targeted assassination of a number of terrorist the bombing attacks in Israeli cities have gone down. But I don't believe that fences in the way to deal with terrorists. They should be smashed out of existence. Good fences make good neighbors when there is a basic good to start with. People who teach their children to blow themselves up in other peoples buses have no good in them and must be dealt with with military force.

The land of Israel is mentioned hundreds of times in the Torah. And is repeatedly promised to the Jewish people "…from the river of Egypt until the great river, the River Euphrates" (Gen. 15:18).

"The Lord your G-d is bringing you to a good land, a land of streams of water, wells and deep reservoirs which come forth from valleys and mountains. It is a land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and date honey. It is a land in which you will eat bread without suffering, which lacks for nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose mountains you can mine forth copper. And so you shall eat, be satisfied, and praise the Lord your G-d for the good land which He has given to you" (Deut 8: 7 '10)


  1. I am a little surprised that you would post such a set of statements. Yes, I believe that Isreal belongs to the Jews, who am I to disagree with God. However I find no support in the Torah or Bible for comments like those found in this Rabi's response. Is military action ever the only way? It is sometimes the best alternative that we can come up with, but what did Jesus say? Something about the other cheek? I don't like it either, but I am not promoting ideas that run contrary to what my Lord has said.

    Pat O

  2. Patrick, what part of the Rabbi's statement do you disagree with?

    No, war isn't always, but it is sometimes the answer. That said, I don't see where in his post where he said war in the only solution.

    Remember, God used many people throughout history: Joshua, Moses, Abraham, David, Nehemiah, and many others to fight, in war, for the land God promised to Abraham, to Isaac, and finally to Jacob, whose sons became the 12 tribes of Israel.

  3. I'd also like to say, Patrick, that Messiah's "turn the other cheek" thing must be applied in context: on a personal level, we must forgive and not avenge.

    At the same time, it is not a commandment to roll over and let evil have it's way. If that were the case, then Jesus would not have approved of the war against Nazi Germany 70 years ago. How a just God could not approve of the stopping of the slaughter of 6 million Jews is beyond me -- I don't think Jesus' "turn the other cheek" is meant for the macro, nation scale. It's meant for the micro, personal scale.