Israel’s 69th year of independence as a modern state by Jews and for Jews causes us to reflect on the words from “Hatikvah”: “LeHiyot Am Chofshi b’Artzeinu,” “to be a free people in our land.” Though penned in 1878 by Naftali Herz Imber, these words ring truer today than ever. With blood and bravery, Israel became physically independent again as a sovereign nation in 1948, but the question is, are we Jews free in our homeland Israel today in 2017?
As defined, freedom means the absence of coercion or constraint and liberation from the power of another. The true fulfillment of Zionism besides fostering the unity of the Jewish people and centrality of Israel to it, is the strengthening of the State, the preservation of the identity of the Jewish people and its connection to the Land, and protection of the rights of Jews. Despite its burgeoning economy, its highly-developed sectors of military, tech, agriculture, education and arts, Israel is not free.
Israel is not free because in its midst festers a cancer whose national identity is solely predicated on killing Jews, namely the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza (WBG) under the PA and Hamas.
The Palestinian Authority is in political and monetary chaos. Abbas is corrupt, hated by his people, and Hamas. Not since the Madrid conference in 1992 has Israel seen an opportunity to permanently set its borders. Freedom for Israel means annexing Judea and Samaria, deposing Abbas, and creating the real “two-state solution,” where WB Arabs can be repatriated with their brethren in Jordan, two-thirds of historic Palestine. The Oslo Accords side stepped the “Jordan is Palestine” option, but since the PA never signed the Oslo Accords and the PLO never removed clauses in its covenant about Israel’s destruction, Israel has no obligation to it.
Oslo failed because the WBG Arabs simply do not want to stop killing Jews and opposing Israel’s existence. Oslo was intended to never “work,” but to destroy Israel. Not billions of dollars from the U.N., EU, U.S. or any other entity can coerce the Palestinians to make peace since it will end “Palestinianism,” as noted by Israeli historian Moshe Dann.
For true independence, Israel must free itself from Oslo, free itself from EU and U.N. pressure, from “Jewish” anti-Israel NGOs, from the “exile guilt” of JStreet and NIF, from UNESCO and UNRWA. Israel must act freely to exercise control over the land it rightfully liberated per international law and the Torah.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked recently said it is time to apply Israeli law to the liberated lands of Judea and Samaria. Worried that these Arabs will refuse/protest/object? A poll published three weeks ago by the Jewish People Policy Institute noted that a whopping 74 percent of Israeli Arabs “feel comfortable” or “very comfortable” living in Israel. Sixty-nine years after being vanquished in war, these Arabs have become integrated as a fully functional minority via educational and employment opportunities. They see the fruits of Israeli living. Their citizenship is Israeli and they accept Zionism. If they hated it, they would move. They don’t.
After annexing Judea and Samaria, the same law will apply to Arabs there. Should they reject living in peace with Jews, they are free to leave. Repatriation to surrounding Muslim countries, especially Jordan, can help them fulfill their political aspirations for Palestine. Historically, large populations can move. The EU wishes to integrate millions of Muslim refugees. India and Pakistan swapped millions of people. American Indians migrated thousands of miles from Siberia across the Bering Bridge to North America. It would be a far lesser task to integrate 1 million Arabs 10 miles to the east of the Jordan River, with the same language and customs. Are the WB Arabs any less capable of migration to Jordan just as millions of Jews moved from Europe and the Middle East into Israel over the past 150 years?
One million Arabs are already citizens and integrated slowly but willingly since 1949. So too, now for the Arabs of 1967. Accept Jewish sovereignty or move. “Ein brera,” as per Golda Meir. Wars have winners and losers, and Jews decided to stop losing in 1948. Israel must be proud of all its victories, and it must stop refusing to win with Oslo. Without Hebron, Shechem, Bethlehem and Jerusalem, there no is Jewish people.
This past week’s Torah portion of Acharei speaks of the holiness of the Land of Israel, where certain violations lead to the Land disgorging its inhabitants. Hashem warns against the immorality of Molech and its contemptible practice of sacrificing its children into bonfires, which led to the Divine expulsion of the Canaanites from the Land. Israel must follow through on the Divine call to disgorge the “Palestinians” from our Holy Land for their emulation of Molech by raising their children to be consumed by the fire of suicide martyrdom.
Israel’s current trouble with the PA/Hamas can thus be viewed as self-inflicted by trying to settle with an immoral people instead of disgorging them from the Land. Then Israel can be free.
Matthew E. Karlovsky, M.D. is the Arizona Chapter Chairman of Americans For a Safe Israel.