...In the last 48 years, no Israeli government has imposed full sovereignty over the parts of the homeland that we have conquered. I am not afraid of puritanical language. We reconquered the land that was originally ours, the land that had waited for us for years. We did not take this land away from any foreign entity that had sovereignty over it, and therefore our claim to it is entirely justified -- historically, legally, internationally and religiously. But the fact is that for decades Israel has avoided imposing full sovereignty over the entire scope of the land.
31 July '15..
Two buildings in the settlement of Beit El that were demolished under order of the High Court of Justice this week have brought a small group of Jewish pioneers to the point of frustration, prompting them to insult IDF soldiers and harshly criticize the legal system and the government. Before we go any further, I must say that the remarks made by MK Moti Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi) on Wednesday (saying the High Court should be bulldozed) were not legitimate criticism, but rather an embarrassment to his party and to the pioneering settlement enterprise that he purports to represent. Having said that, I will say this: Dear brothers and sisters, the current government is as right-wing as a government in Israel will get. It is legitimate to criticize, even harshly, and it is okay to protest, but anyone who is incapable of playing by the rules of democracy needs to step out of the game and let others carry the settlement enterprise on their shoulders.
It was only 10 years ago that entire communities were destroyed by order of the Israeli government. Has our spirit been broken? Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook used to say that during times like these, nerves of steel are in order. Do not fall into the trap of impatience and frustration and avoid throwing away all the good that we already have. Look for what we have rather than yielding to the fatalist tendency to see only what is absent. The demolition of two buildings is no reason for all this drama. Where is the common sense? This is a classic recipe for "cry wolf" syndrome: When something truly devastating happens, the general public will not be receptive, having had its fill of empty, wasted drama.
The Jewish people are returning home. I say "returning" because this is a years-long process -- hundreds of years in the making and with hundreds of years left to go. The people who look at the diplomatic, social and political picture as a string of specific failures or successes are looking at reality through minimizing, petty eyes, and obviously no government could possibly live up to their expectations.
It is fascinating to see the mirror image of last week's Peace Now conference in some of the reactions to the events in Beit El. In both cases the "rule of radicalization" was in play -- with individuals turning to the radical end of the spectrum when things don't go their way in a kind of puritanical way, as if to say "at least my conscience is clear." It is legitimate to want more, but it takes some degree of maturity and responsibility to understand that you can't always have everything. Sometimes it is best to be content with what you have, out of respect for the independent passing of time that is not always congruous with our own inner timing.
What does it mean to be puritanical? It means a lack of maturity and failure to understand that by nature, political, diplomatic and social processes require compromise. If we aspire to absorb large social groups, in the millions of people, we have to strike a middle ground that will accommodate the widest possible range of people.
In the last 48 years, no Israeli government has imposed full sovereignty over the parts of the homeland that we have conquered. I am not afraid of puritanical language. We reconquered the land that was originally ours, the land that had waited for us for years. We did not take this land away from any foreign entity that had sovereignty over it, and therefore our claim to it is entirely justified -- historically, legally, internationally and religiously. But the fact is that for decades Israel has avoided imposing full sovereignty over the entire scope of the land.
On the other hand, we are settling the land, acre by acre, family by family, home by home -- using the good old Zionist method. Most of us have plenty of patience. What doesn't get done in this generation will be done in the next, God willing. In the meantime, the important thing is to make sure the Zionist foundations are strong.
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