The Middle East Crisis Through The Eyes Of The Rebbe
Translated by Zushe Kohn

In the wars that Israel has fought in recent years, three grave mistakes were made, all of them the results of placing political considerations above security considerations:

1) The most difficult battle of the Six Day War was the one fought over Yerushalayim’s Old City. Hundreds of Israeli soldiers were killed. Why? Because, for political reasons (such as, "what will the Vatican say?" etc.), a resolution to conquer Yerushalayim’s Old City was not made. As a result, security officials did not prepare an attack on Yerushalayim, and hundreds of Jews were killed and wounded.

2) Today everyone admits that prior to the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, clear information was received concerning the impending attack from Egypt. Security officials calculated that a fully deployed Tzahal could abort the attack, thereby lessening the number of ‘sacrifices.’ Moreover, when the enemy would hear about the ‘full deployment,’ this alone could deter them from war. Such was the opinion of the military experts. But the politicians thought otherwise: "It doesn’t pay to anger the United States...!" This consideration brought devastating consequences, thousands upon thousands of sacrifices, may G-d avenge their blood, as well as many wounded, many of whom have remained maimed until this very day!

3) The very same mistake was repeated in the Lebanese War (Sh‘lom HaGalil): Military experts demonstrated how a surprise attack against Lebanon would bring unusual success and a swift conclusion to the operation. But the moment the army went to war, the politicians began to clamor, and day by day they hindered the armies activities until the matter became problematic. As a result, sacrifices have been falling (r’l) for weeks and months now! Why don’t they learn from the past...?!"

(See public addresses of Kislev 1976 and Kislev 19, 1983.)

When The Enemy Is Given Concessions They Immediately Ask For More

There are those who argue: "We must make concessions, for we need the chesed le’umim [international beneficence], the money and weapons which the United States gives us. It doesn’t pay to anger them; we have to give in to their demands..." The response to this is that if Israel makes concessions then, Heaven forefend, there will be nothing left for which to utilize the money and weapons they’ll receive. As we see already now, when the enemy is given concessions they immediately ask for more. In fact, they have already stated that before the agreement is actually signed they will ask for more! And so it will continue until they ask for Yerushalayim’s Old City...!

Only if they stand strong will there be money and weapons. As we have seen up until this point, those issues on which they stood firm, did not hinder the transfer of money and weapons. (Perhaps they caused a temporary disturbance, but nothing in the long range.)

(See public address of 19 Kislev, 1978)

When It Comes To Human Life, The Issue Is No Longer One Of Democracy

Even in a democracy, such as New York for example, if someone would climb the Brooklyn Bridge and threaten to jump into the river, the police and firefighters would immediately be summoned to prevent the person from jumping at all costs. But wait! What about democracy? This individual, one could argue, is his own master, and no one has the right to tell him what to do with his own life! The fact is, though, that when it comes to human life, the issue is no longer one of democracy; rather, everything possible is done to save the person. Now if this is true concerning one human-being, how much more so is it true when the lives of millions of Jews are at stake! No one — not even they themselves — has the right to endanger their lives!

(See public address of Cheshvan, 1985.)

This Approach, However, Runs Contrary To The Nature Of The United States.

The solution to the political situation in Eretz Yisroel is the very opposite of the approach taken by the Israeli governments up until now. Their approach has been that the more concessions they will make on matters of vital interest, the more they will gain. This approach, however, runs contrary to the nature of the United States. The United States arose and was founded through firm adherence to the principle that on matters of vital interest concessions cannot be made. They maintained this stance despite opposition from England, France, and essentially the entire world.

(Talk with Mr. Elyakim Rubinshtein, Cheshvan 1989.)

Giving Away Land: A Matter Of Life And Death

When Mr. Moshe Katzav (now president of Israel) approached the Rebbe, the Rebbe shook hands with him and continued to hold his hand throughout the entire (18 minute) conversation. The Rebbe blessed him that in the course of his public duties he should merit to gather together the People of Israel, the Torah of Israel, and the Holy One blessed be He in such a manner that the three would never become separated.

Then the Rebbe said:

I recently heard a bizarre and shocking rumor — that the Israeli government is discussing and planning to give away portions of the Land of Israel. The discussions are currently focused on a five-year plan called ‘autonomy.’ In truth, however, it doesn’t matter what government officials are calling it, because the fact is that these discussions and plans fall under the explicit Torah prohibition of "Lo Sechaneim," i.e., the prohibition against giving any part of Israel to non-Jews. These discussions will, in fact, result in the eventual giveaway of parts of Israel, and as such, represent a denial of G-d, His Torah, the Land of Israel and the holiness of the Land.

These autonomy talks are the first step to the giving away of parts of Israel — not only small parts, but large parts, as well, such as Judah, Samaria, Gaza, Chevron, Yerushalayim, etc. This is very literally a matter of life and death! As I said, the manner in which Jews like to think of these talks, and the way in which they explain them is irrelevant. What is relevant is that the gentiles view these talks as the first step in an operation that will lead to the giving away of parts of Israel and to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

You understand Arabic. Go ask the Arabs living in Israel what they make of these talks. You will see; they will tell you that their interpretation of the ‘five-year autonomy talks’ is that they will be given parts of Israel for the purpose of establishing a Palestinian state. Therefore, the way in which the Jews like to interpret these talks is irrelevant. The essential factor is the manner in which the gentiles are viewing it.

The mere discussions of the ‘autonomy plan’ are in and of themselves a desecration of G-d and a desecration of holiness. It is one thing that there are Jews living in Israel who in their own personal lives do not observe Torah and mitzvos. It is quite another matter, however, when the government of Israel declares open war against G-d and His Torah.

(From Rebbe’s conversation with Mr. Moshe Katzav, 10 Sh’vat, 1992)

(Click here to continue.)


If Israel makes concessions then, Heaven forefend, there will be nothing left for which to utilize the money and weapons they’ll receive.






 The Politicians Say:
"It doesn’t pay to anger
the United States!"


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