Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Let your Ears Hear the Words of your Mouth

Let your Ears Hear the Words of your Mouth
 June 28, 2005

The latest crisis facing Israel's foreign office is with the Russians. A Russian prosecutor began an investigation to determine if the "Shulchan Aruch," the 16th century codification of Jewish Law, is racist. A complaint, issued by "Russian nationalists," claims that the holy book promotes hatred and bigotry. The chairman of the Congress of Jewish Religious Organizations, Rabbi Zinovy Kogan, was called in for questioning to determine why he had translations of the Hebrew compendium printed in Russian.
The Shulchan Aruch was authored by one of Israel's greatest sages, Rabbi Yosef Karo, who lived in Safed following his Aliyah from Turkey in the middle 1500s. Actually an abbreviated version of his master work, the "Beit Yosef," a commentary of an earlier legal text, the "Tur," this work is still considered by orthodox Jews to be the cornerstone of legal Judaism which determines virtually all aspects of a person's life, from morning to night, from birth until death. Of course, the Shulchan Aruch deals not only with individuals, but also with the public domain.
Reactions to the Russian investigation were razor-sharp. Knesset speaker Rueven Rivlin said: "We are aware of official condemnations in Russia (including by both houses of parliament) against this sharply anti-Semitic invective, but condemnations – thus it seems once again – are not enough.

I am convinced that all MKs join me in my hope that these reports are fundamentally mistaken and that no official source in the democratic Russia of 2005 is involved in a new blood libel against the Jewish People."

Another senior Israeli politician, Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, also had what to say. Presently in Russia, Olmert, speaking on Israel radio this morning said, "We're not tolerating and we're not going to tolerate this," he told Israel Radio. "Our relations with Russia are very important to us, the economic relations, the political relations. But there are things which are beyond any such considerations and calculations. On these things we won't compromise, and we'll say them in the clearest and most direct way."
Olmert's remarks deserve special attention, in light of his position concerning the planned "expulsion/abandonment" of Gush Katif.  Olmert is one of the leading figures supporting Sharon, and there are those who have suggested that Olmert was one of the initiators of the plan.
One must ask: has Olmert ever studied, or even seen or read any parts of the Shulchan Aruch, a book for which he is willing to sacrifice political and economic relations with a foreign nation, such as Russia? For instance, is he aware of Rabbi Yosef Karo's legal rulings concerning Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel?
Several examples:
1.  Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 329:6) states:
When there is a [Jewish] city close to the border, then, even if [enemies mount an attack, although they] come only for the purpose of [taking] straw and stubble, we should [take up arms] and desecrate the Sabbath because of them. For [if we do not prevent their coming] they may conquer the city, and from there the [rest of the] land will be easy for them to conquer.
In other words, it is permitted to desecrate the holiest of Jewish days, the Sabbath, in order to prevent foreigners from stealing straw and stubble from a border city. This, due to the fact that such a theft will ease their attempts to conquer that city and other parts of Eretz Yisrael.
2. Shulchan Aruch Orech Chaim 75:4) states:
If there is a disagreement between a husband and wife concerning living in Eretz Yisrael:  if the husband refuses to live in Israel, he must grant his wife a divorce and pay his wife her ketubah (obligatory marriage contract specifying a husband's financial obligations to his wife, including divorce settlement). If the wife refuses to settle in the Land of Israel, she must accept a divorce and forfeits her ketubah settlement.
In other words, Eretz Yisrael is so important, that is takes precedence over 'shalom bayit,' i.e., peaceful relationships between husband and wife, and justifies divorce and financial repercussions.
3. Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 151:8,10):
Prohibits selling a non-Jew land, or anything attached to the land, in Eretz Yisrael, and restricts even the rental of real estate and certain property in that land to non-Jews; The Beit Yosef, commenting on the aforementioned Tur (Ibid. s.v. Asur), specifically includes Arabs (Yishmaelim).
To summarize:
1. It is permissible to desecrate Shabbat in order to prevent foreigners from stealing straw in Eretz Yisrael.
2. A husband or wife who refuses their spouse's demand to move to and live in Eretz Yisrael, bring upon themselves divorce and financial consequences.
3. It is prohibited from selling or renting property in Eretz Yisrael to non-Jews and specifically Arabs.
This being the case, it can easily be concluded that the Shulchan Aruch would forbid eviction of Jews from their homes in Eretz Yisrael and abandonment of any part of Eretz Yisrael to our enemies (Arabs – Yishmaelim).
In other words, Deputy Prime Minister Olmert is going out of his way to defend a legal work which lambastes his own political policy – the abandonment of Gush Katif and communities in the northern Shomron, and eviction of 10,000 Jews from their homes.
Now, let's again study Olmert's reaction to the Russian investigation:
"But there are things which are beyond any such considerations and calculations. On these things we won't compromise, and we'll say them in the clearest and most direct way."
Again: On these things we won't compromise!!!!
Ehud – listen to what you're saying – let your ears hear the words of your mouth!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Collision Course

Collision Course
June 27, 2005


What can I say? The last few days have been very difficult. Friday afternoon Yechiel and Chava Levi were in Ashdod, paying a condolence call to friends in mourning. At first, when they received word of a terror attack outside Beit Hagai, the community where they live, Chava started saying Psalms. A little while later they received word that their seventeen year old son had been injured and that they should drive to Sha'ari Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem. But their first-born son, AviChai, wasn't there. There was no need to take him to the hospital. Shot in the head, AviChai Levi was killed almost instantly. Yechiel, who works as a treasurer for the Hebron Municipal Council, and Chava, had no choice but to return home and inform their other four children that their oldest brother was no longer. The kids all sat in AviChai's room when their parents returned home, looking around but not seeing, not believing.

On AviChai's desk is a clock with a picture of him in the middle, a picture taken four years ago at his Bar Mitzvah. A beautiful, smiling youth, full of life, full of energy, full of happiness. One of AviChai's brothers, parting from him at the funeral, said that when he received word of his brother's death he stopped the clock. It was as if time had stopped. Later, he dusted the clock and started it again. Life must go on.

AviChai was on his way to Beer Sheva, where he was a counselor for a religious youth group, Bnei Akiva. He had, in his pocket, a piece of paper with the words "We have love and it will be victorious" printed on it. He also had, on his wrist, an orange band with the words, "Yehudi lo megaresh Yehudi" – "Jews don't expel Jews," embedded on it. His father, Yechiel told me that AviChai was buried with the band still on his arm. "He'll be the first one in heaven with an orange arm band," Yechiel said.

Thousands escorted AviChai, and his friend Aviad Montzur, also killed by the terrorist's bullets, to their final resting place on the Mount of Olives. The funeral processions passed the Prime Minister's house in Jerusalem, demanding an end to the madness.

Signs of the times: Last week an Israeli newspaper, citing high-level security sources, revealed that during the first weeks of the 'expulsion,' Ma'arat HaMachpela would be closed to all visitors. Why? Because this holy site is a 'source of friction' between Jews and Arabs and leaving it open would only exasperate the situation. My guess is that this is not the real reason. 'Big Brother' is aware of the power of prayer and especially worship at such a sacred site. ('Big Brother' probably also knows that the Patriarchs and Matriarchs are against the expulsion-abandonment plan.) That's why they don't want Jews there. They're afraid our prayer might actually take hold.  ( I wonder what they'll do about the 'Kotel' – the Western Wall. Will they close that to Jewish worshipers too?)

There's probably another reason, as well. They'll need the border police, who usually provide security at the Ma'ara, in Gush Katif or the northern Shomron.

Another sign: A few days ago a journalist called me for a reaction to the IDF's closing of a base here in Hebron. I didn't know what he was talking about. After a quick check, I understood, only too well. The eastern side of Hebron is bordered by a hill called 'Jabal Jaawar,' which overlooks the entire city. A number of years ago, following a major deterioration of security and deadly terror, the army opened a base on that hill, one of the most strategic points in Hebron. Last week they closed the base and pulled out. Well, not entirely. They're leaving a guard tower and a few soldiers there, a token Israeli presence.  There is no doubt that the closing of the Jabal Jaawar army base, together with an 'easing' of travel restrictions and the lifting of roadblocks, are a direct result of Sharon's meetings with Rice and Abu Mazen. They also, without a doubt, facilitated Friday afternoon's terror attack.

We have numerous meetings with IDF officers, dealing with security, and other matters. The lowest high-level officer we usually meet with is the "Mahat," commander of the Judea division, which includes Hebron. This officer always holds the rank of colonel.

The present Mahat, Colonel Motti Baruch, has told us (and others) that he believes in 'normalization' of life in Hebron. The 'normalization' he speaks of, of course, is 'normalization' for the Arabs, not for the Jews. Lifting roadblocks, allowing Arabs to renovate and move into buildings vacant for decades, easing travel restrictions, closing down strategic bases – all pieces in the puzzle of  'normalization.'  Actually, it's not fair to place all the blame on Col. Baruch. It's true, he may be actualizing his own political outlook via an IDF uniform, but this is the true face of today's Israeli army. Everyone's doing it, so why not him too. The fact that Jewish blood is spilled doesn't really bother them. To the contrary, they hope the killing will expedite our exit from these areas. In fact, there was not any official government reaction to Friday's killings. When suggested that the Israeli retreat from Bethlehem be postponed as a result of the killing, another minister exclaimed: "What, and let the terrorists decide what we do?"

On the other hand, INN reported: "The Defense Minister that decided to take down lookouts and checkpoints now wants to hand over Bethlehem and Kalkilya to the Palestinian Authority - this will lead, within a short time, to a terror attack in Jerusalem," predicted IDF Colonel (Res.) Moshe Hagar."

At sixteen year old Aviad Mantzur's funeral, his father Neryia told the mourners, 'Aviad called me on his cell phone and said, "Dad, they're shooting at me. SAVE US!"' Those where Aviad's last words. The terrifying sounds that were then broadcast from his cell phone included shooting, screams, and…. Nothing. Aviad's legs were literally blown off his body. Four tourniquets didn't help. The bleeding didn't stop. Neryia Montzur listened to his son dying.

Last week Israel suffered the worst train accident in its history. Hundreds were wounded, in addition to those killed. The accident occurred when a speeding train plunged into a truck stopped on the tracks. The engineer saw the truck and sounded his horn several times, in a futile attempt to warn the truck driver of the impending crash. To no avail. It's difficult to fathom that the truck driver wasn't aware of the train. But it seems that he didn't make any attempt to move. The engineer made one last-minute attempt to prevent the inevitable. He braked, hard. He also hit a switch immediately shutting down all the train's engines. And then, BOOM!
The fact that he braked softened the blow a little – maybe that saved several lives. The fact that he shut down the train's engines saved many lives – that act prevented fire and explosion.

During those last few moments he saw, all too vividly, the collision course, but there wasn't too much he could do about it. Impact was only seconds away. He did what he could, but was unable to prevent the crash.

Israel too is on a collision course. Ariel Sharon, Shaul Mufaz and others are recklessly engineering Israel down a one-way track, the wrong way. Not into a truck parked on the tracks, rather into a train speeding in the other direction. Attempts to 'achieve peace' by chopping up and abandoning our land, while expelling our citizens is a sure recipe for disaster, the likes of which we have not yet begun to experience. And no, I haven't forgotten the years of the 'Oslo War.' That was nothing compared to what we are about to experience. The explosion, when the two engines plow into each other, will be earth shattering. And we're getting very close to the point of 'no return.'

At yesterday's funeral, I asked some of the journalists whether they've reorganized 'funeral squads' to take turns going to such funerals. It's clear that this is just the beginning. And I'm more than a little concerned. Sitting and waiting for terror to strike, when you know it's right around the corner, it's not a pleasant sensation. However, the problem is multiplied when you realize that the terror is multifaceted. From one side, the Arabs have no intentions of letting up – why should they? On the other side, the Israeli government, using the police, prosecution and courts, will use 'legal' terror against all those trying to brake the train running amuck. We are going to get hit from all sides. And I'm not one hundred percent sure that someone, (singular or plural) isn't going to strike back. The frustration level may reach such intolerable levels that some kind of reactive detonation is unavoidable. It would be preferable to brake the train and change direction before it's too late.

With blessings from Hebron.

Monday, June 20, 2005

The Punishment Must Fit the Crime

The Punishment Must Fit the Crime

June 20, 2005

Well, it happened again. The inevitable. No, not really. The thirty-five year old man killed this morning by terrorists did not have to be the inevitable next victim. By all rights he should still be alive. When he left the northern Shomron community of Hermesh this morning, together with a fifteen year old passenger, he didn't have to die at the hands of Arab terrorists who shot into his car, hitting him and the gas tank, causing it to explode. However, when it was decided yesterday to 'ease-up' on restrictions to Arab transportation in the Shomron, with IDF roadblocks being removed, making it 'easier' for the innocent Arab population to move around, this morning's killing became inevitable.
This too, isn't really true. It didn’t start yesterday. It didn’t even start with the expulsion plan. It began with Ariel Sharon's vile corruption, going back to the 1990s, when, according to the Jerusalem Post "In the bribery case, dubbed 'the Greek Island affair,' (businessman David) Appel is alleged to have paid (Sharon's son) Gilad Sharon nearly $700,000 in the late 1990s for his work as part of a consulting team in developing a vast tourism project in the Greek islands at a time when his father was foreign minister.  The indictment states that the 53-year-old Appel's real aim in employing the premier's son was to gain influence with his father to lobby Greece to approve the project.  Appel himself has said that the prime minister was not involved in the lucrative deal… Based on two previous Supreme Court rulings, if Sharon were to be indicted, he would likely be obliged to suspend himself from office pending the outcome of the trial, although the actual law on such a matter is obscure."
According to the book "Boomerang," written by journalists Raviv Drucker from Channel 10 news and Ofer Shelach from the Yedioth Achronot newspaper, Sharon's fear of indictment, loss of office and jail, directly led to the decision to unilaterally flee from Gush Katif and the northern Shomron. This accusation, backed up by interviews with people 'very close to the Prime Minister' is identical to charges leveled at Sharon months ago by MK Tzvi Hendel, who virtually swore that Sharon realized he had two choices: public disgrace or abandonment of Gush Katif. He choose the latter, preferring double appeasement to a court-of-law. The double whammy he inflicted on his land and his people: submission to the Israeli left, certain that they would not dare touch a prime minister implementing their life-long craving, the beginning of eviction of Israelis from Yesha; and acquiescence to the Arab enemy: terror pays off. Kill Jews and get what you want.
Interestingly enough, Hendel's accusations were ignored by the Israeli media. That's not surprising. After all, Hendel lives in Gush Katif; what would anyone expect him to say. But "Boomerang" too is being blacklisted. Excepting Channel Two's Nissim Mishal, who introduced the book and it's authors on his weekly T.V. program, the book is a non-event. The daily radio talk shows, the 'bread-and-butter' of Israeli scandal-talk' have scrupulously avoided the subject. The talk-show hosts, realizing the explosive potential of such revelations, are keeping their hands off.
But not the terrorists. When Israelis shut up, when their actions speak louder than words, when they relinquish their homeland and abandon their people, this is a language the enemy understands. Loud and clear, a signal: Israeli blood is 'hefker' valueless, worth less than a grain of sand. Spilt blood is a ready commodity. Turn on the faucet, let it run – until it runs out – until there's none left – until Eretz Yisrael is Judenrein.
In a couple of hours a Beer Sheva court judge will pass judgment on Rabbi Moshe Levinger. The prosecution has demanded that Rabbi Levinger be placed either under house arrest or in jail until conclusion of all proceedings against him. These demands stem from the first national road-blocking protest a few weeks ago. Rabbi Levinger made it clear that he has no intentions of remaining 'free' with restrictions and would prefer jail to house arrest. I was present at the first court hearing; when the judge called the case he referred to 'Moshe Levinger' and never used the word Rabbi. So much for judicial respect. I wonder how the judge would have referred to a surgeon or perhaps a colleague, accused of a crime?
At about the same time that the judge in Beer Sheva is decreeing Rabbi Levinger's fate, five young girls, one twelve and a half, will be freed from jail, after spending thirty five days in prison. They too were arrested for 'illegally blocking roads.' When the prosecution demanded that their release be conditional on their agreement not to leave their communities until conclusion of all legal proceedings against them, the girls refused to sign. As a result they spent over a month in jail. In very difficult conditions. Finally the prosecution relented, a little bit, and agreed to lower the 'restriction level,' forbidding the girls from participating in protests, or from being present in Tel Aviv or the 'central part' of Israel, pending legal action against them.  The girl's parents agreed, and today they are going home. One of the girls' fathers said this morning on Israel radio, 'this goes to show the evil of 'disengagement.' "The prosection  prefers that a twelve year old sit for over a month in jail, rather than imprison (Sharon's son) Omri."

Next Shabbat the weekly Torah portion we read deals with the first rejection of Eretz Yisrael, first by ten of the premier leaders of the fledgling Jewish people. According to important Jewish sources, the primary reason for the spy's denunciation of  the Land was, simply, power. They knew that while still in the desert they would be leaders, princes of the people. However, once in the Land of Israel, they would be replaced by a new generation of leaders, and they would only be simple folk, just like everyone else. They preferred power in the desert to simplicity in the Land.
Using emotional, articulate and seemingly logical expressions of persuasion, these men convinced a majority of the people of their legitimacy, resulting in massive mourning: Why should we go to Israel, a land that devours its occupants?
Of course, we all know the end of the story. The spies died horrible deaths at the hand of G-d, all  men between the ages 20 to 60 died in the desert and were not privileged to reach Eretz Yisrael, and, unfortunately, those Jews spent the next forty years wandering around the desert, rather than immediately entering the Land. And the Divine One decreed, that day, the day of mourning because of Eretz Yisrael, would become a day of mourning for eternity; later known as the ninth day of Av – Tisha b'Av, the date of the destruction of the First and Second Temples, leading to Israel's galut, expulsion from the land.
This year, G-d forbid, the next galut, expulsion, is due to begin the day after Tisha b'Av. It seems that history repeats itself and we have yet to learn.

There are two kinds of fighters: those courageous and those cowards. The courageous, like a seventy year old Rabbi, or a twelve year old, both willing to face incarceration rather than abandon their land – these are true warriors. Yet there are others, so-called leaders, who are no different than the spies. No, that's not true. Sharon is worse. The spies didn't yet know the end of the story. Sharon does.
Sharon's manifold acts of cowardice deserve suitable punishment. He is a traitor to his land, abandoning it to our enemies, simply to stay in power, so as not to be disgraced. He is assisting the enemy to pull the trigger, allowing Jews to be killed, not for reasons of national security, rather, for his own personal gain. As Prime Minister, he is as a solder fleeing in battle. Any commander knows what to do with a solder who turns and runs in the midst of combat.
Ariel Sharon should be tried by a legal Israeli court of law on both counts – as an elected leader who has betrayed his land and his people, and also as military commander, turning and running from the enemy in the middle of war. Following his demise his body should be burned and his ashes scattered over Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron.
The punishment must fit the crime.

Monday, June 6, 2005

Super Glue

Super Glue
June 6, 2005


We are in the midst of Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Day, the thirty-eighth anniversary of the liberation of the Holy City. Last night, here in Hebron, we had a festive prayer service at Ma'arat HaMachpela, which followed with singing, dancing and a D'var Torah – a short Torah lesson about Jerusalem. I then went home and enjoyed a small holiday meal and read a little about Jerusalem, and studied the words of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, revered dean of Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav, son of Israel's first chief Rabbi, Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook.

The commander of the forces liberating the "Old City" and Temple Mount was a student at the Yeshiva, and immediately following arrival at the holy site, he sent an army jeep to bring Rabbi Kook (and a second sage, the "Nazir,") to the Wall. When journalists converged on Rabbi Kook, asking him for his reaction to the liberation, he repeated, again and again, "We have returned home, we have returned home. No force in the world will ever be able to move us from here."

Yet, it is a known fact that when the Mufti of Jerusalem attempted to hand over control of the Mount to Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, he was rebuffed. Dayan refused to accept the 'keys' to Temple Mount, leaving them with the Waqf, the Muslim religious trust. (Dayan committed the same crime here in Hebron, at Ma'arat HaMachpela, the tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs.) And this morning, hundreds of Arabs hurled rocks at Jews and police in and around Temple Mount and the Kotel, the Western Wall.

One of the favorite games people play on days like this are 'where were you when…' I remember (I was thirteen at the time) reports of impending war in Israel, and then, one morning, when we turned on the radio during breakfast, we heard the news that war had broken out. To this day I can clearly hear my father's reaction reverberating in my ears, (and he was not one to swear), "Oh sh..."

Later that day, or the next day, we attended a special service at our synagogue, praying for Israel's survival. Then, not too long after that, I think it was early evening – I was already in bed, and there were whoops of joy from downstairs – Israel had liberated Jerusalem! And then, all of a sudden, the war was over, in six days, a total Israeli victory over millions of Arabs who had sworn to 'throw the Jews into the sea.' Wow!

Israel was in a state of euphoria – seventh heaven. There was a tremendous sense of accomplishment, of unity, and of miracle. Mission impossible had become reality. Unfortunately though, with only few exceptions, it has been downhill ever since.
The almost irrational urge to withdraw from the 'occupied territories' (see: http://www.israelnn.com/article.php3?id=2343) which began simultaneously with their liberation, is on the verge of becoming reality.

One of the results of the Six Day War and the liberation of Judea, Samaria and Gaza was the emergence of a new socio-political force, today commonly known as the 'nationalist religious Zionist camp. Religious Zionism, i.e. a religious Jewish approach to returning to Eretz Yisrael, had already existed for hundreds of years, beginning perhaps during the age of the Vilna Gaon, Rabbi Eliyahu, in the eighteenth century. Yet the driving force behind resettling the land of Israel, the push to transform the liberation from a dream-like ecstasy into an on-the-ground reality, was led by the students of the two Rabbis Kook, whose Torah teachings focused on the significance of Eretz Yisrael to the Jewish people. These were the people who stood in the forefront, guiding the way, beginning in Hebron, and spreading out to all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Late last week, a journalist asked me my opinion of a question evolving amongst contemporary Jewish 'thinkers,' linking the planned expulsion from and abandonment of Gush Katif and the northern Shomron, known as 'disengagement,' to the future of this 'nationalist religious Zionist ' entity.  He directed me to an article appearing in the Spring edition of Azure by Yossi Klein HaLevi called 'Unsettling' [http://www.azure.org.il/magazine/magazine.asp?id=248]. The fundamental issue raised by HaLevi can be summed up in the following paragraphs:

"Much has been written about the possibility of violence that might accompany the withdrawal; no less troubling, however, is the possibility that the disengagement will alienate significant elements of religious Zionism from the Israeli mainstream and from Zionist ideology. One increasingly common critique voiced among religious Zionists is that secular Zionism has ended its mission; some even question religious Zionism’s historic decision to enter into a partnership with secular Zionism… Those voices strengthen isolationist trends evident in recent decades within a part of the religious Zionist camp… little thought has been directed toward the question of how religious Zionism will find a place in Israeli society if and when the greenhouses of Gush Katif are abandoned.
(Religious Zionism) did succeed in creating a broad and dedicated community from which Israeli society may yet learn a great deal, and which represents classic Zionist values--including the importance of Jewish reconnection with the land of Israel, regardless of its final borders; the value of defending the Jewish state through military service; a belief in Zionist idealism...the importance of building family-based communities; and the centrality of Jerusalem to Jewish history and identity. Indeed, it is religious Zionism alone that has consistently advocated a strong role for Jewish tradition in the formulation of Zionist theory and policy… The vitality of the Jewish state and the Jewish people depends in no small measure on the continued vitality of religious Zionism, and on its continued commitment to the general Zionist enterprise (my emphasis).
The author then attempts to show why nationalist religious Zionists should not view the planned expulsion/abandonment as a total collapse of all that they believe in.
All well and good, except that HaLevi misses the main point, that being the fact that Sharon's 'disengagement' is not the end of the game, rather it's only the beginning. How so?
First, the Israeli retreat is unilateral. It's not incorporated into any 'peace plan' or treaty. Israel is effectively throwing in the towel. The enemy has won. This fact is backed up by today's news: "The Bush administration is showing signs of easing its hard-line approach toward Hamas, in response to the militant group's rising political clout in the Palestinian territories and appeals for flexibility from European allies, officials and diplomats said.

The White House acceded to Hamas running candidates in Palestinian elections, even though it has refused to disarm and Washington lists it as a major terrorist organization.
If Israel is willing to flee from its own land, thereby endangering its civilian population in all major cities, (as the former Chief of Staff, General Moshe Ya'alon stated upon his forced retirement from the military) why shouldn't the U.S recognize and deal with Hamas? The United States didn't recognize the PLO until Israel initiated talks with them. The same thing is occurring again. Ya'alon warned, 'we'll either have to give them more, or go back and fight the terror ourselves.' It seems that Sharon has already made his choice.
Second: Only a couple of days ago the Sharon administration's chief hatchet man, Dov Weissglass, (who will probably be remembered in Jewish history together with Josephus), stated in no uncertain terms: Following the 'disengagement' we will 'clean up' all the 'illegal hilltop communities.' Again, we are talking about evicting hundreds, if not more, families, from their homes and their land.
Third: The best kept non-secret in  Jerusalem is that this summer's planned events are 'Disengagement: Phase One.' Everyone knows that after Phase One is Phase Two and then Phase Three. It is openly talked about. Sharon's hatchet man number two, Ehud Olmert, publicly, privately, (and proudly), speaks of 'the next, inevitable 'disengagement.'
Fourth: I have written previously, and will not elaborate now, that Shimon Peres' original goal in advocating Oslo was to break the back of the Nationalist Religious Zionist entity, which he views as a threat to his dream of a secular Switzrael, which is populated by, among others, Jews.
In short, Yossi Klein HaLevi's premise that nationalist religious Zionists are the 'glue' of State of Israelis, and that the State still needs us, is predicated on the assumption that the so-called Israeli leadership really wants us. However, the points enumerated above prove the opposite: If Oslo was a spanking, now they are getting out the whip. Rather than attempting to placate the victims of the planned expulsion, the administration plans to continue full speed ahead, rampantly running down everyone in their path. So much for HaLevi's final words: "Meeting those challenges requires the best efforts of our most committed people; religious Zionism has a crucial role to play." Clearly, we are not wanted.
The glue of Am Yisrael is not any individual or group. The glue of our heritage is a collective: our people, our land, our Torah. Today- Jerusalem Day, Tomorrow, Hebron Day – these two place, these two days, represent, perhaps more than anything else, the essential elements of our existence. Hebron and Jerusalem – the super glue of our being. The super glue that ties together Morag and Kiryat Shmona, the super glue that binds secular and religious, the super glue that links Jews from New York and Yemin. An eternal lifeline of our past, present and future,  which can not, and will not, ever be broken.
With blessings from Hebron.