In Tanach (the Jewish Bible), HaShem, the G-d of Israel, declares repeatedly to the world that the land of Israel is the land of the Jewish people (see Rashi on B’reisheet, 1:1). He also declares that the East-West borders of that Jewish land stretch from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea (Bamidbar, 34:7-23).
Those borders have a modern application. After all, when the modern State of Israel was ‘born’, its Jewish leaders didn’t ignore their Tanach. Those leaders weren’t particularly religious. But they didn’t choose some far away geography for their new State.
They placed their new nation inside those Biblical borders. Yes, they chose borders much smaller than G-d’s. But those borders weren’t their choice. The United Nations (like its predecessor, the League of Nations), had shrunk the Tanach borders.
Our leaders accepted that shrinkage. They established the reconstituted Israel on less land than HaShem had chosen for us. Man saw to that. Man demanded that.
Fortunately for us, our Arab neighbours didn’t accept those shrunken borders. They didn’t want Jews to have any borders. They wanted the Jews gone.
They attacked—repeatedly. But then, despite their overwhelming numerical superiority, miracles happened: they lost.
Every time they attacked, they lost land.
Their wars didn’t push Jews out. Their war losses meant Israel’s borders grew.
As a consequence, Israel’s UN-shrunk, Man-made borders began to move outward. Arab hate played a role in moving Israel’s borders closer to HaShem’s Biblical design.
East Jerusalem and Judea-Samaria (the West Bank) are included in that design. The UN took them from us. The Arabs saw to it that they came back to us.
Man hates that. So far as Man is concerned, HaShem, the G-d of Israel, is wrong.
Man says, who does G-d think He is? HaShem doesn’t determine what happens on this earth. Man does.
Man uses his United Nations to make sure you understand that point. Man declares from the UN that G-d breaks the law.
In March, 1979, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed Resolution 446. In paragraph 1, this Resolution states that, “the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity.”
G-d may have told the Jews to populate Israel. But UN Resolution 446 says that’s illegal.
For the UN, G-d must have lied when He said Judea-Samaria (which includes East Jerusalem) belongs to Israel. The UN says that land belongs to Arabs who call themselves ‘Palestinians’. Jews are foreign ‘occupiers’ on that land, not its owners. If Jews build there, it’s illegal.
If G-d is not a liar, he’s a criminal: he breaks the law when he tells Israel about Jerusalem (East or West) and Judea-Samaria. Jews who listen to Him violate Human Rights Law.
Man says that HaShem, the G-d of Israel, doesn’t lead Jews to Redemption. He leads them to a spiritual pathology, an illness of occupation, racism and extremism (for an insight to this point of view, see Haviv Rettig Gur, “The blood of summer and our collective sins of omission”, Times of Israel, August 27, 2015). G-d, it would seem, leads the Jews astray.
Now, a new book is about to come out (Sarah Yael Hirschhorn, City on a Hilltop: Jewish-American Settlers in the Occupied Territories Since 1967, Harvard, 2016). From what I deduce from others’ online comments, its tilt is Leftist. But it makes a point that might tell us something about G-d, Man and those 'occupied territories'.
The author of this Leftist study claims that 15 per cent, or 60,000 residents, within the ‘occupied territories’ (which include East Jerusalem and Judea-Samaria) are Americans who have made aliyah (emigrated) to Israel. Americans make up less than 3 per cent of Israel’s population. Their numbers in ‘occupied territories’ reveal that an inordinate representation of Americans live ‘illegally’ in land that doesn’t belong to Jews. For some, this revelation suggests that the US may be playing a duplicitous role in its dealings with Israel (Philip Weiss, “U.S. is even more implicated in Israeli settlement project than we thought”, mondoweiss, August 30, 2015).
John Kerry and Hussein Obama of the US say these ‘occupied territories’ are illegitimate. The EU and the UN says they’re illegal. Jews in America appear to join this Israel-bashing (“Many US Jews no longer back Israel, Veteran’s Today, June 9, 2014).
If you read mainstream media, you might beleive that ‘everyone’ except the ‘extremist’ right-wing Netanyahu government rejects Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise. But American Jews still come to Israel. American Jews defy the hate. They populate these ‘illegal territories’ at a rate five times greater than their normal representation in Israel’s population.
Does HaShem, the G-d of Israel, hide within the personal motivation of individual Americans to undercut Man’s attack against Him? Perhaps, for their own personal (unconscious) reasons, these 60,000 Americans send a message: we choose G-d over Man.
Stay tuned. This Israel story isn’t over.