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Musings on Yom Haatzmaut

Rav Amital′s musings are further down beyond Paula′s comments. Paula, of Maale Adumim has written to this website a few times.

What is important to remember is that:

  1. Ariel Sharon was legally and democratically elected to be Prime Minister of Israel. This was a democratic election. NO ONE anywhere in the Israeli political spectrum is suggesting that the election was not legal and he won with a very healthy majority.
  2. His platform was clear. He said - security, peace and no negotiation under fire. His opponent was soundly defeated on a platform quite similar to Sharon′s disengagement plan. In other words, the majority of Israel wanted peace and security. Sharon then decided to float his plan...which many here call expulsion.
  3. While his initial actions may have been democratic and legal, lately it has been anything but. Children who approach the Western Wall wearing orange t-shirts in support of the communities in Gaza and Northern Shomrom are told they must change their shirts or be forbidden to approach the wall.

A few days ago, a delegation of Indians (from India!) went to the Knesset...the overzealous guards confiscated their orange about paranoia. A few days ago, top IDF staff came out in favor of at least postponing the plan to give Israel time to make sure the Palestinians won′t take advantage of the plan to launch further attacks.

The majority of rabbis that I′ve heard...both here in Israel and abroad, both Lubavitch and others, do not agree with Sharon′s plan.

Sharon, given a mandate to lead the nation in one direction, decided to use his power in direct contradiction of the platform on which he was elected. He then called a party referendum promising that he′d honor it, lost it, and said he′d ignore it.

Called a central committee promising he′d follow it, lost it, and ignored it. He then called a cabinet vote...and conveniently fired those who opposed him so that he′d maintain a minority.

Many people here say that this shows he is undemocratic and a dictator. I disagree. I believe everything he is doing is legal and democratic...and immoral and unethical.

This is from Rav Yehuda Amital (on Yom Haatzmaut).


"... Some years ago, during the Lebanon War, there appeared on the left side of the political map movements such as "Yesh Gevul" ("There is a border"), who published articles in praise of refusing to obey decisions of the State and of the government. They called for rebellion, and we were all shocked. Today, in our many sins, the right wing is repeating and quoting the same messages encouraging the disobeying of orders and denying the need to accept the decisions of the majority and of the government.

Let this be clear: if we are not careful, this can bring about, G-d forbid, the destruction of the State. Everyone has the right to criticize the government - any government. Everyone is entitled to protest and to hold demonstrations. But the decisions of a government elected by a democratic majority must be respected. Someone who regards such decisions as illegitimate nullifies, heaven forefend, Jewish sovereignty. It is unimportant whether the decisions are correct or not. That is the power of sovereignty, and we have to remember that.

I pray that whatever situation may arise, responsibility and common sense will prevail. The nation of Israel needs Jewish sovereignty; G-d forbid that we should undermine the legitimacy and the functioning of the government of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces. Every Jew in the world needs to know that the State of Israel is there for him, and we must all guard it with the greatest care.

We have to know that the blessing and praise that we offer G-d for the State of Israel is, first and foremost, a blessing over Jewish sovereignty. At the time the State was established, there were Jews in the world who had nothing. Holocaust refugees, thousands who were left in Germany after the Holocaust, languished in camps. The countries of the world refused to open their gates. Each had established its own quota and would not budge. What would have happened

to those Jews had the State of Israel not arisen? Imagine the hopelessness that would have been their lot.

The State of Israel arose as a sanctification of G-d′s name, following the terrible desecration of G-d′s name in the Holocaust. We must ensure that the State of Israel continues to be a symbol of kiddush Hashem, that Israeli society will be one characterized by sanctification of the G-d′s name - a society where justice and righteousness prevail...

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Rav Yehuda Amital

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