|SPEECH AT THE CONCERT IN CENTRAL PARK
by Rabbi David Algaze, June 1, 2008
|I have come to ask a question, a simple question, one that has been forgotten in all the talk about peace in Israel.
Who does this land belong to?
We have an answer and it is the only answer. Let us say it outloud, let the whole world hear it. Let no one, not even us, have
any doubt about it:
This land is my land, it's your land it's our land.
It's the land of our fathers, it is the land for our children.
This is the simple truth we are being asked to forget and ignore. But we won't forget it, we won't betray our land. We say today and everyday: "If I forget thee Jerusalem let my right hand be paralyzed..."
There is a reason why this land is called the promised land. And do you know why? Because it is promised to our fathers and it is promised to our children.
How can we give it away? We do not have the right to give it away.
G-D said to our father Abraham over and over again: "This is your land, I have given it to you". How can we forget this? It is reported that President Truman, the first U.S. President to recognize and support the State of Israel, often cited the verse in Deuteronomy (1:8) "Behold, I have given the land before you, go in and take possession of the land which the Lord has sworn unto your fathers through Abraham, through Isaac and through Jacob."
Truman remembered, many Christian preachers remember, dare we be the ones to forget?
We created the World Committee for the Land of Israel just to spread that simple truth that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people and we will not part with it. This is our land and we will not barter it away. Period.
The rebirth of Israel in its land is an event hard to understand. The world has never seen something like it. The story of our return is without parallel. Jews never left Israel voluntarily and they returned when they could. We never abandoned the land entirely either, there were Jews throughout history in the land. It is a miracle and as with all miracles we need to believe it to
Let us be clear: The Jews have returned to our land.
We did not come as conquerors. We displaced no one. The return was mandated by the nations of the world. Although they have since many times rescinded and diminished their assurance, the return has been legal and moral.
The land was a desert before the Jews returned. Churchill once remarked that the land belonged to the Jews because the Arabs destroyed the land, whereas Jews create the land.
This is a love story between a people and its land like no other. No other nation ever created a State in the land, and the Jews never created a national homeland outside of it. The land once flowing with milk and honey, when the Jews parted, refused to give its fruits. The beautiful land became a wasteland. Waiting for her children.
We are the children of the land and the land smiled upon us when we returned. Would anyone desert their mother? Can we
think of leaving the land voluntarily in the hands of strangers?
This is our land, we will not betray her.
The story of Gush Katif proves this. The land the Arabs called "accursed," as soon as the Jews came, began to yield the most beautiful fruits, flowers and plants. The tiny portion of land in Gaza yielded at one time most of the agricultural exports of Israel. Yet, when the Jews left, the land became useless again. Even the insects participated. The vegetables that had been once famously bug-free, began to develop bugs. The thriving businesses of Gush Katif languished in the hands of the Arabs. Even
the same managers who had worked under the Jews and had all the expertise to make it go, could not do it. Why? The land did not cooperate.
The land was loyal to the Jews, are we going to be faithful to the land?
There is a new campaign in the Jewish people, a dangerous and inexplicable dementia. It is called "Land for Peace" it was tried
in Oslo, it was tried in Wye, it was tried in Taba, and nothing worked. Things are getting worse. When time after time a pro-blem is not resolved, is it not reasonable to suspect that it may be irresolvable? At least in the manner it is planned?
Yet there is a campaign afoot involving all major Jewish organizations to give the land away. When we give away Judea and Samaria we are giving away the core of our land, the holy place where our history evolved. We are giving up only Judea? What would Jews be called if we give up Judea? And those intruders who will occupy Judea, would they not have the right to be
called Judeans as well?
When we give up the land, we give up our history, we give up our identity and we give up our soul.
We have come to stop this madness. To say to them:
We are tired of expulsions, we are tired of pogroms, we are tired of suicide bombers and indiscriminate murder in the streets.
We are not going to speak of the rights of others, we are going to speak of our legitimate and inalienable rights. We will not endanger our people with foolish dreams that have been tried and discredited over and over again.
There is a spirit of feebleness among us. Our leaders have lost the way. They know that there is no hope for a peaceful Arab state in the land of Israel. But they insist because they have forgotten the essential: This land belongs to us. They failed and yet they keep trying without remorse and without shame.
To them we tell them: Enough. Enough Oslos, enough Wyes, enough lifting of roadblocks, enough risking the lives of our innocent people, enough of Sderot, enough!
In our long history we witnessed the destruction of Jewish communities before. But this time is worse, much worse. This time we want to help the destruction along.
After Hitler, we vowed "never again" but today our leaders, our Rabbis, our major Jewish organizations are saying "over and ever again."
We need to rise and tell them "NO!"
The current government in Israel with the aid of weak-minded Jewish leaders in the Diaspora has embarked upon a program that may signal the destruction of the State of Israel. With a blend of haste and submissiveness with deceit and self-deception, the present leadership of the Jewish people has succeeded where its most bitter foes have failed. They are endangering the accomplishments of the Zionist enterprise that were attained with a sacrifice and a dedication unparalleled in history. Our leaders are plagued with an irresponsible shortsightedness and we are rushing headlong into accords with partners they know are deceitful.
We protest! The World Committee for the Land of Israel has come to object and refuse these plans for the demented and the pathetic.
We need to repudiate any plan that involves in betraying our land. We must oppose any program that puts our population within the range of the kassam. We have to stand against any suggestion that places our children at risk. We did not return to Israel
to relive the tragedy of Poland and Germany. If our leaders are tired, let them step aside. If they feel exhausted and drained, let them make room for a new generation that remembers the dream of Abraham and has the courage to fight in our defense.
This is not to say that we do not want peace. We should be zealous in the pursuit of peace, but we should be no less fierce in the defense of our land.
We extend our hand in peace towards all our neighbors. Our hands contain no rancor, nor hatred nor war. But they also contain no land. We offer peace, a real genuine peace. Nevertheless, our peace is not the peace of beggers. It does not give away our cherished land. What other nation in the world gives away its land? We will not give away our land no matter who counsels it
or who profits from this betrayal!
Our first father Abraham had to undergo ten trials. The last of which was to bury his dear wife Sarah. The trial was that although G-D had promised him the entire land of Israel, he did not have even a place in which to bury Sarah. Yet, he, the owner of the entire land, did not complain. He had no land now but he still kept the hope. It is ironic that our father Abraham, when he did not have the land, kept the hope and we who possess the land are thinking of giving it away.
The World Committee of the Land of Israel calls upon the Jews of the world to rally around our beautiful mother, the land of Israel. When established Jewish organizations pathetically accepting and even calling for the establishment of an Arab state in the land of Israel -- it is time for us to say no!
If they have been brainwashed or worse, we will not allow to be brainwashed. The giving away of land to create another Arab state, this one in the land of Israel is wrong. It was wrong when the Arabs wanted it, it was wrong when Jesse Jackson suggested it, it was wrong when our enemies suggest it and it is still wrong!
HaShem oz le'amo yiten, HaShem Yevarech ..
G-D should grant us the strength to stand up to our enemies. If we do, then we will merit that He blesses us with lasting peace.
I call upon all Jews and good people everywhere to rally around Eretz Yisrael, the land of our forefather and our grandchildren. Do not leave her, do not betray her. This land can become the rallying point for all Jews, regardless of their religious preference. Let us all be brothers and sisters and in the defense of our land we will become one nation again.
When all Jews are united, no force on earth will ever conquer us. Let us unite, brothers and sisters, and let us have the hope of Abraham that this land is our land now and forever.
|Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green)
POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel
Tel: 972-2-624-9887, Fax: 972-2--624-5380