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Rectifying the Sin of the Spies

Achieving stable peace will only be possible if the State of Israel clarifies that when it wins, it will change borders in its favor * We cannot achieve peace and prosperity through agreements * Returning to the vision of Redemption and settling the Land is also the best way to achieve security and peace * In the first stage, Gaza must be conquered, and full military rule imposed * This should also be the policy in Judea and Samaria: to apply Israeli sovereignty over all Jewish settlements and uninhabited areas

Israel has been dealing with two great challenges from its earliest days, until today: adherence to one God, and its full manifestation in the Land. The ‘Sin of the Golden Calf’ and the ‘Sin of the Spies’. Heaven and earth. When we complete these two challenges, we will merit complete Redemption. This Shabbat, it is appropriate to address the continued rectification of the ‘Sin of the Spies’.


Our difficult problem is the asymmetry between us and our surrounding enemies. If the Muslims win, God forbid, they will destroy the state, kill many, and enslave the rest. If we win, we will strive to reach a peace agreement with them. In such a situation, the continuation of the war is guaranteed, as it is always worthwhile for them to try to fight, for even if they lose, we will not defeat them – we will not nullify their political existence, we will not expel them, and we will not impose our position and values on them. If they win, they will achieve all their murderous desires.

The only possibility for correcting the asymmetry and achieving stable peace, is for the State of Israel to clarify that when it wins, it will change the internal regime of those who fight against it, change borders in its favor, and as needed – continue to impose its position by force of arms. This applies to Judea and Samaria, Gaza and southern Lebanon, and if necessary – all of Lebanon. This will not be done at once, rather gradually, but we must declare that this is what we will strive for.

The Problem

The problem is that the majority of the Jewish public still hopes it can achieve a peace agreement with the enemy. Another problem – many believe it is immoral for the State of Israel to rule over a hostile population. These two reasons have caused the army and government to lack a plan on how to defeat the enemy, and preserve the fruits of victory.

However, in practice, there is no choice – we cannot achieve peace and prosperity through agreements. Even from a moral standpoint, it is not moral to make agreements with murderous enemies. It is not moral towards us, and not moral towards many Arabs who were willing to live with us in peace, and under the cover of agreements we made with terrorist leaders, became enslaved to cruel rulers.

Learning from World Experience

In World War II, the United States waged an all-out war against Japan. It dropped atomic bombs on it, until the Japanese understood that if they continued to fight, their country would be destroyed, and entire populations would be exterminated. When they realized this, they surrendered unconditionally. After that, the United States demanded that Japan cancel the previous regime, dictated a democratic constitution to them, and by force of arms, forced them to uphold the constitution, and to this day, there are American military bases in Japan to enforce the surrender agreements. Since then, the United States and Japan have been good friends. Not only that, since then, Japan has achieved economic and social prosperity, and has become one of the leading countries in the world. This is how ideological and value-based positions can be completely changed, and stable peace can be achieved for generations, leading to the prosperity of both sides.

There are additional examples of nations that defeated the vanquished, and were content with not allowing them to strengthen, for example, in Eastern European countries that surrendered to the Soviet Union. This method proved to be less successful, because it did not provide a horizon for the conquered. It did ensure peace, but not prosperity and freedom. As such, the Soviet Union was constantly forced to continue to powerfully impose its influence, and when it disintegrated, the old resentment returned to its place.

The Enemy Can Be Defeated

When the vast majority of the public understands that we must conquer all the territories in which the enemy has established itself and rule them forever, we will see that this is possible, and even easier than managing a conflict without resolution. Then it will become clear that returning to the vision of Redemption, and settling the Land, is also the best way to achieve security and peace.

In the first stage should be to conquer Gaza and impose full military rule. The sparsely populated areas should be expropriated, and full Israeli sovereignty applied to them. At the same time, densely populated areas should be fully controlled in order to eliminate any influence of remnants of the previous regime, fundamentally change educational programs, prohibit all religious incitement, and nurture peace-seeking religious leadership. In the second stage, civilian rule can be transferred to population representatives who will be loyal to the State of Israel.

This should also be the policy in Judea and Samaria, namely, to apply Israeli sovereignty over all Jewish settlements and uninhabited areas. To abolish the Palestinian Authority that incites the entire world against us, and nurtures terrorism economically and ideologically, in order to destroy the State of Israel in the following stage. In its place, impose military rule that will initially manage civilian life as well, in order to change educational programs, and expel all inciters. Afterwards, find positive forces in each area willing to cooperate with our values, and assist them, instead of assisting enemies like the PLO and Hamas. Over the past decades, the State of Israel has assisted the PLO and Hamas with tens of billions of shekels, granted them international status, and enlisted additional countries to assist them. Instead, we should assist positive forces who are willing to live in civilian autonomy, under our control.

Only during the stage of defeat and establishment, will large military forces need to hold the territory; but following this, it will be possible to continue ruling with small forces, provided they are backed by a firm decision that, from now on, the State of Israel will rule over all territories of the Land of Israel.

The Moral Examination

Even from a moral standpoint, this is much better than what is happening today. A partial example of this can be brought from the Arab population living in the State of Israel. Economically, and in terms of human rights, their situation is superior to that of all Arabs in Arab countries. Most of the problems with them stem from the fact that, unfortunately, we did not demand that they be loyal citizens, with full rights conditional on full obligations, as is demanded, for example, of all Jews in all countries of the world. As a result, among Arab citizens of Israel, there are inciters who exploit our humane position, interpret it as weakness, and succeed in inciting not a few Arabs against us. The weakness of our position towards them is also bad for them. The crime rampant in Arab society is a result of disloyal citizenship. Instead of being grateful to the State of Israel, those inciters prefer to behave like their brothers in neighboring countries, who through an evil interpretation of religious values, manage family and social life with murderous violence, and block positive forces from developing in education, economic, and social initiatives.

The Educational Mission

Unfortunately, Israeli society is not yet ready for this. We must learn a lesson from the bitter experience of decades, and encourage the groups and leaders who advocate these positions, until with God’s help, they become the property of the majority, and we can reach a stable, state of peace.

This is a stage in the process of Redemption, in which we need to be redeemed from the consciousness of the ‘persecuted minority’ in exile, to the consciousness of a majority that aspires to arrange its sovereign life in the most successful way, both in terms of stability, and morality.

We must be redeemed from the consciousness of “we were in our own eyes as grasshoppers, and so we were in their eyes,” to the consciousness of a sovereign people who strives to liberate its Land, and be sovereign in it. A people that offers the enemy three options: Those who want to make peace – will make peace, and fully accept Israeli sovereignty, with all its values and laws. Those who want to fight – will fight, and know that we will wage an all-out war against them. And those who want to emigrate – will emigrate. And we must not agree to a fourth option – that they remain in the Land as enemies, to be a snare and a trap (Jerusalem Talmud, Sheviit 6:1).

In order for the State of Israel to be able to adopt the correct policy, a large majority of the public needs to be convinced. In the meantime, we must continue to fight on the front lines to guard our people and our Land, and devote ourselves more to educational and public work. The debate between right and left is tragic – each side thinks the other’s way is disastrous, and nevertheless, we must continue to conduct ourselves together in our war against the enemy. Therefore, value and educational clarifications need to take place, with respect for those with different opinions. However, it can be assumed that, in the end, logic and truth will prevail, and the people of Israel will be able to move on to the next stage of sovereignty and stability in our Land.

Even among the Spies, there were only two who chose correctly, Joshua and Caleb, and because of the majority position, Redemption was delayed. However, after forty years, the people of Israel went with Joshua and Caleb, conquered the Land, and settled in it.

Our Holy Heroic Soldiers

We must draw strength from the heroism of our soldiers. In a complex reality, with severe restrictions, they continue to fight the enemy, and win. Unfortunately, in the streets of Tel Aviv, divisive voices have resurfaced, but in the army, among regular and reserve soldiers, the unity of Israel and mutual responsibility are revealed in an awe-inspiring manner. From all the wonderful stories of self-sacrifice, one can understand that the Divine Presence dwells in the soldiers’ camps, as it is said: “For the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you, and to give up your enemies before you” (Deuteronomy 23:15). And the continuation is praise and commandment: “Therefore, shall your camp be holy.” Since they sacrifice their lives to defend God’s people, it is a holy camp.

We will strive to sanctify the camp as much as possible from any moral flaw, from dispute and slander, from vulgarity and mockery, and out of this, we will pray for all our soldiers to return home whole in body and soul, and to merit establishing glorious families in Israel with joy and love, and the many who have already merited establishing families, may they merit to maintain them with joy and happiness, and may they derive pleasure for many days and years.

This article appears in the ‘Besheva’ newspaper and was translated from Hebrew.

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