Sunday, April 15, 2018

Torah Philosophy on Middle Eastern Peace

How does the Everyone Wins Peace Plan differ from all others? It is based on the philosophy of Abraham, the forefather of Jews and Arabs.  By trusting the love of a father, we can find a way to peace between the children.  Abraham said, "Let Ishmael live before You." (Genesis 17:18) But it was recorded in the holy Torah to not only record a conversation with God but to teach a lesson to us as well. We should consider the facts of the matter without agonies of the past overwhelming our judgment. In short, that we cannot abandon the Arabs in the territories to terrorists that we armed in a failed peace attempt two decades ago. Also, if they would desire to join our nation, we would be better off for it. Nonterroristic Arabs are an asset to a lawful society, not a curse. Therefore we need to filter out terrorists from the good Arabs and then save as many precious roses from among the thornbush as we can.

If using a Torah perspective, it is assumed that the Jews have a right to their own land. If trusting that the Scripture has the most accurate intel possible, then any peace plan must take into account that the Jews are destined to have contiguous borders emanating directly to the North and South from Jerusalem. (Ezekiel, chapter 48) That means any peace plan would be doomed to fail if it did not end with Israel having full control of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank.)  As we mentioned before, there is another plan that gives full Israeli control without leaving a belligerent Arab militia in the way, this is Rabbi Elon's plan, i.e. Jordan is Palestine. From this aspect of Scripture-as-intel, either of these two plans could work.

But from the Abrahamic perspective, only Everyone Wins should be implemented. Even if somehow the Kingdom of Jordan agreed to overwhelm their population further and said Jordan is Palestine is agreeable to them, from our forefather's perspective, it would seem unacceptable, at least to my reading. The Abrahamic clause of 'Let Ishmael Live', would be met, but 'Before You', would not be met.

Further, the political problems after implementation are deep. First, it depends on the Kingdom of Jordan to not only allow it to occur, but next Jordan would need to build affordable housing and provide jobs fast enough to prevent massive discontent from everyone who just lost the societies that they held dear and do this for millions of people. It could take a great amount of money from the Western nations and Arab League to implement such a plan and remove the probability of failure; so it would burden many nations as well. They were gung-ho for the Oslo Accords, would they be for Jordan is Palestine as well? The potential to destabilize our most stable neighbor is not a sign of being on the direction toward World Peace.

At the time it was invented, Jordan is Palestine was the closest to the true Torah method to peace, allowing for the future prophecies to occur without further war, so I don't fault Rabbi Elon or his followers.  That plan led to Everyone Wins. A natural consequence of trying to do things the Torah way leads to the question, how can we do it best.

In recent years some leaders in Israel have spoken of annexing Judea and Samaria but leaving all Arabs including terrorists in the heartlands. Those plans that would follow Oslo Accord relics like Areas A, B and C would be worse than full annexation plans like the Glick plan. Just in case one would think that a plan like the Glick plan is closer to the Torah than Rabbi Elon's plan, allow me to point out the following. While this would end the hasbara nightmare in the Eastern territories, but continue the potential for it in Gaza, it would also leave machine guns in the hands of those sympathetic to terrorists. It would establish the current risk to Israeli citizens as the norm for yet another generation only with the IDF in control, it would be a less violent direction for the nation to go in, but not a full resolution of danger, as Jordan is Palestine or Everyone Wins would provide.

Plans like the Glick plan would technically add the territory of Ezekiel's prophecy but seem unlikely to enable a smooth and non-violent transition ushering in a period of World peace which is prophesied to come. Whereas Oslo-remnant preserving plans like Likud currently supports, are doomed to fail from a Torah perspective and would enable launching pads for civil unrest in the heartlands, to be decided by the whim and fiat of unrepentant terrorists, as Israel already knows too well. Israel smuggled in arms in the 1940's, a terror army would always be trying to imitate the same even if their guns alone were confiscated. They need to be dealt with conclusively. Let's wisely implement just and humane policy, not only one or only the other and not without the inspiration of Torah values.

Everyone Wins has the best of all types of peace plans, without the negatives of any. It is an annexation plan that filters out terrorists and allows as many good people as possible to keep their homes and societies. It is also a plan that enables unilateral action so it can be implemented without delay or preapproval. It does not discriminate against race but only whether a person wants to be a builder of civilization or not. At a time when the Americans are open to a One State solution, it is extremely viable.

God told Abraham, that the land would belong to his descendants. God repeated that vow to Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Joshua. But it began with Abraham. How Abraham views these matters must be taken into consideration. If God wanted us to only think of what is best for our people, He could have begun His pledge by speaking to Jacob, but instead, He spoke to Isaac and Abraham before him, perhaps this was so that we would consider the needs of our cousins as well when we made peace.

Isaac sent Edom to Seir, to become Israel's neighbor, but Abraham said Let Ishmael live before you. Isaac and Abraham were both prophets, with each the best possible advice was given. Edom in the time of Joshua would become neighbors to Israel, and Ishmael in our time would join with us to make this state into a greater nation.

The Hebrew word for "let" in this verse allows for an alternate translation. The simple meaning is as a stated wish, but it can also be translated, "if only." A conditional wish.
"If only My people would hearken to Me if Israel would go in My ways. In a short time I would subdue their enemies and upon their enemies, I would return My hand." (Psalm 81: 14-15) 
If only Ishmael is good, then we can save him and bring him into our land to dwell with us.

We learn from the holy Torah's discussion of laws of charity, to treat good gentiles similar to one's brother, "If your brother becomes destitute and his hand falters beside you, you shall support him (whether) a convert or a resident, so that he can live with you." (Leviticus 25:35) The commentary of Rashi states, "a convert or a resident: Even if he is a convert (גֵּר) ger or a “resident (תוֹשָׁב) toshav.” And what is a “resident”? Any (gentile) who has accepted upon himself not to worship idols, even though he eats (non-kosher) carrion."
Therefore I say we should show charity to Yishmael, so that he may live with us as our father Avraham intended. The only proviso, he does not bow to the idolatry of violence and terror.

Ishmael can only be welcomed if he is as a spiritual brother, i.e. not abusive and violent. Therefore the gentle and innocent among him must be collected to remain, and those dedicated to anarchy and terror must be excluded from society, rejected from the land, or otherwise brought to justice for their bloodshed. If Ishmael is a terrorist he has to go. If Ishmael is humble and gracious, then the truth is revealed; we are as brethren. Our mutual forefather Abraham had a wish even as he was told of great tidings regarding Isaac, that we should allow Ishmael to live before us. We are family and that is what family should do.

Everyone Wins remains the best way to attempt to bring peace in a way that respects not only the intel of the Torah but as we have written here, it is the only peace plan on the table that contains the precise nuanced philosophy of it as well. Therefore may it be accepted as the one path to peace in Israel. May it soon be so, by the grace of God.

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For further Details on the Kulam Marvichim/Everyone Wins Peace Plan:

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