Prevention

There is Only One Way to Prevent the Next Massacre

If we cherish life, if we want to continue existing in this land, if we want to solve the problem at its root, and if we want to ensure that the terrible massacre won't happen again, there is only one way: "And you shall dispossess all the inhabitants of the land from before you."

In the Simchat Torah War, we suffered a terrible blow unlike anything since the establishment of the state. During the events of Tarpat (5689), 67 Jews were killed in Hebron (and an additional 66 in other places, totaling 133 Jews), shocking the entire Jewish world. Here we are talking about more than tenfold that number.

Even us who opposed the Oslo Accords did not believe that the outcome would be so severe. We, too, need introspection regarding the terrible disaster that befell us. Perhaps through that introspection, we can also address the reasons that led to the Oslo Accords and the subsequent disengagement from Gush Katif.

The Torah in the Parashat Masa'ay commands us, "And you shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land" (Numbers 33:52). Rashi explains, "And you shall dispossess - and drive out." The holy Or HaChaim questions why the Torah commands dispossessing, given that with the seven nations of Canaan, we were commanded to kill them. He explains that here it is referring to nations that are not from the seven nations, and that is why we are commanded to dispossess them.

The Or HaChaim further clarifies that this is why the Torah wrote, "And you shall dispossess all the inhabitants of the land," where the word "all" is meant to include other nations as well.

In the following verse, it is written, "And you shall dispossess the land and settle in it." Rashi explains, "You shall dispossess it from its inhabitants - then you will be able to dwell in it. But if not, you will not be able to survive in it."

In other words, our ability to exist in the land depends on us driving our enemies out of here. Otherwise, we will deteriorate from one misfortune to another until we can no longer survive in the land.

The Torah adds what will happen if we do not fulfill this:

"If you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell." Oh, how precise the Torah is!

Why does the Torah go on writing what will happen if we do not keep the mitzvah of "dispossess"?

In simplicity, the Torah aims to emphasize the importance of this commandment. As Rashi wrote above, without fulfilling it, we cannot thrive in the land.

However, there is a deeper meaning: the Torah wants that when such a severe disaster befalls us, we will know precisely why it happened and what needs to be fixed.

We will not evade responsibility in the style of "We do not know the calculations of heaven, and we do not know why this happened."

Instead, we will know that the horrific massacre happened for one specific and precise reason: "And if you do not dispossess the inhabitants of the land from before you."

Reality has taught us that the Torah does not write this as a "divine punishment" for "neglecting the commandment," but as a natural consequence.

If we do not expel our enemies, the natural consequence is that we will suffer from the enemies we left here, and they will harass us.

The Arabs feel that we have stolen their land. They fought against the establishment of the state and view its existence as a disaster. Can we imagine that they will sit quietly?

Anyone with a clear understanding realizes that they are waiting for the day when they will rise against us, seeking to kill us and destroy the State of Israel. Even if they appear submissive, beneath the surface, there is brewing discontent and organization.

For years, they have been attacking us, stealing from us, killing us, and amassing weapons for a major war. So far, these weapons have been used for internal conflicts, but one day, they will be turned against us. We might be surprised, just like we were taken aback by the attack from Gaza during the joy of Simchat Torah.

If we continue to leave them here, the massacre in the south will not be the last.

It's not the "Hamas" or the "Islamic Jihad." It's the entire "Palestinian" people standing behind them, and the celebrations in the Arab sector every time a Jew is killed prove it.

Even the Arab laborers who are building our homes and appear to be decent people who want to live in peace and support their families, spy for terrorist organizations and collect information for them. Some of them have also actively participated in the massacre.

I dare not imagine what would happen if Arab residents of the Galilee, the Negev, Wadi Ara, and the "Triangle" decide to converge on the Jewish cities and settlements surrounding them. They wouldn't need to breach any security fences; they are already here.

And who knows what will happen in the mixed cities? In Lod, Ramla, Acre, Jaffa, Haifa, Jerusalem?

They don't need "entry permits" to our cities and settlements. They are Israeli citizens and can move freely anywhere.

Their intention exists. Plans are apparently in preparation, and we know about them precisely as the intelligence knew about the plans to breach from Gaza. They are collecting weapons. And we shoudn't be naive: Arab residents of Israel dream of doing all over the country, exactly what they did in the Gaza Strip envelope.

If we value our lives, if we want to continue existing in the land, if we want to solve the problem at its root, if we don't want the terrible massacre to happen again, there is only one way: "And you shall dispossess all the inhabitants of the land from before you."

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