The Ballad-Mongers of Jerusalem

I never cease to be astonished by the arrogance of Israeli Prime Ministers whose policies suggest that they own the Land of Israel and can dispose of parts it — why not all of it? — to whomsoever they please. Of course they count on the pliancy of cabinet ministers and on the pusillanimity of Israel's religious parties which are more fearful of Washington than of God. Still, the arrogance of these Prime Ministers appalls me.

The latest Prime Minister would have us believe that he must adhere to the disastrous agreements of his predecessors. None but fools are deceived: he, too, genuflects to Washington. Despite the 800 Jews that have been murdered by the Palestinian Authority while he has been Israel's prime minister, he still regards that terrorist organization as a "negotiating partner," with which he is anxious to conclude the "final status" of Israel's heartland, as if he were some mighty god!

And then there are his apologists. They are not appalled by his arrogance. He is simply a victim of circumstances. He is doing the best he can given a divided people and American pressure. Some admit he is not the stuff of which heroes are made, but we have "no alternative." End of story.

I prefer silence to apologetics. If we can do nothing more then let us stand in silent awe at what is happening to the only homeland of the Jewish people. Nevertheless, suffer me to say a few words, however inadequate, about this Holy Land and its people. Would that my words were poignant enough to bring tears to your eyes.

The Jewish people, dear reader, are the only people in world history that remained a nation even though they were expelled from their homeland and deprived of statehood. For 2,000 years the Jewish people, while scattered throughout the earth, never surrendered their title to Eretz Yisrael, and never ceased to hearken to these words of the Torah: "If thy outcasts be at the far ends of the heavens, from there will the Lord your God gather thee, and from there will He fetch thee; and the Lord thy God will bring thee back to the Land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shall possess it" (Deuteronomy 30.4-5).

This land of Israel is like no other. Despite its remarkable fertility, this land remained desolate and neglected during these past two millennia no matter which foreign nation occupied or controlled this country. It were as if the land were silently waiting, waiting to be redeemed by its only rightful and worthy owners. And lo and behold, only when the Jews returned in significant numbers to this desolate land did the land burst forth in joyful abundance.

Also Providential is this: none of the foreign nations — thirteen in number — that occupied or controlled the land of Island ever established a state or even a provincial capital in this Chosen Land of the Chosen People. Had any done so the Jews would never have been able to return to Eretz Yisrael and re-establish therein an independent Jewish State. Here we are given to understand why Arab tribes — nomads — have dwelled in the land of Israel without ever establishing within its confines a distinctive culture of their own.

Let all mankind know, therefore, that the land of Israel, including its heartland Judea and Samaria, belongs eternally to the Jewish people. No transient government, no transient Knesset, has any right, legal or moral, to barter away any part of this holy land to foreign entities and thus preclude future generations of Jews, wherever they may be in the Diaspora, from exercising their inalienable right to dwell in their God-given land.

The agreements of Israeli Prime Ministers surrendering Jewish land to foreign entities will not endure, will never supercede the covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: "For God is not a man, that He should lie; nor the son of man, that he should change His mind. Should He promise and not fulfill it, or speak and not do it?" (Numbers 23.19).

Know well that the agreements Israeli Prime Ministers made with the PLO-Palestinian Authority are without any foundation and will eventually collapse like a house of cards. Suffice to consult the Prophet Isaiah 28:14-18. There the Prophet describes certain scorners of the Torah as the "ballad-mongers" of Jerusalem. Surely these "ballad-mongers" are glib politicians or phrase-mongers. They have made a "covenant with death" (brit et mavit, which the Targum translates as a covenant with terrorists!). They try to conceal the true nature of this covenant with fine sounding words like "peace" and "security." But the Prophet exposes what is hidden in the souls of these politicians:

We have made lies our refuge, and in falsehood have we hid ourselves." Hence the Prophet warns that the duplicity of these "ballad-mongers" of Jerusalem will not prevent disasters. Moreover, he prophesies: "Your covenant with death shall be annulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand ...

Yes, Jerusalem, the City of Truth, has become the City of Lies. But soon the liars will be no more and Jerusalem will flourish in truth as in days of yore.

[ Prof. Paul Eidelberg ]