The Chosen Land
[This article is an excerpt from the book, Our Challenge: The Chosen Land, written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, in 1974.]
It is time for the Jew in Israel to throw away those negative attitudes that he retains from the Galut, the Exile. Chief among these is an unwillingness to look at bitter reality. We may not enjoy hearing it, but the truth is that for many years at least there will not be sincere de jure peace with the Arabs. It may affect the tender souls of the more spiritually intellectual among us, but one can never attain either peace or security by "compromise" with bitter enemies who have no intentions of compromising with you. Those in Judea, Samaria and Gaza who do sit down with you because they have no choice, do so only in the hope of getting rid of you as soon as possible. Our enemy, in the long run, is weariness. It is against this enemy that we must struggle. We must gird ourselves with tenacity and determination never to tire of what appears to be a never-ending struggle. For that is what it might very well become: a struggle for Jewish existence and a Jewish state that will never cease to be a struggle; a realization that between us and the Arabs stands a massive barrier that may never be reached; a determination by two peoples to live in a land that at least one will never compromise on. There will grow the weariness of having to send our children to the army without stop. There will grow the weariness of having to leave each year for reserve duty. There will grow the weariness of terrorist attacks on the borders or at the Lod airport or at the Tel-Aviv bus terminal. There will, perhaps, again grow the weariness — and the heartbreak — of victims of a new war of attribution. There will grow the weariness of all this, rising to a crescendo with the frustrating cry: "When will it finally end?"
Only the weak succumb to such frustrations; only the weak surrender to time. A strong and tenacious people know that there may never be an end to the struggle and the sacrifice. But they also look about them and see what their refusal to surrender has accomplished: a state, and today a big one, in much of our Eretz Yisroel; a Jewish state with nearly three million souls [now nearly seven million—ed] and many more to come; the creation of a new and proud Jew. None of these things would have come about had we listened to the intellectual precursors of our modern-day intellectuals and doves. In the name of "peace" there would be no Jewish state; in the name of "morality" there would be no free Jewish nation.
If we hope to survive in the literal sense of the word, let us not succumb to the siren call of easy answers and the tempting promise of "peace." Above all, let us, please, have no illusions. The Arabs intend to wipe us out; we must be strong enough to stop them. The Arabs who live with us in Eretz Yisrael, both those who have done so for twenty-five years and those for just five, do not love us and never will — and one cannot blame them. Let us not play games with them or with ourselves. We give them civil rights and political freedom, but what Jew will ever agree that they should become a majority? What Jew will ever agree to allow Arabs to come in on the same terms as Jews do today under the Law of Return? Israel was formed as a Jewish state. Arabs may have social, economic, and much political equality but, in the end, it is not their state. For the individual Arab we offer much, but for the Arab nation, Israel offers nothing. It is not an Arab state, it is a Jewish state. It came into being because Jews knew that for them there was no hope in a world that thirsted for their bodies and souls. It came into being under the realization that neither king nor Republican nor Marxist had the solution to the Jewish problem. That in the end it was the words of the rabbis that proved to be eternally true:
"It is a law, it is known that Esau hates Jacob."
And so, Eretz Yisrael, the land of the Jewish people, exists. It can never be anything but that and both we and the Arabs know it. Such a fact allows for few illusions over peace. Perhaps peace will come some day; I for one, doubt it. Until it doesn’t let us not listen to the delusions that float down to us daily from the ivory tower or from the self-hating Left.
Strength and tenacity – they and they alone assure Jewish survival.
[Barbara Ginsberg maintains a weekly mailing list of the writings of Rabbi Kahane ZT"L. If you would like to receive these weekly mailings, you can join the list by contacting her directly
[ Rabbi Meir Kahane's ZT"L | Published: July 19, 2020 (Orig. 1974) ]