My article in Newsmax: “New US Israeli Settlements Policy Could Foster Peace”
Setting the record straight, the reversal of a four-decade old U.S. position on Israeli settlement policy in the West Bank as being “inconsistent with international law,” is a meaningful and positive declaration.
First and foremost, if it helps repair the breakage in Israel’s social fabric, it will help ease the road to peace. After mending the connections of the people of Israel, tranquility with our neighbors will follow naturally and smoothly.
The shift in American foreign policy announced by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agrees with President Ronald Reagan’s 1981 assessment that the settlements in territories conquered by Israel in the 1967 war were not “inherently illegal.”
However, this assessment contradicts U.N., European, Mideastern and Palestinian positions on the matter. The international community generally deems the settlements to be illegitimate, claiming that they erode the possibility for a future Palestinian state that would include disputed areas in Judea and Samaria.
Washington’s declaration has been rejected by Russia, Jordan, Turkey, and the European Union representatives, which comes as no surprise. The nations of the world consistently hound Israel, with no hesitation to unmercifully pressure Israel in comparison to what they demand from its neighbors or any other country.
Why Is Israel Always the World’s Focal Point?
We might wonder why Israel is treated differently than other nations, grabbing such global attention. It is so for a reason. The world subconsciously feels that Jews hold the keys for a good future but are somehow withholding the secret to a better world.
Therefore, the nations of the world goad us from behind and will not rest until we deliver what is expected of us.
Our Jewish nation was founded by our forefathers based on adherence to the condition of being “as one man with one heart.” Together, our people discovered and refined the method to rise above personal interests, the ego, to nurture genuine concern for one another.
They discovered a positive unifying force that guided their every move, and for centuries succeeded in uniting above divisions.
However, around 2,000 years ago, the Jewish nation succumbed to unfounded hatred, which led to their exile and eventual dispersion.
The shattered state of separation still rules in our hearts, and it is the root cause of myriad problems today.
Therefore, rebuilding our Jewish unity is the key solution that can restore a state of harmony profound enough to permeate everything around us and the entire world.
This is precisely our moral and spiritual obligation as a people, to “be a light unto the nations,” serving as a positive example for the world. It is the mandate for our existence as a nation, as well as for the Land of Israel upon which we reside.
As Rav Abraham Isaac Kook, the first chief rabbi in the Land of Israel, wrote, “In Israel is the secret to the unity of the world” (Orot Kodesh).
Peace Should Start At Home
Until we reconstruct our state of cohesion, which humanity direly needs today, the nations of the world will not accept our existence as individual Jews or as a sovereign Jewish nation. Therefore, peace must begin at home, among Jews. When we rise above our differences and attain a certain extent of unity, everyone will benefit. Otherwise, the world will continue blaming Jews and Israel for their woes.
We are the carriers of the method of the ego’s correction and of the division destroying our world. First, however, we need to learn how to implement correction among each other in order to be able to pass it on.
That method for “covering all crimes with love,” as King Solomon put it (Proverbs 10:12), always was and always will be our weapon for our survival and prosperity.
Reinstating the connection we once achieved is the peace process we need most.
The sooner we begin, the faster we will find calm and quiet for all.