I was against the disengagement from the Gaza Strip. However, I was not against the withdrawal because people were going to lose their homes and their livelihoods, though that made me sad. I was also not against the withdrawal because giving part of the land of israel to non jews falls in the category of יהרג ועל יעבר, a sin that is so great it is better to die then to take part of it, because most rabbis who I heard did not take that opinion, or the opinion that there was anything halachically wrong with doing it at all.
There are times when people have to give for the for the good of the state. The people who went to live in the settlements helped enhance security, and gave of themselves to do it. They put themselves in danger every day because they believed it was good for the country. Obviously the country has to compensate them and make sure that they are looked at as heroes for serving the country and not as drek that was holding the country back, and it is doing a lousy job of that. But that probably has a lot to do with the level of confrontation that was involved here and the open hostility between the 2 sides.
I was against it for the simple reason that I felt it did nothing to enhance any aspect of the State of Israel. Security is not improved because of it, though it may be worse now, no social problems have been solved, it created a big rift in society, and soldiers are still in danger. It brought Hamas into power and showed the arabs that violence pays. It also did not gain us any real foreign relation points. In fact in retrospect, all the warnings beforehand have proved accurate. So I feel that I was correct in opposing it.
There are other people who feel that this was a good move. I don't understand their reasoning, but I respect their opinion that this will be good for the country.
This came up again now because of an article on the Arutz 7 newsite. It seems that the Hareidi religious parties, United Torah Judaism, are willing to be part of a government that will disengage again. They said that they will join any government under certain conditions and they will keep their coalition agreement and would expect the other side to keep theirs. Keep in mind that the UTJ votes are _always_ decided by their council of Torah Sages, at whose head is Rav Elyashiv the leader of Ashkenazic Torah Jewry.
The Talk backs on the site were interesting. Pinchas from Jerusalem feels that Christians understand the Torah better then Rav Elyashiv. Charlie from Boca Raton feels that if they join the government they may as well join Hamas. Lorrie from Brooklyn feels they are making their own Torah, she also knows Torah better then Rav Elyashiv and therefore must be the Christian Pinchas talked to. Yael from Yesha doesn't understand why their is even a question because she fully understands the Torah unlike these foolish rabbis. Benny from Toronto is sad that the Rebbe was right. Mordechai from Jerusalem will now not vote for the UTJ because of this article. Uncle Bernie (nice to see your name on the list), along with many other people, feels that they are selling the Torah for funding. Akiva in Chicago feels that the hareidim have no fear of God. Jay from the USA, maybe a voice of reason, suggests that they ask a shalo. (Who should ask the shalo? The council of Torah sages should ask his local orthodox rabbi?)
People are forgetting what the Hareidim believe about the State of Israel. They believe that the government is not a Jewish government, it is a government of Jews. This is something that the national religious are slowly realizing. That means that if the government gives up some of Israel, that is not against halacha, because while Jews were living on that land and that was good, it was conquered by an army of Jews and not a Jewish army and therefore there is no
problem handing it away if that is for the good of the country. They would like to live in a completely religious country, but they are under no illusions that this is going to happen because of a knesset decision or not.
People who still believe that the government of Israel is the Jewish government that is the result of the redemption from exile are missing a few peas from their pod. While we have to fight for Jewish issues and the right to live Jewish lives in a Jewish country in the land of Israel we have to choose our battles. The battle on civil marriages, for example, is of utmost importance to the survival of the Jewish people. If there was an ultimatum that either you vote for withdrawal or civil marriages will actually be put up for a vote in the knesset (where it would most likely win) I think it would behoove every religious party to make sure that withdrawal passes. Yes, I feel they should sell out for other important Jewish issues. That is what a democracy is. Selling out on some issues so that your important issue goes your way. Don't like democracy? Daven for mashiach!