by Elyakim Haetzni
Why did you change ‘Aliyah to the Promised Land’ to the anemic expression ‘the state is open’?
Atty. Elyakim Haetzni, in his criticism of the Nationality Law and the word that is missing from it: “When you read the law, you wonder if it had undergone censorship by overseers from Washington”.
The world is upside down. Instead of the “enlightened” world accepting the new Nationality Law with applause and the Right objecting to it, the opposite is happening: The Right is celebrating and the Left is grieving. How did this happen, that the two sides do not see what is missing in this law, do not see that something has fallen beneath the floor, do not see that in the Law of Jewish Nationality - the Land of Israel is missing?
The name of the state, its flag, symbol, hymn, the official calendar, holidays and days of rest are static, declarative data – like saying that 2+2 equals four. In a normal country perhaps that would be enough, but not in the Jewish State, which is – in the words of the law – “unique”. It has two key roles, from which it derives the essence of its indispensability: Aliyah and settlement. And indeed, the Nationality Law devotes two clauses to these two pillars.
Clause no. 5 of the law, under the heading “Ingathering of the Exiles”, states: “The state will be open to Jewish Aliyah and the ingathering of the exiles”.
Aficionados will perhaps not appreciate the passive wording, as if to say ‘I’m flexible, if you want to, go ahead… “and would prefer a more pro-active statement. But we will deal here with a much more severe flaw: “Aliyah and the ingathering of the exiles” – to where? ‘To the state’? “Aliyah to the Land” has been the accepted expression all the days of Zionism. What happened – why did they omit “the Land”?
This clause should be compared to the Law of Return from 1950, which declared, under the heading “the right to Aliyah”: “Every Jew has the right to immigrate to the Land”. “To the Land” – those legislators said, all of two years after the establishment of the State! We did not yet have possession of the heart of the Land, and nevertheless, they “carved in stone” (in the eloquent words of the prime minister) the right of every Jew to immigrate to the Land of Israel.
How can the wording of these two documents be compared – the right ‘to the Land’ in contrast to ‘the state is open’? Likud and HaBayit HaYehudi Legislators – why did you change ‘Aliyah to the Promised Land’ to the anemic expression ‘the state is open’?
And from Aliyah we come to settlement. Clause no. 7 of the law, under the heading “Jewish settlement”, states: “The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value, and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation”.
How is it that the legislators did not notice that in the expression “development of Jewish settlement” – something is missing? Settlement – where? In the Baron’s colonies in Argentina? We may guess, of course, that since it says that ‘the state views’, the reference is to settlement in the state. Whether this is so or not, someone took care here as well, not to say in simple human language that the settlement is in the Land of Israel and he preferred to leave it hanging in the air.
Say: and the connection “to this Land”, which has been sanctified for thousands of years with blood and tears, where is that? And what happened to “the homeland”, which was changed to “home state”? Have you, the legislators of the national camp, joined the radical Left, which has erased the “Land” of Israel and converted it to the “state” of Israel, to the point where even the weather is “in the state”? For them, the wording of this law is a realization of their wet dream, but for you?!
Even in the Law’s first clause, Para (3) – “Foundational Principals”, the trend is obvious: “The realization of the right to national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish People”.
I am writing these words in Kiryat Arba-Hevron, which is located, as we know, in the Land of Israel, and in a place that is not bad, but outside the State of Israel. Can it be that here, in the City of the Forefathers, Jewish national self-determination is not realized?
One might think that someone went over the text with a microscope and eradicated every trace of the Land of Israel, apart from the laconic statement about where the state originated: “The Land of Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish People, and the State of Israel was established in this place”.
The systematic omission of “the Land” from here on, for the rest of the law, sends the message that after the state was established, Jewish self-determination has occurred and is occurring only within its borders. This gives rise to the conclusion that the rest of the territory between the Land and the state – is available for someone else.
The Nationality Law clearly expresses a minimalist and hostile interpretation of the key sentence in both the Balfour Declaration and the document of the Mandate: “A national home for the Jewish People in the Land of Israel”. Our enemies have always claimed that the intention was to some territory in the Land, not to the entire territory… Is this also the message of the “right wing government”?
The sword of Damocles hovers over us in the form of Trump’s “deal of the century”. The “trio” – Kushner, Greenblatt and Friedman plus Nikki Haley - just published an article for CNN in which they repeated the clarification that there is nothing in the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel that prevents the division of the city and their plan will also include “the legitimate needs of the Palestinian and the region” (in other words, every Arab country), and concluded with a hint of bad news: “No one will be totally satisfied with the plan that we are offering…”
Netanyahu politely complies with the “trio’s” instructions to scale back the building in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria to the minimum, to allow the establishment of a Palestinian state on at least 90% of the territory of Judea and Samaria, meaning – also in the greater part of Area C. Recently, there have been various cases when Netanyahu’s people have clearly admitted that they are waiting for instructions from Trump’s team. When the plan is published, Netanyahu will surely adopt it for the sake of maintaining friendly relations with Trump. Just as he adopted the “two states” plan because of Obama’s hostility.
When you read the Nationality Law against this backdrop the thought arises that perhaps it has also undergone censorship by the overseers from Washington.
If, one day, the legislators open their eyes and see that they are bringing upon us a law that will result in the division of the Land, Bar-Ilan 2.0, only one path will be open for them to repair the damage: the State of Israel’s application of sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.
Only in this way will the Jewish nation have both a state and the Land.
Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav
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