Friday, December 31, 2010

Has Our Chance For Geulah Passed? Part II

Two days ago I wrote that Israel may have recently entered a limbo stage leading neither to destruction nor to redemption -- the two possible outcomes Kahane saw Israel rapidly approaching. As part of my argument, I wrote, "[J]udging by Abbas's behavior, a Palestinian state is not arising any time soon." On second thought, I think I may have been mistaken on this point. In fact, I think the rise of a Palestinian state is a distinct possibility in the coming decades. If a Palestinian state rises, however, Israel will find itself even deeper entrenched in this limbo stage.

People think that a Palestinian state would mean the destruction of the Jewish state. I highly doubt that. As dangerous as ceding the West Bank to the Arabs is, the chances of "Palestine" -- even if allied with Egypt, Jordan, and Syria -- defeating Israel in battle is minimal. Terror attacks would no doubt continue, but Israel will not fall from the occasional terrorist attack. Surviving, however, would actually be a problem. Some Kahane followers believe they will ascend to power when matters become so grim that everyone realizes "Kahane tzadak." But matters might never become so grim. Israel may never reach a particular moment that is so bad that its citizens will clamor for someone with "an answer" to take over. Instead of dying "with a bang," Israel may just "fade away" over the course of hundreds of years.

The bottom line is this: If we wish to bring redemption to Israel, we must work now. We cannot afford to wait until matters get much worse because they might just remain "tolerable" for the masses of Israelis (whose tolerance for death and humiliation is staggering) for decades upon decades to come. And if we wait until a "Palestine" arises, we might be too late. It's hard enough, politically speaking, to deny the "Palestinian people" their "right" to an independent state. It will be 100 times harder to wipe a state off the map, which is what a Kahane follower would have to do if he became prime minister after a Palestinian state arose.

I asked two days ago if it's possible that our chance for geulah in this generation has already passed. I don't know the answer to that question. But if we surrender the West Bank to the Arabs and allow them to establish a state there, the answer to that question will almost certainly be "yes." I, for one, would rather die than see such a dark stage of renewed and intensified galus.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Has Our Chance For Geulah Passed?

I write this post with trepidation. Can I even suggest such a thing -- that our chance for geulah has passed for the time being? And why do I even entertain the possibility?

Among today's news articles on Arutz7 was one concerning the new cloth cover for Yoseph's Tomb, which apparently the state of Israel is slowly taking possession of after it voluntarily surrendered it to scum-of-the-earth Arabs in 2000 who then proceeded to burn and defile it.

Kahane followers generally assume that matters will get worse and worse in Israel until we get rid of the Arabs. If we don't get rid of them, they will destroy the country in a matter of decades, at most. Either destruction or redemption -- those are the only two outcomes Kahane foresaw.

As per Kahane's prediction, matters have gotten drastically worse in the 20 years since his assassination. And it seemed that this pattern would continue indefinitely until either destruction or redemption unfolded (which naturally would depend on the actions of those of us who possess common sense and know the Torah truth about living a national life in Israel).

But what to make of the last few years? The situation has calmed down. Very few Jews have been killed recently and judging by Abbas's behavior, a Palestinian state is not arising any time soon. Israel's economy is doing very well and Israelis seem fairly confident that matters are okay. Few people are horribly frustrated. Most think Netanyahu is doing a decent job. Is destruction really imminent? It's harder to think so than it used to be.

And now Yoseph's Tomb has a new cover. If you had asked me a few years ago, I would have told you that Israel will never again be in control of Yoseph's Tomb until a follower of Kahane (or someone very close to one) becomes prime minister. But I would've been wrong. Yoseh's Tomb is coming back to life. Not because Israel reconquered it, but simply because the Arabs, in the meantime, are not fanatically opposed to the Jewish presence there. For now anyways, it's not worth dying for in their mind.

Again, Kahane followers generally assume matters will get worse and worse until the destruction of the state of Israel or victory for Kahane's ideas. But perhaps neither destruction or redemption will unfold in the foreseeable future. Perhaps Israel will muddle along for decades upon decades to come as it has done the last few years. Perhaps Israelis will slowly recover places like Yoseph's Tomb not by war but by appealing to the right authorities and behaving nicely. In other words, perhaps we're seeing the beginning of a prolonged and nominally satisfactory galus life in Israel, whereby one lives in safety by the goodwill of one's enemies.

Yes, Israel will have an embarrassing wall cutting it in half. Yes, Israel will continue to be embarrassingly obsequious to the United States. But it will live in relative safety. It might not live with pride, but Jews have lived without national pride for 2,000 years. Who's to say they can't live without it in Israel?

Kahane saw the 1980s as years ripe for redemption, and indeed they were. But maybe our chance for redemption has come and passed. Perhaps we are now entering an era of galus existence in the land of Israel -- similar to life in Europe or during certain periods of the bayis sheni period.

All the tensions that the first and second Intifadas and the Oslo Accords brought to the surface made geulah a very real and imminent possibility. One could envision a Kahane follower sweeping to power on the heels of mass frustration with the status quo. One could even envision a popular revolution of people fed up at watching their kids and neighbors die at the hands of murderous Arabs. But maybe that time and opportunity is over. Perhaps our chance for geulah has passed.

Is it possible?