I am an American currently in Israel, trying to understand God's plan here. I wonder what your organization thinks of the current situation in the West Bank. What is God's answer to the Palestinian Refugees and people living in Bethlehem, Jericho etc. I hear people on both sides offer various opinions here... one is a 2 state solution, others believe that the refugees should be accepted into Jordan and that the remaining Palestinians would again be offered Israeli citizenship. Still others say that all Arabs should leave Israel (although they dont say where they should go) and that it should be a "Jewish" state (although, much of Israel is not turned to God and sadly very secular today.) The Land outlined by God is bigger than what is currently Israel as well. You say, via scripture, God will not use military force, as in the times of David etc, but that this Land will be restored to Israel with the coming of the Messiah. Is this also when we will see the fulfillment of Isaiah 19 - Israel, Eqypt and Assyria as brothers?
So what should Israel's political role be today? What is the answer to the West Bank etc.
And how do you feel about Israel being so secular. I am here in the Land and it breaks my heart that God's own people and His own Land is so far from His face. It must grieve the heart of God. I desire and pray for Israel to enter into her inheritance and to be a priestly nation and a blessing to the nations.
I am just trying to learn more, and appreciate anything you have to contribute to my search.
We see the solution as being one democratic state with a non-Jewish majority. The Torah forbids a Jewish state, but a state with a non-Jewish majority would not be considered Jewish. Given the current numbers of Jews and Palestinian Arabs, the solution is already within reach. There are 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza, 1.5 million in the State of Israel proper, 2 million in the West Bank, and about 2 million elsewhere in exile. (There are a total of 5 million registered Palestinian refugees and their descendents today; however, a large number of those refugees live in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, whose populations I counted separately.) The total is about 7 million, more than the 6 million Israeli Jews.
The main obstacles to this are Jewish clinging to the outdated idea of an ethnic Jewish state, as well as the natural absorption capacity of the land, water supply and so on.
The secular nature of Israeli society pains us greatly as well, and this is a problem that will not be solved even after the problem of Zionism is solved. However, keep in mind that there are just as many secularized Jews in the United States as there are in the State of Israel, only you don't notice them as much because they blend in with non-Jewish society. We try to reach out and bring back our brethren to Torah, but we must admit that not all of them will come back, and that this is part of G-d's plan. G-d sorts the Jewish people during exile, winnowing them so that the chaff flies away and the purest grain filters through (see Amos 9:9: "Behold it is I who gives the order, and I will shake throughout all the nations the house of Israel, as something is shaken in the sieve.) The same thing is happening in the State of Israel. The only difference is that right now, even the secular ones are speaking Hebrew and participating in a Jewish state, so that makes them seem like part of the Jewish people. But take the Jewish state out of the picture, as I have suggested above, and you will see that most of them fly away like chaff. Again, this is painful for us, and we try our best to bring them back, but this is what is happening to many of them. In the long run it is good for our people because we will be left with only the most faithful Jews.
thank you so much, I appreciate your willingness to dialog with me a bit.
One more question if you have time for me... what, is any, is your concern that the Musslims - specifically the more militant and violent party, would gain political power in a one-state solution here?
It is a possibility that a party like Hamas or Hizbullah would gain power. My answer to that is that such a one-state solution, reached with the cooperation of the UN and the international community, would have to provide a clause for Jews wishing to leave Palestine for whatever reason after the solution is implemented. They would be granted automatic refugee status and under the guidance of the UN, countries would be obligated to let them in. This is one of the reasons why the UN, with its provision for refugees, was created in the first place. Prior to and during the beginning of World War II Germany allowed and encouraged Jews to flee from Europe but there was no one to take them in.
Keep in mind that if the end of Zionism were achieved, much of the raison d'etre of these militant parties would be gone and they might just become obsolete, or change beyond recognition.
Also, not all Jews would want to leave. There are various types of Israeli Jews. There are those Orthodox Jews who opposed Zionism all along and would get along quite well with an Arab government. Then there are the strong Zionist Jews, the settlers and their sympathizers, who love the Land of Israel so much that they would rather stay under an Arab government and risk their lives than leave. (Many of the settlers of Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip expressed this wish during the last weeks before their expulsion.) The only Jews who might want to leave are those who are in between not strongly Zionist and not strongly anti-Zionist.
Sorry, one more question...
The State of Israel was established by force of
arms and the Talmud states that Jews are forbidden to reestablish
kingdom in the Holy Land by force of arms before the messiah comes
Can you provide the reference for this... and if this is so clearly stated in Talmud... help me to understand why the majority of Jewish people (even Orthodox), or so it seems, here in Israel DO support the current state of Israel. But you say even the TORAH forbids a Jewish state (before the Messiah). But, many that I speak to here do support military action today. They say that it was God who provided the military favor and protection etc that lead to the land being given to Israel, and to the Jewish people. (even though as we have said before today it is secular and not a people turned back to God). And even reference that wars of David etc of Ancient Days. It was not until I found your website that I heard of ANY Jewish people (secular or religious) here DID NOT support the Jewish state.
I am not Jewish, but I love God and believe the Torah and God's plan for His people. I read the Torah portions each Shabbat and it speaks so clearly of God's love for His people and so clearly of His pain at their rebellion. I love and want to serve the Jewish people, because I love and want to serve God. I want to understand, and I want to know how to pray. I am seeking to understand God's plan, to discover His heart.
The Talmudic source I referred to was Kesubos 111a, which states that G-d made the Jews swear that they would never "go up as a wall". The commentators disagree as to whether this means an armed conquest of the Holy Land or any mass immigration. Even according to the first opinion, what happened in 1948 was forbidden because it was clearly armed conquest. The religious Zionists (that is, the most knowledgeable among them) will tell you that it wasn't armed conquest because the UN voted that there should be a Jewish state, and therefore it is as if the British handed the state to the Jews; all wars after that point were defensive. This is a weak argument because the British abstained from the UN vote, and they just vacated the country and let things take their course. The UN, too, did nothing to enforce its decision. In fact, many parts of the UN decision never went into practice. Jerusalem was not made an international city; rather, half went to Israel and half to Jordan. The West Bank and Gaza did not become an independent Arab state; rather half of the West Bank went to Jordan and the other half was conquered by the Zionists, and Gaza went to Egypt. The UN protested against this in its Resolution 194, calling for Israel to withdraw to Partition Plan borders, but it never took any action because its resolutions are merely suggestions.
Most religious Zionists don't know enough about the subject to even make this argument.
As you continue your search for the truth you will meet more Jews from various circles and you will get a better feel for how many support Zionism and how many do not.