They Say, We Say: The torah explicitly says that God gave Israel to the Jewish people

They Say We Say We know that pro-Israel does not mean blindly supporting policies that are irrational, reckless, and counter-productive. Pro-Israel means supporting policies that are consistent with Israel's interests and promote its survival as a Jewish, democratic state.

You've heard the arguments of the religious and political right-wing, and so have we. They've had their say. Now, we'll have ours.

Go HERE for all installments of APN's "They Say, We Say"

God Wants the Jews to Have All the Land

They Say:

The Torah explicitly says that God gave Israel to the Jewish people. It is our birthright. The birth of the modern state of Israel in 1948 is the fulfillment of this right. No other national or religious claims are relevant. Those who ask Jews to give up an inch of our God-given trust, in the naïve hope of achieving "peace" with our enemies, fail to appreciate this birthright and the obligations it entails.

We Say:

While some Jews today believe that the miracle of Israel's establishment represents the dawn of a Messianic age, many Jewish authorities are wary of conflating Israeli control over territory with any Biblical commandment. After all, the State of Israel is a secular creation and its policies do not have any direct bearing on our responsibilities towards the Divine. Rather, Israeli policies vis-à-vis the West Bank and Gaza should be determined on the basis of what makes Israel and its citizens more secure as a Jewish state and a democracy.

Likewise, the claim that our theological truth is superior to the truths or traditions of others has no place in the real world of political discourse or international relations. It is an invitation not to peace but to perpetual conflict.

Even if we do believe that the Land of Israel is God-given, it still doesn't mean that Jews must retain and exercise full sovereignty over it. Many prominent Jewish scholars agree that there are values - namely the sanctity of human life - which supersede the value of exercising Jewish presence and sovereignty over the entire Land of Israel.

We would be wise to remember the commandment conveyed by the Prophet Jeremiah after the destruction of the First Temple: "And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away... for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace" (Jeremiah 29:7). We are, of course, entitled to believe that ours is, indeed, the supreme truth, but for the sake of the peace of the city, we are forbidden from proclaiming that superiority in the public spaces, where we, and all others, must behave as if ours is just one of a number of truths. Otherwise, the result is chaos and death.