Originally published 6/17/07, 7:20 PM, Eastern Daylight Time
Rabbi Ben Hecht:
I just want to venture a little way from theology and look at what's happening in Eretz Yisrael, although whatever is happening in Eretz Yisrael is part of the realm of Torah. What has occurred this past week is most interesting -- and what has emerged is possibly, let us call them, "two Palestines."
How are we to look at this development? Does it improve the situation for klal Yisrael or does it cause greater difficulty? I am not one to venture to say what is the intention of Hashem but I think that there is value in attempting to figure out how we are to respond to this present situation. Gaza is in control of Hamas. Fatah is effectively the Palestinian authority or government in the West Bank. What is emerging are two distinct Palestinian entities with two different governmental agencies. What does that mean for Israel?
This is not a discussion touching on the larger issue of how Israel should deal with the Palestinians in general. I am not talking left or right. I am not talking land for peace or not. I am basically questioning whether this situation is a good one for Israel or not, regardless of what one thinks the solution should be. Given what you believe the goal for Eretz Yisrael should be, is this situation potentially more beneficial to the realization of this goal or not? Of course, all depends on how Israel responds to this situation. How should, then, Israel respond?
Personally, I wonder. Even though the terrorists of Hamas control Gaza (and this is not to say that Fatah are not terrorists), I think that this "division of Palestine" may be good for Israel. But ultimately I cannot say this definitively. What do you think?