All of our problems stem from one of two things. Either we don't understand what Hashem wants from us or we simply refuse to give Him what He wants from us.
Here is a case in point. It comes from an article that I was reading yesterday---PA: Give us a State or It's War.
Problem #1: Most of us do not understand that we are not supposed to allow non-Jews to live here at the present time. Even geriei toshav cannot be accepted except during the yovel year. Yet our leaders are talking about allowing (another) Judenrein Arab state to set up within our borders while letting so-called Israeli Arabs continue to live within whatever borders are left to us.
Quote: Senior Palestinian Authority negotiator Nabil Shaath ... said that recognizing Israel as a Jewish state would undermine the PA's demand for the “right of return,” which would grant Israeli citizenship to the millions of descendants of Arabs who fled Israel during its War of Independence.
He also claimed that accepting a Jewish state “will directly threaten the Muslim and Christian Palestinians in Israel.”
The PA has demanded that no Jewish residents remain in the territory it claims as the location of a future Arab state, including any Israelis in Judea and Samaria who would be willing to become PA citizens. Arab leaders in the PA and elsewhere have insisted that Israel cease all construction for Judea and Samaria Jews in order for negotiations to proceed.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak backed the PA view in an interview with Channel 1 broadcast Saturday night. “I say to Israeli citizens, including Jews, Muslims and others, that there is no such thing as a state in which all the citizens are Jews,” he said.
But in Egypt, every citizen is an Egyptian, right? The author of the article obviously thinks he is making a case for the Jewish state with the following short analysis, but there is something critically wrong with it. Can you see it?
While the Arab League and Mubarak argued against labeling a state “Jewish,” many Arab League nations – among them Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Libya – are officially Muslim countries. In Syria the president is required by law to be a Muslim, and the same is true for the Prime Minister of Lebanon.
Problem # 1 (again): We do not properly understand what it means to be Jewish. The article sees it primarily as a religion and equates "Jewish" with "Muslim." And this is a very big mistake. Being Muslim makes one a follower of the Mohameddan religion. Being Jewish makes you a citizen of the Jewish nation whether in its native land or outside of it. The prophet says (paraphrased) 'was there ever such a thing like this before, where a God came and took a nation from within another nation?' God took us and molded us into a nation and gave us a Book of Instruction (The Torah) for how to live as a nation in our own land, which He also gave to us. The Torah is our constitution and we need no other. There should be no conflict between being a Jewish state as well as "a state of all of its citizens" because only Jews can rightfully be citizens of the Jewish nation.
Just like every other nation requires prospective citizens to pass an entrance exam, so does the Jewish nation. It's called conversion and it's open to anyone who can pass the test. That's exactly why it's perfectly ok to say that Israel is for JEWS ONLY and ONLY JEWS can be citizens. This came down to us from the Creator Himself.
Problem #2: It is not up to us to decide if it sounds right to us or if we are comfortable with the idea or not. It is only up to us to obey.
We are unique in all the world that our nation is also a family and that we do not practice a religion, but simply follow the Instruction Book given to us by the Creator of the World for how to conduct not only our private lives, but also our NATIONAL life---how the government should be set up and run; how to choose judges; how to care for the poor; how to allocate the land, etc..
What a Kiddush Hashem it was when the entire country closed down on Yom Kippur ---no tv, no radio, everything closed, even the airport. Mi kamocha Am Yisrael!! Now, if only we would be so diligent every Shabbat of the entire year. And especially in the realm of who is allowed to be a citizen of Israel.
If you learn nothing else from this blog post, please understand these two very important concepts. Being Jewish is NOT a matter of religion, it is NATIONALITY. And ONLY JEWS can properly be citizens of a Jewish State.