03 February 2015

Whose Land Is It?

14 Shevat 5775


Excerpts from The Non-Jew in Eretz Yisrael by Rabbi Meir Kahane
in Ohr HaRa'ayon, Chapter 20

Eretz Yisrael is called that because it is the Land [eretz] of Yisrael, the People of Israel. Whoever is not of the holy, chosen people of Israel has no portion in Eretz Yisrael. There is a substantive difference between G-d's thoughts and those of the alien culture as far as land and nationality. In the latter view, land has become the chief definer of nationhood. That is, people's definition is to be determined by the land. Whoever lives in a particular land becomes part of the people of that land and among its masters. Accordingly, the population that dwells in a land is not a unique nation that settled there in order to live its life and develop an exclusive culture, the land being a mere vessel to house them. Rather, following the alien culture's doctrines of equality and democracy, since there is no reason for a nation to be considered unique or superior, whoever is in a land or who arrives there with intent to live there, regardless of nationality or creed, becomes a part of the nation inhabiting that land, such that the land defines the nation.

G-d's thoughts are different, however. The G-d of Israel established and defined the Jewish People as a holy, chosen and unique people and gave them a land in which they would be able to create a Divine society and state in accordance with the Torah. The Land is only a vessel belonging to G-d and His special nation. The Land does not define the nation, because, after all, the nation is already defined and the Land belongs only to them. Eretz Yisrael belongs to the People of Israel, and the People of Israel are plainly and precisely defined. Anyone not of the People of Israel cannot become part of this nation just because he lives in the Land. Such persons must join Israel in accordance with the nation's laws, not any law of the land. Eretz Yisrael belongs exclusively to the Jewish People whose definition has been established and set by G-d. No foreigner or alien has any share in the Land, which, itself, is nothing but a vessel to serve Israel.

Eretz Yisrael was given by G-d as a vessel to house Israel so they could be separated from the abomination of the nations and from their alien culture, and so they would establish there a holy, pure and complete society and state according to G-d's mitzvot and under His Heavely yoke. It is not the Land which defines the nation in it, but the nation which defines the Land. Not every person who lives in the Land is defined as its owner. Rather, the Land is defined by the People of Israel as the Land of Israel, and whoever is not of Israel has no portion in this ownership.

...It is clear that there is an absolute prohibition on giving a non-Jew mastery over Eretz Yisrael, and that a non-Jew, whoever he may be, has an entirely different status from that of Israel, who are the owners of the Land, Eretz Yisrael. The non-Jew is nothing but an alien, a stranger, a temporary occupant, and not an owner. Only within well-defined principles and laws is it permissible for him to dwell in Eretz Yisrael, even as an alien and occupant.