Edut 5766 Av 8
These Reports, Analysis & Opinions have have been submitted to the Sanhedrin in an advisory capacity only, and may or may not reflect the official position of the Sanhedrin. They are the work of the esteemed experts in their field, and are included here to indicate the kind of questions being handled by the Sanhedrin.
Informal translation from Hebrew of the 8 Av, 5766 (2 August 2006) statement:
Living with terror - diffusion and convergence
In our region, both among Jews and amongst the neighboring Gentiles – Lebanese and Arabs in the Land of Israel, the leaders usually do not accept responsibility for their actions or their results. Thus it is with those that perpetrated Oslo, the abandonment of the land of Naphtali in Lebanon, and also from the Gaza Strip this last year.
The facts as they stand today – in the current Lebanese war, and in the Arab attacks all across the land of Israel, or the Gazan Arabs, the Arabs of Judea and Samaria, and Arab Israelis – smack us in the face.
The future doesn’t appear more promising; we will need to continue to live with terror much more time on all fronts. However, we can already come to two interim conclusions:
- Intelligence is the central key to fighting. In every instance where we have good intelligence, we are much more successful, and in every place where we lack good intelligence, we end waving a white flag.
- And where is it that we have the best intelligence? In places where we have maximum contact and involvement with the Arabs, such that contacts are created with the best of them, who help our forces, at least in intelligence. Thus is the situation in Judea and Samaria and the rest of the areas of the state. In the abandoned Gaza area, the situation is worse, and in southern Lebanon, where we treacherously abandoned our Lebanese allies, the situation is even worse.
Terror attacks can be divided in to three types: Long range attacks – rockets, Katyushas, Kasam, mortar. Bombs and suicide terrorists. Terror shooting attacks on roads and in populated areas. The worst terror attacks are in areas with a crowded population. We saw this very well in Naharia and Haifa, also in other cities: Tel Aviv, Netanya, Hadera, Afula, Jerusalem. The more the population is spread out, the lower the number of people injured from acts of terror. There is importance in spreading out the population, in order to prevent or minimize the number of injured from terror attacks.
Therefore, the first conclusion from the war in Lebanon and in the South is to expand the distribution of the Jewish population specifically in and around the Arab population.
From a demographic standpoint, across all of the Land of Israel (excluding Gaza), there are 67% Jews and 33% foreigners. From a geographic standpoint, the Jewish communities are gathered on to 20% of the land, and the foreign minority is on 80% of the settled area. Fixing this situation and improving the Jewish distribution is a national and security interest together.
This conclusion is strengthened further if we would need to, G-d forbid, live in the shadow of a nuclear threat. If in spite of all defense efforts, there were to fall on the State of Israel two atomic bombs collectively, they would wipe out a quarter of Tel Aviv, and maybe even the majority of our hi-tech capabilities. If, however, the Jewish population were to spread out, the result of such an attack could be as little as 100 Jews dead.
There are two faith points that need to have their say:
- One would assume that the fear of G-d would increase, when everyone would be aware that at any moment, a blow could arrive from heaven, or a bus on the street, and the grace of G-d will save us from this.
- The great need that we be spread out will actually force us to fulfill the commandment of settling and building the Land of Israel. If there were those among us who were negligence, or even ridiculed it, they will need to fulfill the commandment against their will, and fear of the enemy.
May G-d give responsibility, sobriety, and intelligence to our leaders to go down the proper path, from a strategic way, and a way that will strengthen our ties with the owner of the covenant, our only savior, the Holy One, blessed be He.