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Stealing land in Israel (hasagat gvul)& West Bank settlement


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Tammuz 16, 5777
In the 246th Prohibition we are forbidden from stealing the boundaries of Land or alternating the line between our property and our neighbors. How does this Prohibition pertain to Area C in the West Bank?? And to the Settler Movement in general??
There is a positive commandment for Israel to possess and rule the Land of Israel (Bamidbar 33, 53). We greatly prefer to fulfill this mitzvah the peaceful way, that is buying “dunam (acre) after dunam”, which was the original plan of the Rothschilds, Montifiore, and the Jewish National Fund at the beginning of the Zionist movement, since about 130 years ago. This approach was beneficial for all sides, until the 1920’s when the Arabs published a death penalty for any Arab selling land to Jews (a racist, barbaric and anti-democratic “law” which they practice until today!). The U.N. Partition Plan in 1947/5708, agreed upon the international borders for the Jewish State. Unfortunately, since then, the Arabs have tried at least thrice (depending how you count...), in 1948, 1967, and 1973 to “push the Jews into the sea”, but fortunately, with the help of God, Israel defended herself successfully, and beat the Arabs back to defensible borders (including what you call the West Bank, called in the Bible Judea and Samaria). These defensive wars ironically helped us liberate more and more parts of the aforementioned Promised Land, promised to Avraham, Isaac and Jacob and us, their descendants forever (Breishit 13, 15, although the secular (!) State of Israel did not intend to fulfill the Godly command of possessing the Land, but that same God of Israel who runs history, worked it out that what we didn’t fulfill as a religious command, we had to out of the necessity of security). All the above is a positive national (!) command, as opposed to the negative personal command on individuals (!) which you referred to (Dvarim 19, 14), which like most mitzvot, is an internal Jewish issue explicitly between two Jewish neighbors (“your neighbor” throughout the Torah, always refers to your Jewish neighbor, as the Torah addresses Jews living among Jews, in the Jewish State, in the Jewish Land), and has nothing to do with other nations or gentiles.
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