The Term "Occupied Territories

[from the book "Responsa of the Intifada" - p. 43]

We do not recoil from the term "occupied," since the Rambam explained based on various verses in the Torah that we are commanded to conquer the entire breath of our Land and not to leave even a part of it (Sefer Ha-Mitzvot of Rambam, Positive mitzvah #4 according to the Ramban). It is certainly preferable to enter into our Land in a peaceful manner, with the agreement of the non-Jews who are temporarily located there and with their recognition that this Land is ours. But if this is not the way it occurs, we are obligated to conquer our Land. This is the War of Liberation or Independence, which is an honored concept among all the nations of the world. The Ramban emphasized that this mitzvah also applies during the Exile, but to our distress, we were unable to fulfill it on account of our lack of ability for two thousand years, and now that the ability has returned to us, this mitzvah has also returned to us. We are not going to conquer foreign lands like Yemen or Algeria, only our Land which belongs to us. There is therefore no difference between the occupied territories that are located on one side of the "Green Line," which were conquered during the War of Liberation, and the occupied territories on the other side of the "Green Line," which were conquered during the Six-Day War. This "Green Line" has absolutely no spiritual, ethical, halachic or national meaning. We certainly do not have just any "territories," but territories of the Land of Israel, territories of the Holy Land, which Hashem gave us and which we now occupy because of the loving-kindness of Hashem.