The activities of "Price Tag"

[from Ha-Rav video blog]

Q: What is Ha-Rav's opinion about the activities of the group called "Price Tag" comprised of some of the Settlers who create disturbances against Arabs and their possessions and who break the law in response to the uprooting of outposts?

A: Firstly, should we uproot illegal outposts? Maran (our revered teacher) Ha-Rav Kook was already asked this question by the British High Commissioner: How can his honor support illegal aliyah against the instructions of the British Mandate? Maran Ha-Rav Kook answered him: When there is a contradiction between the national law and the international law, international law is followed. The High Commissioner said: I am unaware of any international law which permits Jews to come to the Land of Israel. Maran Ha-Rav Kook said: The Tanach, which is international. It is written in the Tanach that the Land of Israel is ours. This was true for the British White Paper (which restricted Jewish entry into Israel during the Holocaust) and it is true in our case since Eretz Yisrael is ours. There is therefore no such thing as an illegal outpost. The Ramban explains that we are commanded to dwell in this Land, to settle it and to possess it, which means: "do not leave it in the hand of any other nation…and we are not to leave any part of it" (Positive mitzvah #4 in additions to Rambam’s Sefer Ha-Mitzvot).

The struggle over Eretz Yisrael is in our souls but it must be conducted in the correct manner. The activities of "Price Tag" against the Arabs in our case are improper, both to the Arabs and to Jews. Regarding Arabs, there are Arabs who are murderers, there are Arabs who aid murderers and there are Arabs who have not done anything wrong. But even if we decide to treat all Arabs as one group – as in war where we do not distinguish between a righteous person and an evil one – this must be done by the entire Nation of Israel and not by an individual Jew. What a person does within the confines of his own home and it does not affect other people, he does not need to coordinate with others. But a communal act which affects everyone must be coordinated with everyone. After all, he does not live in Israel alone but with other Jews who may think otherwise and may be offended.

I often quote the story of the courageous Jew who snuck into a church and killed Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor, during the time of Fernando and Isabella. It was a brave act, but they killed thousands and thousands of Jews in pogroms following it. Other Jews could have said: why are you deciding for us without coordinating with us? This is the general principle: something that affects the entire Nation of Israel must be coordinated with the Nation.

When an activity is coordinated with the Nation of Israel, we must check if this act will bring the Nation closer to Eretz Yisrael or distance it. In order to ascertain this, you must know where the Nation stands. The Nation of Israel loves Tzahal, respects Tzahal, and understands that Tzahal is responsible for our existence. Someone who acts against the army or insults the army or clashes with the army causes the Nation to say about that group: It is not part of us.

The war over Eretz Yisrael is a major and lengthy war but it must be conducted in the proper way and we do not perform a mitzvah through inappropriate acts.
Be strong and courageous for our Nation and for the City of our G-d.