Whose Country Is this, Your Eminence?

[Be-Ahavah U-Be-Emunah – Vayihslach 5771 – translated by R. Blumberg]

We heard some very interesting tidings from the Bishops’ Council for Middle East Affairs: Eretz Yisrael does not belong to the Jewish People. The necessary conclusion is that we are responsible for all the suffering of Christians and Moslems in our region, as well as of Jews. We are guilty for everything, and why is that, according to the Vatican? -- Because we conquered a land not ours. It’s all because of the Israeli conquest.
In their view, the solution is to establish two states, one for us and one for the Arabs. True, the Arabs already have twenty-two states, with a combined territory 500 times that of Israel, but they still want half our country. Yet even our receiving half the territory is not assured, because if this Land is not ours, but occupied, how can we sit on half of it, or a tenth of it? How can we build our existence on theft, suffering and injustice?
All the same, there’s a penetrating question that must be asked. Surely we are dealing with people who believe in the Bible, and the Bible states countless times that Eretz Yisrael belongs to the Jewish People. If so, how can they declare that we can’t rely on the Bible to justify the Jews’ settling their Land?
The answer is very simple and was provided by them at that council: “There is no Promised Land to the Jewish People, since there is no longer any ‘Chosen People.’ All men and women in every country are the Chosen People. Hence, one cannot use the idea of a Promised Land to justify the Jews’ return to Eretz Yisrael.”
The cat is out of the bag. We are not the Chosen People. We are not the People of Israel. And who is? The whole human race. We have been familiar with this claim for a long time. It’s even mentioned in Rav Kook’s work “Orot”: “The call [of the Christians] to all the peoples, sunken in the mire of impurity, in the morass of wickedness and ignorance, in the most frightening depths of darkness: You are all holy. You are all G-d’s children. There is no difference between one people and another. There is no one people on earth, holy and chosen. Every man is equally holy” (page 33). This call has been known to us down through the generations.
The Catholics even claimed that they are Israel – not physically the Jewish People, but Israel in the spirit. Still, they claim to be “the true Israel” – in Latin, “Verus Israel.” This is the first, time, however, that the Catholics are proclaiming for all to hear that we have no right to Eretz Yisrael since we are not the Jewish People.
At the same time, the Pope worked behind the scenes, trying in every possible way to stymie the State of Israel’s establishment. Subsequent Popes have tried, every way they could, to support Arab terror groups who wanted to destroy our country. Above I said, “The cat is out of the bag”. We are no longer the Chosen People. Once we were, but we no longer are. Hence, it’s not our land. Obviously, according to the Bishops’ decision, Jerusalem is not our capital, but a city holy to three faiths. And that, itself, isn’t obvious. Why not make it an “international city”? After all, there is no Chosen People. Rather, all of mankind is a Chosen People.
Let me therefore announce in the name of the Jewish People and in the name of all of the honest part of the human race, and in the name of history, and in the name of G-d: We are the Jewish People, from time immemorial and forever, as long as there has been a heaven and
an earth, as long as the sun has shown upon this Land.