MembersThe Choice Between People and Land

What is most important in Israeli society: unity among the people or unity of the Land?

By Aviel Schneider |
Can RELIGIOUS and MESSIANIC Jews get along? Photo: Kobi Gideon / Flash90

Upon taking office, Israel’s new Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told the General Staff: “When there is a conflict between the unity of the nation and unity of the Land, unity of the people is of greater importance.” Even though Lieberman is a right-wing nationalist, this is basically a left-wing view. Since human life is more important than land, Israel can consider territorial compromise.

Throughout the long history of the Jewish people, the debate has raged over the most important ideal: the people, the Land or the faith. The rabbis say this question does not make sense because there is no division or conflict between the people and Land of Israel, and the Torah. They are united, and when one element is affected the others are as well. As the Land accommodates the people, the people revived the Land.

Jewish scholars illustrate the example of a family. When its three children bicker, is one of them kicked out of the house? Of course not. Likewise, the people, the Land and the Bible...

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