How many Jewish children must fight and die to protect illegal settlements? Regardless of whether or not the Israeli government sanctioned the creation of these settlements, they no longer serve to secure Eretz or Am Yisrael. Rather they are a liability which cost more lives and dollars than they can possibly be worth. They also force us into the position of oppressor which goes against all which we should have learned from both Torah and our own history. Yeshayahu Leibowitz warned in 1967 that the occpuation would corrupt us, our morals, and our existence. He was, regretably, spot on. This is why I'm in favor of the withdrawl from Gaza. Not because I think the people there are kooks who have no valid claim or right to live there, but rather because I believe the conditions for them to live there currently require amoral behavior and its justification which is too often based on misleading interpretations of Torah. This abuse of Torah is a chilul hashem which drives people away from yiddishkeit. "If being in favor of another people's oppression is what Torah's all about, then count me out!" No conscientious Jew should allow Torah to be coopted in such a way.
Whilst Rabbi Simchah Roth makes some excellent suggestions for what the Rabbis who placed their Ad in last weeks AJN can do with their power:
The ideology of "Eretz Israel hashlemah" , i.e. the total entity of the land of Israel, based on religious motives, "Torat Israel, 'Am Israel and Eretz Israel" or like the saying "Ein devar tov lamut be'ad artzeinu", which was said by Josef Trumpeldor(1880-1920), seem to me very close to simple idolatry! Nothing seem to be more important than "only Eretz Israel" Where is the zeal of those rabbis in dealing with poverty, injustice, people getting underpaid or not paid at all, sexual abuse or violence in families, Agunot i.e. women who cannot remarry as their husbands have disappeared, the rights of minorities, Palestinians, foreign workers and other "sojourners in our midst", etc.?