Using Sedom's Laws to Promote False Peace
Haza"l have a great respect for peace. Midrashim are replete with references to how great peace is and how normal orders of conduct can be disrupted for its promotion. We are told that we are even allowed to lie for peace, as even Hashem did to promote peace between Avraham and Sarah.
But when the peace is not real, and proven as such, then going the extra mile for it is masochistic and suicidal.
Just from today's news, we have 2 glaring examples.
Israel and Turkey Close to a Compensation DealIf this would be a true peace or even a peace based on cooperation to defeat common enemies, such actions might be justified. However, the very same day that this is going on, Erdogan condemned Israel's attack in Syria! Isn't the whole point of this truce with Turkey to, at the very least, defeat a common enemy in Syria?
Turkish and Israeli officials have come "close" to a deal on compensation for the 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla after talks in Jerusalem on Monday, AFP reports.
"The meeting was positive," Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement.
"The two teams have a project but clarifications are still needed on some issues. The two sides expect to reach an accord in the near future," it said, without giving details.
Channel 10 News also reported of a positive meeting at the foreign ministry.
"An accord has not yet been signed but most questions have been settled. The number of outstanding points is so limited that it's not sure another meeting is needed," the report said, quoting diplomatic sources.
A final deal is "very close," it said.
An initial meeting in Ankara on April 22 focused on the amount and the terms of Israel's payment of compensation to the families of nine Turkish nationals who died in the raid, which Turkey has named as a precondition for normalization of diplomatic ties.
It was the first stage of what Turkish officials have said would be a multi-step diplomatic process aimed at reinstating bilateral ties between the former close allies who fell out over the raid.
The second big news item of the day is this report from Arutz Sheva:
Netanyahu Orders Judea, Samaria Construction FreezeAnother thing Haza"l is replete with is insistance that sinners don't get rewarded for their actions. Halachic rulings are made on the basis of שלא יהא חוטא נשכר - that sinners don't prosper.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has requested that the Housing Ministry freeze new construction projects in Judea and Samaria (Shomron), IDF Radio (Galei Tzahal) reports.
Netanyahu met with Housing Minister Uri Ariel and asked him to halt promotion of new projects in the region, including by no longer putting up for bids tenders on new projects.
Just days ago Ariel said that if the state budget did not include funding for promised construction in Judea and Samaria, such as the planned project in E1 in Maaleh Adumim, his party would not support the budget.
Neither Ariel’s office nor Netanyahu’s gave an official response to the IDF Radio report.
The reported freeze on new projects comes shortly after United States President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to restart diplomatic talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Acting PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has insisted that he will not negotiate with Netanyahu unless Israel freezes construction east of the 1949 armistice line. Abbas has made other demands as well, including the release of terrorists imprisoned in Israel.
Mr. Abbas and his organization did nothing to deserve this "gift" - he continues to deny the Holocaust, praise terrorists, want terrorists freed, bring more terrorists into Israel, yearn for the entire Land of Israel, not officially recognize Israel, and his consituents are one phone call away from starting a third intifada.
Giving in to these thugs is not promoting peace - it's simply promoting bad behavior. This is similar to the judges of Sedom (from Soncino's translation of Sanhedrin 109b):
There were four judges in Sodom, [named] Shakrai, Shakurai, Zayyafi, and Mazle Dina.1 Now, if a man assaulted his neighbour's wife and bruised her, they would say [to the husband], ‘Give her to him, that she may become pregnant for thee.’ If one cut off the ear of his neighbour's ass, they would order, ‘Give it to him until it grows again.’ If one wounded his neighbour they would say to him [the victim], ‘Give him a fee for bleeding thee.’ He who crossed over with the ferry had to pay four zuzim, whilst he who crossed through the water had to pay eight. On one occasion, a certain fuller happened to come there. Said they to him, ‘Give us four zuzim [for the use of the ferry].’ But, protested he, ‘I crossed through the water!’ ‘If so,’ said they, ‘thou must give eight zuzim for passingSo, if we want to achieve real peace, it's not by placating these Resha'im. It's by making peace with Hashem, ourselves, our family, our neighbors, and our acquaintances. That's when true peace will come, as we learned in last week's portion:
through the water.’ He refused to give it, so they assaulted him. He went before the judge, who ordered, ‘Give them a fee for bleeding and eight zuzim for crossing through the water. Now Eliezer, Abraham's servant, happened to be there, and was attacked. When he went before the judge, he said, ‘Give them a fee for bleeding thee.’ Thereupon he took a stone and smote the judge. ‘What is this!’ he exclaimed. He replied, ‘The fee that thou owest me give to this man [who attacked me], whilst my money will remain in statu quo.’