10 Sivan 5777
Absolutely ANYTHING which comes ahead of HKB"H in our attentions or our affections becomes a de facto idol - even the Land of Israel.
If you have been following recent blog posts, you will have seen the close connection between Tommy Waller's HaYovel Ministry, Ari Abramowitz's and Jeremy Gimpel's Land of Israel Network (and Center) and Tuly Weisz's Israel365 initiatives (The Israel Bible, Breaking Israel News, Yeshiva For The Nations).
Following is a short video which encapsulates everything that is wrong with these efforts - in short, a total lack of faith in God and in His Torah.
If we take these men at their word, they have more faith in Ottoman law than in God's Law and more faith in their own efforts to plant trees (for which they will be beholden to Christians for buying and planting) than in God's promise in His Torah...
And now, O Israel, hearken to the statutes and to the judgments which I teach you to do, in order that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord, God of your forefathers, is giving you. Do not add to the word which I command you, nor diminish from it, to observe the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
...Beware, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image, the likeness of anything, which the Lord your God has forbidden you. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a zealous God. When you beget children and children's children, and you will be long established in the land, and you become corrupt and make a graven image, the likeness of anything, and do evil in the eyes of the Lord your God, to provoke Him to anger, I call as witness against you this very day the heaven and the earth, that you will speedily and utterly perish from the land to which you cross the Jordan, to possess; you will not prolong your days upon it, but will be utterly destroyed.
...And you shall observe His statutes and His commandments, which I command you this day, that it may be well with you and your children after you, and that you may prolong your days upon the earth which the Lord your God gives you forever. (Devarim 4)
...Beware, lest your heart be misled, and you turn away and worship strange gods and prostrate yourselves before them. And the wrath of the Lord will be kindled against you, ...and you will perish quickly from upon the good land that the Lord gives you.
...For if you keep all these commandments which I command you to do them, to love the Lord, your God, to walk in all His ways, and to cleave to Him, then the Lord will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will possess nations greater and stronger than you. ...No man will stand up before you; the Lord your God will cast the fear of you and the dread of you on all the land upon which you tread, as He spoke to you. (Devarim 11)
...You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show favoritism, and you shall not take a bribe, for bribery blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts just words. Justice, justice shall you pursue, that you may live and possess the land the Lord, your God, is giving you. (Devarim 16)By believing that their hold on this land depends upon their own efforts and not upon their adherence to Torah, mitzvot and loyalty to HKB"H; that they must make alliances with idolaters and grant them access to Jewish souls - even children - and to the land itself for their idolatrous worship in order to maintain their possession of the land, they stand to bring upon themselves the very thing they are trying to prevent. That is assuming that they honestly believe this and that the motivation is not really to create a big money-making operation or worse, an actual plot to assimilate Israeli Jews into the Christian "One New Man".
I love and cherish the Land of Israel, but it is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Its importance lies in it being the one place where Heaven meets Earth, where we can meet HKB"H in His most holy place and where we can perform all His mitzvot, accomplishing the task he set for us as a nation. (The fact that the ruling regime prevents this to a very great degree means that it is still only a step in the process and not the goal itself.)
There is a mitzvah to abolish idolatry and idolaters from this land. Since we are prevented by the ruling regime from performing this mitzvah, the very least we can do is not receive them and not make them feel welcome. Look how far even from this we have come, r"l!