Near the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem is a tent called "Ohel Hidrabrut" or rapprochement tent. The idea of the tent is to lower the tense public atmosphere with regards to the disengagement plan by facilitating a dialogue between those of differing opinions.
I went in out of curiosity. Inside, standing in front of a group of about twenty people and delivering a lecture, was a pleasant looking, clean-shaven, kipa clad man. He had this perpetual artificial smile on his face as he spoke. I listened to him as he charted a course of deceitful rhetoric. He bombarded them us with lies, half-truths, and unproven hypotheses: The Golan Heights is stolen from Syria, modern historians claim that we did not have to fight Syria in the Six Day War, the public likes settlers from the Golan more than settlers from Judea and Samaria, and similar rubbish. He expressed his opinion that we should give large amounts of Judea and Samaria to the Arabs even though that this will not bring peace. Why? Because of humanitarian issues like making the Arabs wait at roadblocks.
"This guy is repeating the sin of the spies," I thought to myself. I raised my hand to ask a question.
"At the end of the lecture I'll answer questions," the man replied.
"Some dialogue," I thought to myself. I waited. Finally he announced that he is willing to answer questions.
"Do you know what Parsha we'll be reading this Sabbath?", I inquired.
"Are you testing me?", he asked.
"No, I am not," I answered.
"The spies," he answered.
"Parshat Shlach," I said. Then I added, "The spies also had all kinds of humanitarian and military claims why not to conquer and settle. But G-d has commanded us to do so. All of your claims are totally insignificant (beteilim umevutalim) in the light of G-d's command."
The lecturer answered me with the following claim: Rabbi Reines said that we should by land from the Arabs and not conquer it. Few people are aware of Rabbi Reines' opinion, which is in opposition to Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook's opinion.
I was shocked by the answer. I must admit I was not aware of Rabbi Reines' opinion. However, Rabbi Reines died in 1915(!) in Lida (near Vilna). He certainly was not addressing the current situation of land that has already been conquered. Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook died in 1982, in Jerusalem, and expressed his opinions with regards to the land that was liberated during the Six Day War in 1967. Before I could say anything the lecturer quickly moved on to the next question.
A young man sitting next to me quietly expressed his disgust at the ridiculous answer that I received from the lecturer. He tried his luck and asked a question:
"We are commanded to conquer the land. It is not a matter of choice. Since we can do it, we must do it."
The lecturer mentioned Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef's opinion (Rabbi Yosef once ruled that in return for TRUE PEACE it is permissible to give land to the Arabs). The young man quickly countered and said that Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef strongly opposes Sharon's disengagement plan. The lecturer waved his hand in dismissal and said, "I'm not talking about that."
I decided to leave as I had heard enough. I had seen a modern day spy. On my way home I passed the entrance to the city, which will be blocked by anti-expulsion protesters this Wednesday at 5:00 PM. With G-d's help, I will be there!