A prescient Pini Dunner six months ago wrote in the Jerusalem Post:
…Over recent months a new group has emerged that seems to uncannily echo the stance adopted by Natorei Karta. Its adherents use religiously charged language to besmirch the democratically elected government of Israel. They seem to have no respect for the rule of law and their verbal assaults on those who oppose them are increasing in tempo and aggression.
The group I am referring to consists of those among the religious settlers and their supporters who will continue to oppose the Gaza disengagement whether or not there is a referendum.
This group – a minority, it must be said – has decided unequivocally that the Greater Israel ideal is of such enormous significance that no kind of pragmatic compromise with reality can possibly be reached.
And make no mistake: This group is not about to roll over and give up its cause for the sake of Jewish unity. Should the disengagement take place, as it seems certain it will, adherents of this group will become sworn enemies of the State of Israel, equal in scale and virulence to the Natorei Karta.
But while Natorei Karta has no history of violence, the uncompromising proponents of non-disengagement have already proven themselves violent and, worryingly, most of them have military training. The idea that rational, democratic, sensible measures – such as a national referendum – would in any way defuse the fire of their extremism is both na ve and dangerous.…
It is time for the leaders of religious Zionism, rabbis and political leaders alike, to take a deep breath and announce to their followers that although they can continue their conscientious objection to the Israeli government's sell-out of their theological worldview for the sake of pragmatism, this must coincide with the acceptance that they will have to put their utopian dreams on ice. It is what Menachem Begin did after the Altalena. It was what Agudat Yisrael haredim did after the 1947 UN decision. And it must happen again now. Otherwise we will have to contend with a settler Zionist Natorei Karta group whose existence will be a threat to us all.
On reflection, I am not sure that the Natorei Karta analogy is entirely correct. Perhaps a better analogy would be with the Second Temple zealots who defended Jerusalem against the Romans, killing anyone who hinted at compromise or surrender.
Ironically, our survival as Jews was contingent on the subterfuge of Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai, who smuggled himself out of Jerusalem in a coffin and struck a deal with the Roman leader so that the inevitable destruction of Jerusalem would not lead to the disappearance of Judaism.
The miracle of Jewish survival has always been the result of pragmatism and practicality, not extremism. It is a lesson that the fanatical Greater Israel land-cultists would be wise to learn.
I would only add that the blame for this lies squarely with Rabbis Avraham Kahane Shapira, Mordechai Eliyahu, Yitzchak Ginsburgh, and the late Menachem Mendel Schneerson.