לא תחנם

The end of Parshat ואתחנן has the Pasuk, לא תכרות להם ברית ולא תחנם, that we are not to make a covenant with them, nor are we to grant them חן.

This is a very problematic Pasuk in the days of political correctness. The first part warns us against becoming too friendly and making treaties with our non-Jewish neighbors. The overriding fear was that we will learn from their evil ways.

The second phrase of לא תחנם is a further warning that we need to keep a distance in our interaction with the Gentile. One interpretation of לא תחנם is that we are not to even praise the beauty that a non-Jew might possess. Even though it might seem harmless to point out such beauty, the Torah is very strong in how we need to keep a distance.

The second translation of לא תחנם is that we are not allowed to give the non-Jew ownership of any land in Israel. On a national level, this is the source prohibiting any land for peace arrangement. And on an individual level, we are only allowed to sell property to a Noachide or to a Jew.

This is clearly a controversial Pasuk, but we never go wrong, when we follow the Torah.