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Rabbi Riskin: We Have a Right to Oppose the ‘Peace Process’

Rabbi Riskin of Efrat says no one should be afraid to fight the Oslo 'peace process' . "Opposing it does not mean we are like Yigal Amir.”
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/4/2009, 11:36 AM / Last Update: 11/4/2009, 11:48 AM

American immigrant Shlomo Riskin, the Chief Rabbi of Efrat in Gush Etzion, says that no one should be afraid to fight the diplomatic process out of fear that pro-Oslo Accord elements will lump the critics with the assassin of former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin.

“It pains me very much that the tendency is turn his memory into a black and white political issue,” the former New York rabbi told Arutz-7. He said there is a need to separate the murder by Yigal Amir from the "right to fight against the Oslo Process.”

Rabbi Riskin emphasized that “we must repeatedly speak out against statements or even hints” that a Jew can kill another Jew because he is considered an enemy. On the other hand, he continued, “Not everyone who does not believe in Oslo can be identified with Yigal Amir."

“Those who speak about the ‘Rabin legacy’ should understand that it is a complex issue and that Rabin himself was not happy about his connection with Arafat,” Rabbi Riskin said.  Rabin and Arafat shook hands at the White House ceremony marking the signing of the Oslo Accords.

“I am a settler and proud of it and in the past I supported 'two states for two peoples,' but today I say Oslo is a failure,” Rabbi Riskin said. “I was in favor of Oslo in the beginning, and afterwards I demonstrated against it and was even arrested. Rabin asked my forgiveness for having been taken into custody. He was a good friend of Gush Etzion and was responsible for the 'Tunnel Road' which allows Gush Etzion residents to reach Jerusalem safely within several minutes.

“It is legitimate to mourn Rabin, but we also need to mourn Oslo-- which is dead as well", he added.

The rabbi maintained, “We could have reached an agreement [with the PA], but there is nothing to do when they refuse to compromise and are not prepared to recognize Israel as a Jewish State."