Rabbinical Congress for Peace: Stop the Power Struggles
The Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP), comprised of over 350 prominent rabbis in Israel from religious Zionist, Hareidi and Chabad sectors, Torah leaders of the past and present, has sent a very sharp letter to the heads of the political parties in Israel as they are negotiating on forming a new government, criticizing them for completely ignoring the danger hovering over the millions of residents in Israel as a result of the two-state solution.
“Is this a time to argue over jobs and portfolios or who will blink first while the ominous threat of a Palestinian state is in the making? If such a state will be established, terrorism will soar and millions of people will be in danger. Instead of finding ways to stop the madness of the so-called two-state solution party leaders are now engaged in power and ego struggles,” the RCP letter read.
The rabbis reminded the MKs that sanctity of life is first and foremost and therefore they must declare that they will not enter any coalition that does not remove giving up territory from the agenda.
Rabbi Moshe Havlin, Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Gat-Sederot attacked the hareidi parties for threatening to vote for evacuation of settlements in retaliation for the settlers’ refusal to meet hareidi demands. “Is our opposition to evacuating settlements based on an alliance with settlers or not?” Rabbi Havlin asked. “It has absolutely nothing to do with that, but is based solely on Jewish Law in Orach Chaim Chaper 329 that it is forbidden to give up any territory to foreigners because it will lead to bloodshed. Evacuation from Judea and Samaria will effect hareidi residents in Ashdod, Jerusalem and Bnei Brak as well,” he said.
Rabbi Avrohom S. Lewin, Executive Director of the RCP, said that rabbis were shocked at what they termed Bayit Yehudi’s betrayal of its constituents. “Bayit Yehudi pledged that they would do everything to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state and now the party is doing everything to bring in Yesh Atid to the coalition despite the fact that Yesh Atid is in favor of the two-state solution. And the hareidi parties that pledged they would preserve the integrity of Eretz Yisroel are now threatening to withdraw from Judea and Samaria and will ‘trample over the settlements.’ This is a crime against their voters, against the Torah and against morality,” Rabbi Lewin said.
Rabbi Joseph Gerlitzky, Chairman of the RCP, said painfully that “Our Sages tell us that the Second Temple was destroyed because of hatred of Jews against each other. Some thought that this was meant metaphorically or allegorically but now we see it is meant literally. Precisely hareidi-religious Jews are threatening to displace their fellow Jews and bring about another catastrophe on Israel."
In their letter, the rabbis called upon all parties to receive President Barack Obama with a clear declaration that a Palestinian Arab state will never be established on Israeli land and to ensure Israel’s security by preserving its borders. Only this will ultimately bring peace to the region.