The panel, with Rabbi Sherki seated in the  middle
The panel, with Rabbi Sherki seated in the middleYisrael Burdugo

At the Jerusalem Conference on Monday, hosted by Arutz Sheva, a special panel was held under the title: "Conciliation or clashing - how to deal with the threat of radical Islam."

Taking part in the panel moderated by Danny Zaken was Reshet Bet Arab affairs journalist Eran Zinger, Middle East and Islam expert Prof. Rafi Yisraeli, Rabbi Uri Sherki of the Beit Yehuda congregation in Jerusalem, Yesha Council head Avi Roeh, and Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara (Likud).

Rabbi Sherki, who also serves as head of the Hebrew department at Machon Meir Yeshiva in Jerusalem and who lost his son Shalom Sherki in a terrorist car ramming attack last April, said that the problem is not Muslims but rather Islam.

"There is no radical Islam. Islam is radical," stated the rabbi. "It's true that there are Arabs who want to live in peace, but the moment that we give them something, we provide a tail wind for the radicals. Because Islam is a radical cultural movement that is not prepared to accept the fact that we exist."

"As long as Islam doesn't recognize the fact that it is a branch religion of Judaism, it will remain radical."

Rabbi Sherki, who was born in Algeria and grew up in France before moving to Israel in 1972, added, "the Muslims distinguish between the (ancient) sons of Israel and the Jews. The Jews, i.e. the Israelis, are cheaters, liars and all the rest."

According to the rabbi, "the state of Israel is an open wound for the Arab world, and a wound must be closed. We forget that the liberty of man and democracy are expressions that are heresy in the Muslim world."

"Our only way to ensure the closing of the wound is by telling the truth and stopping the illusion and the hope, as if the Arabs have a chance. We need to tell the truth, that we are the sons of Israel who returned to the land of Israel," concluded Rabbi Sherki