Yair Lapid
Yair LapidREUTERS

Members of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP) “Pikuach Nefesh” expressed shock and disbelief at Yair Lapid’s recent speech at the United Nations, in which he promoted the concept of “Two states for two peoples.”

“How blind and naïve can a person be to try to revive this idea, which has already caused so much suffering and disasters in Israel? After the plan has been almost forgotten, thank God, Lapid has to foolishly and irresponsibly raise it again at the UN, practically begging them to renew international pressure and sanctions against Israel,” the rabbis of the Congress wrote in a letter to Knesset members this week.

“Does anyone doubt what is about to happen as a result? International pressure, terrorist attacks carried out with world support, the death and bloodshed of innocent Israeli citizens – the same as it has happened every time this plan has been suggested before. All because Lapid raised this perverse idea, which puts all the inhabitants of the Holy Land in immediate and present danger."

Rabbi Avrohom Shmuel Lewin, Executive Director of the RCP said “Lapid is repeating the same fatal error that was made by the Yitzhak Rabin 30 years ago when he revived Yasser Arafat who was on his political deathbed. The Rabin government then initiated the Oslo accords and brought the chief PLO terrorist to Washington. The Clinton administration was shocked but after the PM of Israel legitimizes him they could not go against Israel.

“The same happened in 2005 before the disengagement in Gaza when a delegation of the RCP met with Senators and Congressmen in Washington. They asked us “what happened with Sharon has he fallen on his head?!” They told us “once the prime minister of Israel initiates such foolish disengagement America can’t openly go against it. But,” they added, “we promise you, if you can get Sharon to reverse his decision then president Bush and Congress will support you wholeheartedly.

“We all saw what happened after the Oslo accords and disengagement from Gaza. Now Lapid wants to bring upon us the same catastrophe, God forbid,” Rabbi Lewin said.

“Who gave you the authority to speak on behalf of the citizens of Israel, Mr. Lapid, and to put them all in danger?” demanded R. Avraham Yaakov Schreiber, former rabbi of Kfar Darom, rabbi of the Gush-Katif deportee community, and one of the leaders of the Rabbinical Congress. “You barely received 20% of the votes in the last election. You are nothing more than a transitional prime minister, at best! How dare you humiliate Israel before the nations of the world!”

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of Safed, member of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and a leader of the Rabbinical Congress added, “God told us to return to the lands of Judah and Samaria, as the verse states: ‘Return to your cities’ (Jer. 31:20) and rebuild all the Jewish cities and settlements that had been destroyed.’

“This transitional prime minister disagrees with God’s plan and wants these cities to be given to the Arabs, who will establish a terrorist state. He imagines that this will miraculously bring peace.

“We had enough of your promises about a ‘new Middle East.’ All that we’ve received is bloodshed and war. We see today that false prophets do not die, they merely change their appearance.”

“The rabbis of Israel will not remain silent in the face of Lapid’s insolence and dangerous declarations,” said Rabbi Joseph Gerlitzky, rabbi of Central Tel Aviv and chairman of the Rabbinical Congress. “We will fight against such foolish ideas. The Torah states that negotiations of this type can create a gravely dangerous situation for millions of Jews. Rabbis must not remain quiet in this instance. The Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 329) states that if is a matter of life and death, one shouldn’t even ask a question about it. A rabbi must not wait until he is asked about the topic; he must raise the alarm and engage everyone in a fierce battle against even the idea of a Palestinian state in the heart of the Holy Land, God forbid.”

In their letter, the rabbis called on Lapid to immediately resign from his position as prime minister. “You have shown just how much damage can be done to Israel, even in a very short time. Who knows how much more damage you could do until the next elections? If the Land of Israel is important to you, you should resign from your post today and transfer your office to someone who will act in the spirit of Jewish law, which demands the unyielding defense of every inch of the Holy Land, without concessions or withdrawals. This is the only way to achieve true peace and security for the Land of Israel."