Thursday, December 31, 2009
Rabbis to US Ambassador: Time to 'Go Biblical' with Arabs
A delegation of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP) met with U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Mr. James Cunningham, today and called for a reassessment of the entire U.S. policy vis-à-vis the Israelis and Palestinians. The rabbis told Ambassador Cunningham that it was time to try the Biblical approach to the dispute over the Land of Israel. "The past 17 years have proven without a shadow of a doubt that every square inch ceded by Israel to the Palestinians was transformed into a platform of hatred and terrorism," RCP Director Rabbi Avrohom Shmuel Lewin told the ambassador. "In other words, the 'land for peace' formula in the Israel-Palestinian context, besides being a formula that goes against the Divine will, is ineffective, obsolete, and an exercise in futility. Most of all it is a dangerous policy that only leads to bloodshed and instability in the region and harms vital American interests in the region as well," Lewin said.
'Land for peace doesn't work'
The delegation was headed by Rabbi Joseph Gerlitzky, Chairman of the RCP, who is also the Rabbi of Central Tel Aviv where the US embassy is located. Rabbi Gerlitzky presented the ambassador with the Halachic (Jewish legal) ruling signed by over 350 prominent rabbis in Israel that it is forbidden to give up even one inch of territory controlled by Israel today because it will bring bloodshed and instability to the region.
"In the name of the overwhelming majority of rabbis in Israel," he said, "we request of you Mr. Ambassador, to convey our Halachic message to President Barack Obama that it is time for a complete reversal and reassessment of U.S. policy in the Middle East. The 'land for peace' policy never worked and harms U.S. interests in the region and the world at large."
Left to right: Rabbi Sholom Gold, Mr. Marc Sievers of the US Embassy, Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Joseph Gerlitzky, Ambassador James Cunningham, Rabbi Moshe Havlin, Rabbi Avrohom S. Lewin. The Rabbis handed the ambassador a Halachic Ruling signed by over 350 rabbis in Israel that forbids giving up land controlled by Israel today.
The ambassador was visibly moved by Rabbi Sholom Gold, a leading rabbi in Jerusalem, who described the suffering that the Jewish People have endured ever since the implementation of the Oslo Accords and the agreements that followed. "It's all a play of words, there is no peace process," he said. "From the day that we started conceding and withdrawing we did not have one day of rest and peace. Why should our enemies want to make peace with us when they see that with terrorism they get what they want? Even the U.S., Israel's supposedly best friend, sides with them in demanding a freeze and evacuation of settlements. Is the triumph of Arab terror one of American interests?" Gold asked.
Rabbi Dov Lior, the Rabbi of Kiryat Arba-Hevron, said: "G-d gave the US the power and influence to affect the rest of the world and supporting Israel is the key to America's success."
Ambassador Cunningham told the rabbis that he does not see how the problem can be solved “without taking into consideration the Palestinians,” to which Rabbi Gold remarked: "Ever since we started taking the Palestinians into consideration the situation only worsened."
The ambassador asked the rabbis, "So what is your solution to the problem?"
Rabbi Gerlitzky replied: "You must switch the entire approach to the situation. We all believe in the Holy Bible and up until now we tried every formula except for that which is delineated in the Bible. Let's try it and who knows, Mr. Ambassador, maybe this is your defining moment, that G-d Almighty has placed you in this capacity in order to precipitate a new course which will bring a true peace to the entire region."