(February 19, 2019 / JNS)
A delegation of the heads of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace—led by Rabbi Joseph Gerlitzky, rabbi of Chabad-Lubavitch in central Tel Aviv; Rabbi Avraham Schreiber, rabbi of the settlement of Shavei Shomron; and Rabbi Yirmiyahu HaCohen, a chief rabbinical justice in Europe and Jerusalem—met on Sunday with Germany’s ambassador to Israel, Susanne Wasum-Rainer.
The rabbis presented the ambassador with the halachic ruling based on the universal value of the sanctity of life that it is absolutely forbidden to enter negotiations on an Israeli withdrawal from territories presently under its control.
HaCohen also showed her original archaeological findings that prove that the Jewish people have been in Israel from time immemorial.
“Past experience has proven without a shadow of a doubt that any withdrawals only embolden the terrorists to increase terrorism and instability in the region,” the rabbis said.
They requested that the ambassador convey their message to the German government.
Wasum-Rainer acknowledged that this was the first time that the Torah view had been called to her attention and recommended that it also be brought to the attention of world public opinion, However, she said, her government does not take sides in the conflict. She said that she feels that the Palestinians are entitled to their own independent state as well.
“There are millions of Muslims in Germany,” replied Gerlitzky, ”and no one thinks of granting them autonomy there.”
Schreiber talked about the close rapport he had with Arabs in Gaza when he served as a rabbi in Gush Katif before the disengagement in 2005.
“It is clear,” he said, “that most of the Arab residents in Gaza were against the disengagement because they didn’t want to live under Palestinian rule. They enjoyed more freedom and prosperity under Israeli rule.”
The ambassador pledged to convey their message to senior officials in the German government.