Members of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP) have sent repeated appeals to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recent weeks, warning him that the current government’s approach is proving to be no different than that of its predecessor, and that its passive and lax response to terror only strengthens Israel’s enemies and could lead to terrible bloodshed.
“We look on in bewilderment and dismay at the Israeli government’s repeated silence in the face of terrorist attacks, acts of murder and violence, car and bus lynchings in broad daylight, and rockets fired on settlements in the north and south. The current administration seems to tremble at the slightest peep of the media and has been cowed into submission by raucous demonstrations, which are supported by funds from abroad,” the rabbis wrote to Netanyahu.
“Furthermore, the government continues to hold secret negotiations with the Palestinian enemy—negotiations under real fire!” their letter continued.
The rabbis are aware of the many political and security considerations that the current government must take into account; yet, they emphatically declare that, according to the Torah, there is absolutely no justification for showing weakness to the enemy. “Any terrorist attack or rocket that is not met with a sharp and painful response will inevitably be followed by a wave of terror and more severe shootings from other enemies in the area. May God save us!”
“Unfortunately, we live in abnormal times, in which dramatic news and events occur almost daily,” said Rabbi Joseph Gerlitzky, chairman of the RCP and rabbi of Central Tel Aviv. “It seems that we have already forgotten the innocent blood that was spilled just two weeks ago, and the missile attacks on settlements in the north and south, just last week. One thing is certain, however—our enemies have not forgotten. They look at the weakness of the Israeli government, which collapses before pressure from home and abroad, and find the strength and encouragement to intensify their efforts to harm Jews and achieve territorial gains. As the ruling in the Shulchan Aruch (Jewish Code of Law) says (Orach Chaim 329), this makes ‘the land easy for them to conquer.’ Yet it is not too late to respond properly, according to the Torah, and show them that Jewish blood is not cheap.”
The RCP has collected the signatures of more than 400 Israeli rabbis, who prohibit any withdrawal and negotiations on the territories of Israel since this places the entire population of the Holy Land in danger. This follows the above ruling which states that according to the Torah, only a policy of aggressive and “disproportionate” response, which deters and instills fear in the enemy, will bring lasting peace and security to the inhabitants of the land.