by Yoni Kempinski – www.israelnationalnews.com
A delegation of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP) met with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro on Thursday and called for a reassessment of the entire U.S. policy vis-à-vis the Israelis and Palestinians.
Members of the delegation told Arutz Sheva that the Ambassador said that the two-state solution was not a U.S. initiative but one that was initiated and promoted by the last four Israeli governments.
“We did not pressure Prime Minister Netanyahu to accept the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.” Shapiro said. “Our goal – and Israel’s goal as well – is to get both sides to the negotiating table. They should negotiate by themselves without the help of a third party.” The rabbis heard Shapiro state, “The United States, in no uncertain terms, considers Hamas a terror organization, and there can be no negotiations with the organization.”
Rabbi Jospeh Gerlitzky, Chairman of the RCP said that the organization “was founded in 1993 in order to alert public attention to Israel’s failed formula of ‘territories for peace.'”
He added, “For the last 18 years, we’ve been making gestures, giving them land and other vital resources and what did we get in return? Terror and more terror, precisely from those territories that we surrendered. It’s time to stop this foolishness.
“The only solution to the problem is as delineated in the Halachic Ruling based on the Jewish Code of Law Chapter 329 signed by over 350 of the most prominent rabbis in Israel, that the value of Jewish life supersedes every other value”, explained Rabbi Gerlitzky, “Therefore, when foreigners want to enter Jewish border towns, and state that their purpose is only to pick up straw and pebbles, one must violate the Sabbath and stop them militarily becuase if you will allow them one inch it will ultimately lead to the conquest of the entire land.”
Rabbi Avrohom Shmuel Lewin, Director of the RCP, told the Ambassador that for the last 45 years the word ‘peace’ in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict has become synonymous with “Israeli withdrawal.”
“Unfortunately the past 45 years have proven without a shadow of a doubt that the ‘land for peace’ formula is nothing but an exercise in futility and it’s about time to change course,” he added. Rabbi Lewin quoted Defense Minister Ehud Barak last week at a conference in Vienna, who said, “We disengaged from Gaza and got 10,000 missiles in return.”
Rabbi Moshe Havlin, Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Gat, spoke of “the living hell the disengagement from Gaza brought to Kiryat Ga,” adding, “We never felt this way before the disengagement. There are over 50 American and students in the Yeshiva in Kiryat Gat but a month ago we were forced to close it down temporarily because of the missiles attack. I have an 18-month-old grand daughter who is gripped with fright hysteria every time she hears a siren alerting that a missile is on its way.”
Rabbi Sholom Gold told Ambassador Shapiro that it seems senior officials in the administration “just don’t get it.” He was referring to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s statement last week at the Saban forum that called on Israel to make bold steps.
In the spirit of Chanukah which celebrates the victory of a few over many, the rabbis presented the Ambassador with a Chanukah Menorah.