Worldnetdaily:Rabbis: Take back Gaza Strip
JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon must immediately take back the Gaza Strip and cease any future land transfers to the Palestinians, a group of prominent rabbis told WorldNetDaily, declaring this past summer’s unilateral Gaza withdrawal in contravention to Jewish law.
“My function as a rabbi is to declare the word of the Torah as delineated by Jewish law, which forbids giving any land to an enemy that will attack you,” said Rabbi Joseph Gerlitzky, a senior Tel Aviv rabbi and chairman of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace, a worldwide coalition of over 1200 rabbinic leaders and pulpit rabbis.
“There is no question this is what happened in Gaza,” he said. “I am calling for Sharon to take it back now, and not give the Palestinians any more land.”
Israel in August withdrew its Jewish communities from Gaza and four northern Samaria towns, turning the land over to full Palestinian control. Hamas and Islamic Jihad declared the Gaza withdrawal a victory for their “resistance operations” and vowed to continue launching rockets and carrying out suicide attacks against Israel until the Jewish state vacates more land.
Echoing comments he made to Shturem.net, a new online news site for the world Chabad Jewish outreach movement, Garlitsky justified his stance on taking back Gaza using the Code of Jewish Law, a Torah and Talmud-based text considered the most authoritative compilation of Jewish laws and customs.
“In the Code’s Chapter 329, it states in no uncertain terms that it if you are living in a border town it is absolutely forbidden to give up even one inch of territory to those on the other side who may harm you on the grounds that it will lead to massive bloodshed,” explained Garlitsky.
“This is not merely a statement on paper but unfortunately has been proven true time and time again. Whenever Israel gave up territory to the Palestinians, they used it as a launching pad to strike at Israel again.”
Since the Gaza withdrawal, more than 100 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israeli Negev towns, and Israel says Palestinian groups are transferring rocket technology and heavy weaponry to Judea and Samaria.
As WND first reported, in what some expelled Jewish residents of the area called the “ultimate insult,” Hamas leaders say they turned Neve Dekalim, the former Jewish capital of the Gaza Strip, into a “martyr training camp” and have used the territory to launch rockets into Israel.
Garlitsky said there are multiple portions of the Torah and Talmud that “state God gave Israel to the Jews, and the land cannot be given up. But some people argue perhaps the Torah is talking about a future time or that certain lands are not included. So my organization cites the Code of Law against giving up land to an enemy. This applies to all territories, whether inside Israel or outside. You can’t argue with it.”
Rabbi Avrohom Shmuel Lewin, executive director of the Rabbinical Council, went on to blast a deal brokered last week by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that gives final veto power to the Palestinian Authority regarding all individuals and vehicles entering Gaza through its crossing with Egypt.
“Under the terms of the newly signed arrangements, Israel foregoes almost all control in the area, becoming vulnerable to terrorist threats from Sinai, Gaza, Judea and Samaria. … This is absurd and needs to be reversed now along with a complete take back of Gaza as a pre-emptive move against Hamas’ declared war to use Gaza to attack Israel.”
Last week’s deal on the Rafah crossing – the scene of previous rampant weapons smuggling – restricts Israel’s monitoring abilities of the area to video camera, calls for a European presence at the border and gives the Palestinians final border authority. It also calls for the building of a Palestinian sea port.
Commenting on the rabbis declarations to take back Gaza, Israeli Knesset Member Effi Eitam, chairman of the National Religious Party, told WND, “I think Sharon didn’t have to give up Gaza. His plan unquestionably caused enormous damage as far as national security and being pressured to give up more land. There will be a moment when Israel should take Gaza back and will be able to do so. But right now it’s a much more complicated thing to do.”
Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, a U.S. based pro-Israel group, told WND “God promised the Jews all of the land of Israel, which includes all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. I am sure eventually the Jews will have sovereignty over all this territory, but that doesn’t mean this would be the right time for Israel to retake the land.”
Nabin Abu Rudeniah, a senior advisor to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, called the rabbis statements “dangerous. These kinds of sentiments create a negative environment and go against the possibility of creating peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”