Rabbis to Bush: Don’t back West Bank withdrawal

Even ignoring the Biblical aspect of the withdraws, we have already seen that it hurts Israel security rather than helping it.

KIBBUTZ NAHAL OZ, Israel – A group of prominent rabbis is calling on President Bush to refuse political and financial support for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s plan to evacuate most of Judea and Samaria, stating the withdrawal is against U.S. interests, and that it violates basic tenets of Jewish law.
“U.S. interests are being impacted by Israel’s proposed retreat from terrorist strongholds in Judea and Samaria. In addition, as rabbis our obligation is to teach, guide, and lead our congregations to conduct their daily lives in accordance with Jewish Law. This holds especially true in a matter of life or death threatening the residents of Israel,” stated a letter sent to Bush and signed by leaders of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace, a coalition of over 1200 rabbinic leaders and pulpit rabbis.
Congress members include some of the most esteemed Orthodox rabbis in the Jewish world.
Olmert is attempting to push through a withdrawal from most of Judea and Samaria, mountainous territory that is within rocket firing range of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Israel’s international airport. The territory is also commonly called the West Bank.
The rabbis point out in their letter to Bush that villages slated for withdrawal from Judea and Samaria are mentioned throughout the Torah.
They state a withdrawal from the area violates Jewish law because an evacuation will lead to massive violence.
“There is a clear definitive ruling in the Jewish Code of Law ‘Orach Chaim’ Chapter 329 which rules that it is strictly forbidden to give up even one inch of a Jewish border town to foreigners because it will lead to bloodshed. How much more so regarding retreating from holy land that enemies bent on your destruction have already stated will be used to launch attacks against Jews,” states the letter to Bush.
The rabbis wrote to Bush that Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza last summer has already impacted regional U.S. interests and that Olmert’s proposed Judea and Samaria evacuation will have “disastrous” consequences for the American-led war on terror.
“Israel’s 2005 retreat from Gaza has been perceived as a cave-in by the role-model of counter-terrorism. It paved the road to Hamas’ electoral victory and upgraded the posture of Islamic Jihad and al-Qaida, thus providing friendly platforms for Iran, Syria, Sudan, Yemen and the pro-Saddam elements. The Gaza retreat has established the largest terrorist base in the Middle East, threatening accelerated anti-U.S. terrorism.
“Bolstering the Palestinian profile by enforcing a withdrawal in Judea and Samaria constitutes a present and immediate lethal danger to pro-U.S. regimes in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Gulf states and will establish an enormous terror sanctuary threatening US troops in the Gulf area. It would also undermine Israel’s posture of deterrence, which is critical to the enhancement of regional stability.”
The rabbis urged Bush against “morally or financially supporting Israel’s disastrous withdrawal plan.”

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