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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘land for peace’

Letter Reveals Rav Ovadia Retracted ‘Land for Peace’ Ruling in 2003

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef reversed his famous “Land for Peace” ruling of 1993 after the Palestinian Authority literally exploded in Israel’s face a decade later with large-scale terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings.

The revelation of the letter, seen below, explains Rav Ovadia’s incredibly strong statements in recent sermons, such as one of the most famous ones three years ago when he said of the Palestinian Authority, “All these evil people should perish from this world. God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians.”

In 1993, when the prospect of peace turned into a mantra that mass media used to blind themselves and wishful-thinkers, the idea of Israel’s surrendering Judea, Gaza and Samaria for peace with Yasser Arafat was pushed by U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The Israeli government was split, and the Shas party, which obeyed whatever Rav Ovadia said, withstood arguments from nationalists and kept the Rabin-Peres coalition government alive with his famous ruling in favor of giving up “land for peace” because it is a matter of “pikuach nefesh,” saving the lives of Jews.

After Rav Ovadia died, Israel’s populist but rather ignorant media turned the funeral into a peace festival that obliterated the greatness of the rabbi, who wrote 50 books and who was cited all over the world as one of the greatest Torah sages ever.

The “expert analysts” on Israel radio and in the mass media explained that Rav Ovadia was a great man, but not because of  his brilliant mind that lived and breathed Torah and not because of the Shas party that he founded and turned into a kingmaker in Israeli politics.

“Land for peace” was the reason 800,000 Jews from all sects of Israeli society came to the funeral.

What they did not say is that 10 years after Oslo, during the Second Intifada that also is known as the Oslo War, Rav Ovadia ruled exactly the opposite.

Instead of “land for peace” being an issue to save the lives of Jews, it had become clear that it was a concept that endangered Jews.

Arafat’s “peace,” which murdered more than 1,000 Jews, wounded thousands others and which continues until today under the invisible hand of Mahmoud Abbas, is not the peace Rav Ovadia had in mind.

He wrote, “My dear brothers of Israel, residents of Judea and Samaria:

“It is my intention to make clear my position concerning Judea and Samaria. I have explained more than once since my Halachic ruling, that giving up land for peace has no validity in light of the current situation.

“I intended there be a true peace, in which Jerusalem and its surroundings will be secure in peace and quiet. But now, our eyes see that surrendering our holy land causes a danger to life.

“This is not the peace for which we prayed. Therefore, the Oslo Accords are null and void.”

Rav Ovadia then cited the verse form Psalms that states, “I speak peace and they speak war.”

Just as populist media falsified Rav Ovadia’s ruling, it has turned Jews in Israel and all over the world into victims of ignorant and slanderous reporting of Rav Ovadia’s Saturday night sermons. They took phrases out of contact and without any understanding that the rabbis was speaking the language his constituents understood, which is not the style of the pseudo-sophisticated Ashkenazi elite and certainly not that of the bleeding-heart media.

The Aish HaTorah website once quoted Rav Ovadia with comments that stated much clearer his idea of land for peace.

It quoted Rav Ovadia as saying, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef stated: “If the heads and commanders of the army, together with the government, state that saving of life is involved; that if areas of Israel are not given back, the danger exists of immediate war on the part of our Arab neighbors;

“And if the areas are returned to them, the danger of war will be averted; and that there is a chance of permanent peace; then it seems that according to all opinions it is permitted to return areas of Israel in order to achieve this aim, since nothing is more important than the saving of life.”

The Palestinian Authority war or terror on Israeli in the 1990s, after the Oslo Accords did not satisfy Arafat’s appetite to swallow up Israel, took a breather towards the end of the decade when the Barak government was on the verge of giving Arafat almost everything he wanted.

Margaret Thatcher

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

The Jewish Press notes with sadness the passing of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. A member of Britain’s Conservative Party, she was the longest serving British prime minister since the early 19th century, leading her party to three electoral victories starting in 1979.

She was lauded by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres as a staunch and loyal friend of Israel who stood by the Jewish state in times of need. She was known for her support of the Soviet Jewry movement and her disdain for anti-Semitism.

Prior to becoming prime minister, Ms. Thatcher as a member of parliament represented the heavily Jewish district of Finchley and developed relationships with the Jewish community as well as several of its institutions. A founding member of Finchley’s Anglo-Israel Friendship League, she had a number of Jews as her closest advisers and at one point nearly a quarter of her cabinet was of Jewish origin.

In a revealing comment, Ms. Thatcher said she considered her efforts at helping save a young Austrian girl from the Nazis her greatest accomplishment. And she cut to the chase when asked about her understanding of the Middle East: “Israel must never be expected to jeopardize her security: if she was ever foolish enough to do so, and then suffered for it, the backlash against both honest brokers and Palestinians would be immense – ‘land for peace’ must also bring peace.”

Would that more Margaret Thatchers were found in office in capitals around the world.

Land for War

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

President Obama’s recent charm offensive in Israel apparently had two aims: First, to lull Israel into forfeiting timely military action against Iranian nukes in the hope that Obama will act instead; and second, to convince Israelis that now is the time to revisit the land-for-peace formula.

For years, the conventional wisdom — among Israel’s peace camp and its proponents abroad (Obama included) — has been that if Israel just relinquishes enough territory to its enemies, peace will arrive. But on most of Israel’s borders, history has revealed the naïve folly behind an idea that could just as aptly be called “land-for-war.”

Consider Syria. From 1948 to 1967, the Syrians regularly fired artillery shells from their dominant positions on the Golan Heights down at Israeli border communities and Fatah used the territory to launch terrorist raids into Israel, until Israel captured it in 1967. But since the U.S.-brokered talks between Israel and Syria began in 1999, peaceniks have posited that a full withdrawal by Israel from the strategic plateau in exchange for peace with Syria involved a risk worth taking. Their rationale was that — in an era dominated more by aerial threats (jets and missiles) than terrestrial ones (soldiers and tanks) — the territory was no longer vital to Israeli security and could be traded for a double boon: peace with Syria and elimination of Iran’s greatest strategic ally.

Current events reveal the deeply flawed assumptions underpinning the land-for-peace-with-Syria paradigm. No Israeli territorial concession is needed for Iran to lose its only Arab ally; the Syrian civil war will ultimately accomplish that. Basher Assad’s regime will eventually fall because the daily slaughter of one’s own people (with over 70,000 dead) is unsustainable when each atrocity can be instantly uploaded to the Internet. Whoever replaces Assad will be no friend to those who armed, funded, and prolonged his massacres: Iran and Russia. Iran and its proxy Hizballah have also been substantially involved in fighting the rebels on the ground, and thus will be distanced from postwar Syria far more than any Israeli-Syrian peace could have separated Iran and Syria.

More importantly, the land-for-peace formula with Syria would have transferred the strategic territory from Israel to an Alawite-led regime reviled by the mostly Sunni rebels who will eventually overthrow it and likely disavow its commitments — including any peace deal that might have been reached with Israel.

Indeed, the Syrian rebels already control much of the 200 square miles comprising the Syrian side of the Golan Heights (where they recently kidnapped 21 U.N. peacekeepers stationed there) and have openly threatened to attack Israel next. Israel comprises about 8,000 square miles. If those same rebels were on the 500 square miles constituting the Israeli side of the plateau thanks to an earlier “peace deal,” Israel would be that much closer to the errant projectiles of Syria’s civil war, and that much more exposed to whatever terrorist attacks on Israel the Syrian jihadist fighters plan after finishing Assad.

Hence, Israel’s tangible security asset (earned with the blood of its soldiers in the Six Day War) would have been traded for “peace” with Assad, but land-for-war with Syrian Islamists is what Israel may have received just a few years later.

Indeed, “land-for-war” has a compelling record. In 2000, Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon and in 2006 was attacked from there by Hizballah. It was only the force of Israel’s military response in the war that followed — rather than any territorial concession — that prevented any subsequent cross-border attacks by Hizballah, although the terrorist group still pursues murderous plots abroad, including in Europe (which still cowers from labeling Hizballah a terrorist organization).

Since Israel left the Gaza Strip in 2005, Palestinian terrorists have launched almost 10,000 rockets from there at Israeli civilians (most recently on three days of last week and during Obama’s visit to Israel, violating yet another cease-fire agreement). Since the 1993 Oslo Peace Accord requiring Israel to hand over parts of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terrorist attacks have killed over 1,000 Israelis.

The 1994 Jordan-Israel peace involved very little land (and heavily depends on survival of the Hashemite Kingdom), so the best precedent supporting the land-for-peace model is Egypt, which agreed to peace with Israel for return of the Sinai Peninsula. That cold peace has held since 1979 mostly thanks to over $60 billion of U.S. aid to Egypt and an unpopular, secular autocrat (Hosni Mubarak). After Islamists hijacked Egypt’s 2011 revolution, the future of the Egypt-Israel peace is less certain, although Egypt now has so many economic and political problems that foreign military adventures seem unlikely.

Right-Leaning Pro-Israel Organizations Join Voices in D.C.

Monday, January 7th, 2013

The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) and the National Council of Young Israel announced on Friday, January 4, that EMET will serve as the NCYI’s voice on Capitol Hill for purposes of addressing foreign policy.  Both organizations are right-of-center and resolutely pro-Israel.

EMET is a small Washington, D.C. think tank which conducts weekly one-on-one briefings with Congressional offices, and hosts frequent talks by leading policy experts which are attended by members of congress, staffers, and others interested in Middle East policy.

According to Sarah Stern, founder and president of EMET, the collaboration between the two organizations makes sense

because of the strong symmetry in foreign policy views shared by the two organizations.  EMET’s policy focus will remain, as always, preserving and defending the national security of the United States, and its ally Israel, in the joint struggle against the forces of radical Islam and emphasizing Israel’s unique role as the eastern outpost of Western democratic values.  EMET currently does this with the backing of over 25,000 Americans throughout the United States.

The issues that EMET focuses its attention on educating members of Congress about include the need for Jerusalem to remain undivided; the need to demand of Islamist regimes that unless they meet required policy thresholds, U.S. military and financial assistance will be curtailed or even terminated; the dangers of a nuclear Iran; the dangers of a failed “land for peace” policy in dealing with the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the recognition that the path to peace is blocked by Arab Palestinian intransigence; and the need for American leadership in obtaining the release of unjustly jailed Jews around the world, including Jonathan Pollard.

The NCYI is an organization that grew out of the needs of Torah observant Jews to meet the challenges of a non-accommodating diaspora world, especially during the early decades of the Twentieth Century. Young Israel has 146 branches throughout North America, and it currently focuses not only on Torah observance, but on the needs and aspirations of its community, including various kinds of focused political action.  Obtaining the release from prison of Jonathan Pollard is a particularly important issue for Young Israel.  Rabbi Pesach Lerner, the executive vice president of the organization until his recent retirement, was one of Pollard’s most fervent advocates.

NCYI President Farley Weiss said in a joint press release about the arrangement between the two organizations, “NCYI is very excited to have EMET represent NCYI on it matters of foreign policy concerns.  I personally have admired for many years the tremendous job Sarah Stern and EMET has done and accomplished on Capitol Hill and their sterling reputation.  We are confident that partnering with EMET will be a win-win situation for both parties and will give the National Council of Young Israel a much stronger voice on issues of concern to our members.  We look forward to a great relationship with EMET.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/right-leaning-pro-israel-organizations-join-voices-in-d-c/2013/01/07/

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