Following a special meeting of the Administrative Committee of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace, the rabbis issued a call to the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government to declare a state of emergency in Israel. They issued a statement saying “there are times when a nation is confronted with war and terrorist insurgence that threaten the security and lives of its citizens. In such cases, international law acknowledges the curtailment of certain basic rights as a proactive response.”
The Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP), is a group of some 1,200 past and present Torah leaders from the United States, Canada and Israel, affiliated with the Zionist, Haredi and Chabad movements. In their Tuesday meeting, they lamented the fact that the past year has seen innocent Israelis being stabbed, shot and killed by their enemies, with little or no effective response from the Israeli government.
Relying on the Shulkhan Arukh, Orakh Haim 329, as well as on international law, the rabbis declared that the sanctity of life takes precedence over all else, to the extent that one is not only permitted but is obligated to desecrate Shabbat to pick up arms to repel the enemy.
Therefore, the Rabbis called on the Israeli government to “impose a complete, three-month-long closure on all towns and villages from which terrorists have come to kill Jews, as well as impose economic sanctions.”
Also, since the Israeli media justify and support (overtly or by insinuation) terrorist activity, making it the equivalent of a “fifth column” in Israel, the government should “temporarily impose a complete censorship on radio and TV for several months.” The Rabbis have “no doubt that without the support of the Israeli leftist-controlled media, terrorist activity would substantially decrease.”
The Rabbis reiterated their call to the government to “unequivocally declare the annulment of the Oslo agreements, a copy of which should be publicly torn up in the Knesset.”
In addition, “the government should also allow unlimited construction in all parts of Israel. Hesitating on these obvious measures is tantamount to the encouragement of terrorism by the government itself.”
The Rabbis declared that they are “crying out and beseeching the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, government ministers and members of the Knesset to recognize that this is ‘a time of trouble for Yaakov!’ (sic) The Torah’s prediction of the grievous consequences of transferring Israeli territory to its enemies is being actualized before our very eyes.”
Finally, the rabbis told Netanyahu: “Come to your senses and heed the instruction of the Torah, and stop the further shedding of innocent blood, which continues unabated.”