Rabbis to EU Ambassador: Torah Doesn’t Allow Giving Up Land

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rabbinical-congress-for-peace1A senior delegation of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP) met on Tuesday with Ambassador Andrew Standley, the Head of the European Union in Israel, to present the Torah view on the issue of giving up land to the Arabs.

The rabbis made it clear that the majority of rabbis in Israel and abroad are of the opinion that it is absolutely forbidden to give up an inch of land to the Arabs. The rabbis cited the Halakha in the Jewish Code of Law Chapter 329, that the sanctity of life overrides all other considerations and giving up land has proven more than once that it leads to violence, bloodshed and instability.

“As rabbis we are committed to peace and to promoting peace, but a true and lasting peace, not one that will blow up in our faces before the ink of the agreement has a chance to dry,” they told the ambassador.

Rabbi Avrohom Shmuel Lewin, Director-General of the RCP, asked the ambassador how long the EU will continue the futile exercise of supporting a “territory for peace” formula, which has proven over and over again that it is really “territory for terror.”

“The EU is urging Israel to withdraw to the 1967 borders. We did that in Gaza and what did we get? 10,000 missiles. Do you want that to happen in Judea and Samaria too?” Rabbi Lewin asked Standley.

Rabbi Shlomo Rosenfeld, the Rabbi of Shadmot Mehula in the Jordan Valley, emphasized that it is precisely the EU, that represents the European countries where the Holocaust took place, must feel the responsibility for a secure Israel.

“What is happening today in Israel is an extension of the Holocaust,” he told Standley. “The Jewish people are again being made a scapegoat for the lack of world peace while the Palestinian terrorists and murderers are depicted as innocent peace seekers. I want to state in no uncertain terms that the EU’s one sided support of the Palestinian demands is an extension of the Holocaust.”

Rabbi Abraham Shreiber, the rabbi of the community of Kfar Darom in Gush Katif, which was evicted during the 2005 disengagement, related that before the disengagement from Gaza local Gaza residents and the Jewish neighbors lived in peace and harmony. He said that the vegetables and crops grown in Gush Katif were the best in the country and the Arabs learned how grow them too.

“We still get calls today from many former Arab neighbors complaining that situation has become much worse for the Arabs themselves as a result of the disengagement. They are pleading with us to come back,” he said.

Ambassador Standley listened attentively to the rabbis and thanked them for coming to present the Torah view. He said that it is hard to argue with the rabbis, since they live in Israel and feel the heat on a daily basis, while he will only be in Israel for a few years before moving on to another country. Standley added, however, that while the Jewish people are bound by the Torah which is eternal, he and the EU are bound by international law which has not yet accepted laws of the Torah.

Last month, Standley made it clear that the EU continues to regard Israel’s presence in the Jewish people’s ancestral homeland as “occupation.”

“They [Judea and Samaria] are indeed occupied territory under international law, where Israel is the occupying power,” Standley told Arutz Sheva.

“Under international humanitarian law, the Geneva Conventions, the occupying power has certain obligations and certain prohibitions, including having its population settle the occupied territory,” he added. “And this is why, under international law, including the interpretation of the European Union, it has,… there should not be settlement by Israel or by Israelis in the occupied territory.”

At the same time, Standley denied that the EU takes an anti-Israel position, saying that his opinion is that Europe was solicitous over Israel’s security. The EU is not anti-Israel and views the two state solution as the best way out, he said.

Last week, as part of EU’s assessment of its partnership with 12 neighboring countries, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton listed a set of characteristically harsh ‘recommendations’ regarding relations with Israel.

The recommendations include a call on Israel “to continue to step up its efforts to minimize settler violence in the occupied Palestinian territory and to bring all perpetrators to justice” and “address the excessive use of administrative detention.”

Ashton previously made a skewed comparison between the lethal, unprovoked shooting attack at a Jewish school in Toulouse and the unintended deaths of children in Gaza when Israel attempts to stop missile launchings and apprehend terrorists. She later categorically denied making that comparison.

Read more: Israel National News

{Israel National News/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. When will people stop using the Holocaust as a prop for whatever they are trying to sell? What’s happening in Israel is NOT a Holocaust. We might have nearly ch’v had one in 1967 or 1973, but the current situation is far from it.

    My friends with numbers on their arms, many of whom lost their entire families in the camps, were very careful about how they talked about it. Using it as a political slogan cheapens the memory of those who died, and, ultimately, our own self-respect.

  2. Not so, the Torah commands us not to get into fights with the nations and not to try to reestablish our national Homeland before Moshiach comes. What is happening in Israel is indeed an extension of the holocaust, a time at which the Jewish people were represented by Zionist organizations who did not work to rescue Jews but only cared about the establishment of their state.
    We must seperate ourselves from the state. This is the only solution. We must return to our old tradition. Anyone who watches the political map can see that the State is NOT what is going to save the Jewish people.

  3. EU through Standley acknowledges and concedes that “the Jewish people are bound by Torah law which is eternal.” The Torah expressly commands the territorial boundaries of the Land of Israel “which shall be for you the boundary”…The “occupied territories” of Judaea and Samaria are clearly within the boundaries commanded by the Torah for EY. If “international law” is contrary to Torah law, then even according to Standley and the EU which he represents, the Jewish people are bound by their supreme Torah law. Therefore, the EU’s call for EY “to withdraw to the 1967” lines amounts to a call to Israel and the Jewish people to openly violate Torah law to which they are eternally bound. Thus,the EU knows that it is asking Israel to violate the Torah in order to satisfy “international law,” but that makes no difference to it. Does the EU make similar demands on any other people to violate it’s fundamental religious laws in order to accomodate international law? And, on top of that, Israel’s requested voluntary agreement to it’s withdrawal to the 1967 lines, as to cede away Judaea, Samaria and even Jerusalem in part, would constitute an open repudiation of the sanctity and validity of the Torah as a whole before the entire world, C”V. The Jewish people in Israel and around the world should stand up for Israel’s own international obligations and rights under their eternal Torah law, at least until in Standley’s expression the EU and the international law to which it is bound will have also accepted Torah law. Furthermore, land for peace has been proven a bankrupt formula over and over, endangering lives and effectively counterproductive to true peace, violating Torah law of Pikuach Nefesh as stressed in this article. Hashem oz l’amo yitein, Hashem Y’varech et amo b’shalom. K’Y’R”A

  4. To Sober thoughts
    The nations of the world allowed us officially and publicly to return to Eretz Israel through the Balfour Declaration and the UN vote in 1948. With regards to the Arabs, we defend ourselves which is a mitzvah min haTorah like any other mitzva. Granted, the Zionist organizations let frum Jews die even when they could have saved them and played favorites who should be allowed to come to Eretz Israel. Granted, it is tragedy that the Ben Gurions of the world established the state the way we know it. But we shall never join with those who want to kill Jews like the Arabs and Iranians.

  5. To chaviv
    1) If Shabesai Tzvi (Shr”y) would have gotten permission from the Turkish Sultan (which is what he asked the Sultan) to bring all Jews to Eretz Yisroel, Would we be allowed to follow him?

    2) Joining with those who want to kill Jews G-d forbid is not what was proposed here.

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