In a last-ditch effort to prevent the demolition of the Ulpana neighborhood in Bet El, the Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP) sent an urgent message to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asking him not to do it. The rabbis quoted the Talmudic adage that the beginning of a downfall is flight and warned that such a move will have a domino effect and will WEAKEN Israel’s security.
“Dealing with registration of ownership and legal debates over Israeli land is dangerous and superfluous. What is actually happening is an attempt by Israel’s enemies with the help of leftist elements to force Israel to withdraw from Judea and Samaria and any minor concession only encourages them to continue with their plot. This can ultimately happen in Jaffa and Haifa just the same,” the rabbis wrote to the prime minister.
The rabbis alluded to the Halacha in Shulchan Oruch 329 that when dealing with a border town it is forbidden to enter any negotiations of withdrawal. It makes no difference whether it’s one house or an entire neighborhood. Any concession and negotiation only inspires and emboldens Israel’s enemies and leads to violence and instability. The Prime Minister must state in no uncertain terms that this neighborhood is vital for Israel’s security and to remove the issue from the agenda. Instead he should expand and continue building more homes there, the RCP wrote.
The rabbis also cited the words of Nobel laureate Professor Israel Aumann who said that that evicting the families “would endanger not only the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria but also all of Israel.” He said it is a “humanitarian and moral” issue to keep the families in their homes. This [expulsion] endangers all of us even if the danger does not occur in our generation. The expulsion will influence our grandchildren,” he said.
The message sent to PM Netanyahu in the name of 350 rabbis of the organization was signed by Rabbi Joseph Gerlitzky, Chairman, Rabbi Moshe Havlin, Vice-Chairman and Rabbi Avrohom S. Lewin, Director.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)