Back in January, 400 Israeli Rabbis signed a proclamation rejecting Trump’s “Deal of the Century” peace initiative. The petition was signed unanimously by the Rabbinical Congress for Peace who sited the Biblical prohibition against any territorial concession of the land of Israel.
Among the deal’s opponents is Rabbi Dov Lior, the Former Chief Rabbi of Hevron who recently told the Jewish Voice that: “Anyone who supports this plan is a follower of the Spies in the Wilderness who weakened the spirit of the Nation and betrayed the Land of Israel.”
“This is not a deal – it is a mousetrap, and woe to all to grab at the cheese” he added.
The rabbis who comprise the congress were shocked to learn that the Israeli government agreed to the idea of forming a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. “No one knows what will happen four years from now in the Middle East. However, one thing will be remembered: that Israel already stated that in principle, East Jerusalem will be the capital of the Palestinian state” the statement read.
Meanwhile, Rabbi Moshe Harlop said that “it is better to have one’s hand chopped off than to sign any document agreeing to give any portion of Ertetz Yisrael to the goyim (gentiles).
Echoing Rabbi Lior’s comparison to the sin of the spies, Rabbi Harlop was asked if annexation of some land, even at the expense of a Palestinian State was better than no annexation at all. Rabbi Harlop responded saying: “Administrations in Washington come and go. Once you sign an international agreement, there’s no backing out. And who knows what a leftist government in Israel will agree to give the Arabs for the illusion of peace? We cannot be an active partner to such an heretical agreement in any shape or form. To do so would be a clear continuation of the Sin of the Spies, as the verse states: ‘They despised the cherished Land’.”
And Hashem said to Moshe, “How long will this people spurn Me, and how long will they have no faith in Me despite all the signs that I have performed in their midst? (Numbers 14:11)
Regarding the 1937 Peel commission as a possible precedent for dividing the land, Rabbi Harlop explained that the situation today in Israel is different saying: “At that time, we were physically and economically weak. We needed the goyim (gentiles) to survive. Today isn’t the same. Today we can uphold the Torah obligation to keep the Land of Israel under our control, and from that will come the greatest blessing. You can’t perform a transgression for the promise of a reward. You can’t agree to an agreement that states if you work 2 hours on Shabbat you will receive a ten million dollars bonus.”