'I can't make peace with one who denies my right to exist'

UK Chief Rabbi Sacks tells the UK House of Lords "there may be a process but there will not be peace" if Hamas doesn't recognize Israel.

May 5, 2011 12:43
2 minute read.
Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

rabbi sacks UK 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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UK Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks slammed the notion of making peace with Hamas in a speech he gave to the House of Lords on Wednesday.

The chief rabbi said that unless Hamas changes its ways, "there may be a process but there will not be peace."

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"Peace is more than a resting place on the road to war. I cannot make peace with one who denies my right to exist."

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The speech came shortly after Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation accord in Cairo, with Hamas officials saying they will not recognize Israel.

"We, who pray for peace, understand by that word, a state in which I recognize your right to exist, and you recognize mine," Sacks said. "That is what peace minimally means."

He continued: "How then can we be speaking about peace when Hamas remains committed as a matter of principle to the elimination of the State of Israel, when it engages in missile attacks against innocent civilians, and uses its own innocent civilians as human shields; when it propagates some of the most vicious anti-Semitic myths ever to have inflamed the hatred and anesthetized the conscience of human beings, and two days ago praised Osama bin Laden as a holy warrior; and when it refuses to agree to the fundamental principles laid down by the Quartet not least of which is the recognition of Israel's right to exist?"

Sacks added that Jews around the world "long for peace" and to live "without fear, without hate, without being treated as a pariah."

He said that the Jewish people "long for the ability to live ... without being blamed for the troubles of the world, without being denied the right to exist."

"That is why I urge the government to be resolute in its insistence that the path to peace in the Middle East must begin with the unequivocal recognition of the State of Israel's right to be," he concluded.

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