Rabbi threatens civil war at rally

Thousands gather in J'lem but mainstream settler movement stays away; Wolpe vows to use ‘a stick against a stick’ in future settlement evacuations.

Jerusalem Right Protest 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Jerusalem Right Protest 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
There will be a civil war and the creation of a new, autonomous entity, the Authority of Judea and Samaria, should the government evacuate even the smallest West Bank settlement, Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe warned at a Jerusalem rally on Thursday night.
“If you [Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu] want a civil war, there will be one,” said Wolpe, whose Eretz Yisrael Shelanu movement organized the event.
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The rabbis of Wolpe’s movement put out a statement saying that, according to the dictates of the Torah, it was forbidden for Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to remain in their posts.
The rabbis further decreed that “our messiah must materialize and bring back the kingdom of David to the holy city of Jerusalem.”
Speaking to the several thousand demonstrators, most of whom were religious, Wolpe said, “If you [Netanyahu] evacuate the isolated settlements, it is an act of betrayal.”
Among those who also addressed the rally were MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) and Samaria Regional head Gershon Mesika. Most of the mainstream settler movement and leadership stayed away.
Wolpe called on soldiers to refuse orders to evacuate settlements and urged right-wing activists to fight any withdrawal, in the same manner as at the Amona outpost in the winter of 2006.
In any future destruction of settlements, “We use a stick against a stick,” he said. “Amona was not the end but the beginning.”
He declared that even as the crowd sang and danced to the musical performances that were part of the rally, Netanyahu and his staff were sitting with US officials trying to figure out which settlements would be destroyed first and which ones would be the last to go.
Should Netanyahu move against the settlements, Wolpe warned, his group already had a plan to create the autonomous Authority of Judea and Samaria.
He added that creating a Palestinian state would endanger thousands of Jewish lives.
Mesika referred to US President Barak Obama by his middle name, and called him the cruel gentile ruler “paritz Hussein Obama.”
The Jewish right to a state in the Land of Israel came from the Bible and was not based on security or demographic arguments, he said.
Ben-Ari also spoke out against the African migrants who have been illegally entering Israel and in support of not renting or selling land to non-Jews in Israel.
He warned that Israel was being given away to foreigners.
“We stand behind the rabbis who do not want to give our inheritance away to strangers,” Ben-Ari said.
Some people, particularly on the Left, have said that those who hold this position are racists, said Ben-Ari. “They call us racists, but they say the ultra-Orthodox live off in a place of their own. This is hypocrisy. They attacked the rabbis [who signed the letter barring real estate deals with Arabs], who fight for the country’s identity. I salute the rabbis who have risen to meet this surge,” said Ben-Ari.
“[The critics] are the racist ones,” he said. If David Ben-Gurion were alive today, “they would call him a racist as well.”
The bulk of the rally focused on the threat of evacuating Judea and Samaria, with some mention of the importance of the need to build in all parts of Jerusalem.
Speakers also called for Jerusalem to remain the united capital of the Jewish people.
Rabbi Yosef-Yitzchok Jacobson, a New York-based Chabad emissary, stressed the need for the Jewish people to “fearlessly state their truth” about the ownership over the land.
“It is time, brothers and sisters, that we stop stuttering, since the world only respects a strong Israel,” Jacobson said.
“After the Oslo Accords, when Israel extended its neck for slaughtering; after the Gaza withdrawal – you’d expect that Israel would have received the utmost love and respect from the world. But the contrary happened.”
The reason, he said, was that “the world respects and loves Jews who respect themselves. The US respects Israel when it respects itself.”
The rally began with the blowing of the set of shofar blasts from the New Year service and a call to free jailed agent Jonathan Pollard. It lasted for more than three hours and featured mostly musical performances, including one by right-wing musician Aryeh Zilber.