By Aryeh Savir
Tazpit News Agency
EFRAT, GUSH ETZION – A group of Israeli rabbis named ‘Derech Emaunah’ (Path of Faith) sent a letter to some 50 Muslim spiritual leaders in Judea Samaria and Gaza, including to the heads of Bir Zeit University and leaders associated with Hamas, as well as Arab MK’s Hanin Zoabi and Ibrahim Tsarsur, demanding they cease to incite to murder and Jew hatred, warning that their actions have consequences.
Addressed to ‘Muslim religious figures in Judea, Samaria and Gaza – Cadis, Sheikhs, Imams and heads of the school’ the letter in Arabic states the rabbis are turning to them ‘in the name of the Torah of Israel.’
“You have all heard of the kidnapping of the three Yeshiva students in Gush Etzion. As Muslim religious leaders, your power to influence the local public is immense. Any honest individual knows that the incitement in the mosques on Fridays and the school curriculums full of hatred of Jews are directly responsible for the spelling of our children’s blood. Our children’s blood is dripping from many of your hands,” states the letter.
“It is of significance for us to clarify – the Jewish Nation has returned to the Land of Israel by Divine decree, after 2,000 years of exile. We are here to stay, and we will not leave our land, even if it exacts from us a heavy price. Hardship will not deter us. We are set here for all eternity. We have returned home. There is no force that can oppose the Zionist movement, which is led by God himself.”
The rabbis call on the religious leaders to change their ways. “We invite you to partake in this movement, to change your ways and to stop fighting against God and his nation Israel, to stop inciting in the mosques and stop educating to the hatred of Jews.”
The rabbis warn them of what will happen if they do not cease to incite. ”If you continue to incite against us ant try to oust us from the land, know that God will avenge us and will punish first the religious leaders and educators. Each of you will be accountable. We call on you in the name of God – repent, stop the incitement, cease the evil.”
One of the letter’s authors, Rabbi Baruch Efrati, a resident of Efrat in Gush Etzion, told Tazpit News Agency about the letter’s objective. “We authored the letter for three reasons. First, the truth should be stated, even if it has no affect; secondly, it is important for us that the Muslim leadership understands that our motivation is faith, not a sentimental connection to the land; and lastly, we wish to strengthen the Israeli public by this statement. I believe it sets the proper venue of thought, “said Rabbi Efrati.