Blocking Mideast Peace
Ateret Cohanim rabbi: 'Gaza is part of the Land of Israel'
By Michael Freund

Monday, December 8, 2003
The Jerusalem Post

In an essay distributed in synagogues throughout the country this past Shabbat, one of the leading rabbis in the religious Zionist camp declared that all of the Gaza Strip, including the settlement of Netzarim, is part of the Land of Israel and cannot be evacuated according to Halacha. The article, entitled "Do we need Netzarim?" was written by Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, the head of the Ateret Cohanim Yeshiva in Jerusalem, and appeared in B'ahava U'b'emuna, a publication on the weekly Torah portion distributed by the Machon Meir Yeshiva. "Netzarim and the whole Gaza Strip is Eretz Yisrael!" he wrote. "According to God's word, according to Scripture, according to history, and according to the nations' admission in the Balfour and San Remo Declarations... "Netzarim is not dangerous. What is dangerous is talk of Netzarim not being Eretz Yisrael." Citing the Shulhan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law), which permits Jews to go out and fight even on Shabbat to defend a border city from attack, he said: "If we betray every place on the border and hand it over to the enemy, Eretz Yisrael will get smaller and smaller, without end... "The rule is this: Just as we do not abandon a wounded soldier on the battlefield, so must our soldiers not abandon a wounded battlefield."


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