Over 40 British rabbis Thursday warned that history will judge the Jews if Israel implements its illegal annexation move.
In a letter addressed to the Israeli embassy in London, the rabbis expressed their opposition to Israel’s illegal move to annex large swaths of the West Bank, and described annexation an “abuse of power” that would constitute a “travesty of Jewish teachings”.
“If Israel is a Jewish state, then [annexation] makes hypocrites of us all. If Judaism teaches us not to oppress, not to disenfranchise, not to stand idly by the blood of our neighbour, then where do we all stand?” the letter reads.
The letter continues: “The moral integrity of the Jewish people is at stake. History will judge us and ask us: have we been faithful to the prophetic teachings of justice, compassion and peace? Or have we created a mockery of our Jewish tradition and of the founders of the State, by standing on the wrong side of Jewish teachings and our history?”
The letter was signed by former Liberal senior rabbi Danny Rich, outgoing Reform senior rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Rabbi Jeffrey Newman of Finchley Reform Synagogue, Rabbi Paul Freedman, Senior Rabbi of Radlett Reform, and Rabbi Professor Marc Saperstein, former principal of Leo Baeck College.
In a joint statement, Rabbis Sylvia Rothschild and Alexandra Wright of British Friends of Rabbis for Human Rights, who coordinated the letter, said that “according to the Jewish values of justice and righteousness, we cannot afford to remain silent on the issue of unilateral annexation.”
Meanwhile, Palestinian ambassador to the UK Husam Zomlot commended the rabbis for “speaking the truth” in their letter.
“Illegal annexation by Israel is not just a violation of Palestinian rights and international law, but also of Jewish values,” he tweeted.
“It must be stopped and the occupation and the denial of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people must end,” he added.