Former Arkansas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee met with a delegation of rabbis from the Rabbinical Congress for Peace movement. The rabbis wished to present to him the Torah’s view regarding the holy land and the prohibition against relinquishing land to foreigners.
The Rabbinical Congress for Peace was founded in 1993 in order to alert public attention to the clear position of the Torah concerning territories under Israeli rule. This halachic ruling is anchored in the supreme value in Jewish Law known as “the sanctity of life.” Saving a life supersedes the entire Torah. Because of this value, the Torah unequivocally forbids relinquishing even one inch of territory under Jewish rule or participating in any negotiations concerning withdrawal from any such territory.
The head of the Congress, Rabbi Yosef Gerlitzky presented to Huckabee the famous halachic ruling signed by 400 rabbis which prohibits negotiations over parts of the land of Israel and views these negotiations as a danger to residents of Israel. The ruling and signatures were translated into English and Huckabee showed interest in the Torah’s view on the matter.
Huckabee told the rabbis that the Torah’s view is the most logical approach to the Israeli-Arab conflict and that the “two state solution” was a “stupid diplomatic fantasy which has no connection to reality”. He added “I don’t know who invented this stupidity called ‘two states for two nations’ and what he was thinking. I was surprised to find that there are Israeli statesmen who support this notion. It will just increase the instability in the region and the threats against the State of Israel. I have no problem with a Palestinian state- they can set one up in Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, one of the tens of large Arab countries. Why divide the tiny land of Israel up? Because of terrorist pressure or because of pressure from Obama in the few days left to him?”
The rabbis thanked Mr. Huckabee for his great support of Israel and asked him to ensure that the Trump administration will continue the policy of unflinching support for Israel and the uncompromising struggle against Israel’s enemies. Huckabee promised to do all he can and added that Israel should always act according to its own interests and not try and make concessions to curry favor with world opinion. “Just as the Torah says, any concessions made under pressure will lead to more pressure,” he said. “The Israeli concern about “what the world will say is a futile concern. On the contrary, everyone respects Israel and the Jewish nation. It’s important to transmit to the world that this is a special country, a holy land promised to the Jewish nation. We should say with pride that the basis for Jewish ownership of the land is not politics but belief. Without belief [in G-d] the land of Israel cannot survive but with belief- nobody can overcome it.”
The meeting was also attended by other members of the Congress, Rabbi Shalom Gold of Har Nof, Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, head of the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva and a member of the Chief Rabbinate Council and Rabbi Avraham Levin the Congress secretary. Huckabee joked that he was surprised that so many rabbis had agreed on one issue but the rabbis responded that it is a halacha accepted in the compendium of Jewish law, the Shulchan Aruch, and should be publicized by every rabbi. The rabbis blessed Huckabee with success in his personal and public life and in his constant endeavors for the sake of Israel and the Jewish people.