Right-wing rabbis compare Kerry to Titus and Haman

US secretary of state’s peace efforts are ‘a declaration of war against the Creator,’ ultra-nationalist group says in open letter

Secretary of State John Kerry testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday April 18, 2013 (photo credit: Molly Riley/AP)
Secretary of State John Kerry testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday April 18, 2013 (photo credit: Molly Riley/AP)

A group of right-wing nationalist rabbis warned that US Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts vis-a-vis an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement and two-state solution would result in “severe Heavenly punishment,” and compared Kerry to some of the greatest historical enemies of the Jewish people.

“Your incessant efforts to expropriate integral parts of our Holy Land and hand them over to Abbas’s terrorist gang amount to a declaration of war against the Creator and Ruler of the universe,” the rabbis, from a group that calls itself SOS Israel and the Committee to Save the Land and People of Israel, wrote this week in an open letter.

If Kerry persists in his “destructive path,” he will achieve “everlasting disgrace in Jewish history for bringing calamity upon the Jewish people – like Nebuchadnezer and Titus who destroyed, respectively, the first and second great Temples and the entire Holy City of Jerusalem, and who, by Heavenly punishment, brought eventual disaster upon themselves, too,” the rabbis wrote.

“By the power of our Holy Torah, we admonish you to cease immediately all efforts to achieve these disastrous agreements — in order to avoid severe Heavenly punishment for everyone involved,” they added.

The group closed its letter by comparing Kerry to Haman, the villain in the Book of Esther– recited during the upcoming holiday of Purim — who was said to have plotted a genocide against the Jewish people.

Haman, they wrote, “contrived a vicious plot” but “he and his sons eventually were hung on the very same gallows he had prepared for Mordechai, the Jew… For, concerning those who work against us, the Bible promises (Isaiah 9:5), ‘Conspire a plan and it will be frustrated; talk the talk and it will not be fulfilled, for G-d is with us!'”

The group, which according to its website was founded in 2003, focuses on agitating against any Israeli withdrawals from the West Bank and Golan Heights.

The letter was signed by Gedalya Axelrod, emeritus head of Haifa Rabbinic Court; Yisrael Ariel, chairman of the Temple Institute; Ben Tziyon Grossman, a rabbi in Migdal Haemek; Shalom Dov Wolpo, dean of the Institute for Complete Code of Maimonides; and Yigal Pizam, head of the Yeshiva of Kiryat Shmuel. The rabbis said they represent “hundreds of other Rabbis in Israel and around the world.”

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