From the media: "Around 150 people protested on Wednesday in front of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue. The protestors carried signs reading, 'Rabbis' letter - public blasphemy.' Violent arguments between protesters and a few far-right activists occurred at the scene."
This protest came after hundreds of rabbis signed a manifest ordering a halakhic (Jewish legal) ban on selling or renting land and apartments in Israel to non-Jews. This was my message to the courageous protesters who were congregated by the activists of Solidarity, the Shield of Israeli Democracy:
How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now ... racists!
We have come today to tell the difficult, painful truth, blood-drenched and shameful. Racists are over you, O Israel!
We are no longer willing to be party to laundered words or to obscuring the bitter truth:
Israel is mortally sick. Malignant lumps and racist metastases threaten the lives and existence of state and society. Don't say these are foolish weeds, they are rabbis! They are not foolish, they are malicious. They are not the weeds, they are the gardeners themselves. Students and initiators train under them. They learn Torah from them and their words are thirstily drunk by the masses. They are followed zealously.
They must be told openly and publicly what everyone is whispering behind closed doors. You, who have put your name to this letter, you and all your supporters. You, leaders of the religious fundamentalist movement. The nationalist -- yes, the nationalist -- religious, Jewish movement.
It is prohibited to claim "if they did the same to our Jewish brothers everywhere..." This is not a Jewish issue, this is a universal human mission. That is the meaning of the greatest Torah principle of them all: "This is the book of the generations of Adam" (Genesis 5), Ours is the book of human history! It is forbidden for anyone to speak in such a way about anyone. Because there must be no equivocation in the all-out war against racism, hatred, xenophobia. They do us immense harm and we must fight them everywhere, without constraint.
We heard the Prime Minister speak.
Mr. Prime Minister, racism is terror. It is the ideology of fear-inspired hatred and fanned passions. And, as you explained to us, terror is not fought with words but with deeds. So stop talking and start doing. Don't speak: dismiss, condemn and isolate them, their like, their students and all involved with their ideology, both here and nationwide. Because they are not just a handful, many are with them. And they are not private individuals, they are public servants who symbolically represent all of us.
As long as they remain in power and are not dismissed, their Rabbinate is not our Rabbinate because their humanity is not our humanity, their Judaism not our Judaism. And as long as they are among us, our camp is unclean, not pure; racist, not moral.
We will pray for you, for those like you and for ourselves: "Let sinners be consumed from the earth and the wicked such as you be no more." And only then, "Praise the Lord, oh my soul, Halleluja" (Psalms 104:35).
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