What do you say about the Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman?

12/01/06

Dear Rabbi,

I would be interested in your views regarding the moral implications of Israeli Deputy Minister Avigdor Lieberman's call to 'send to paradise' all elected members of Hamas. I discovered this while reading a Jerusalem Post article from Nov. 18th, 2006, “Paz-Pines: It's Labor or Lieberman”. Lieberman is quoted thus, "They...have to disappear, to go to paradise, all of them, and there can't be any compromise."

We, Orthodox Jews faithful to the Torah and Talmud, are against Lieberman and against any Jew who advocates Jews making war against non-Jews. We are against the state of Israel because the Jewish people is in exile by G-d's decree. Exile means that the Jews must be scattered around the world, living under the rule of various nations, as loyal citizens to their governments. The Talmud (fifth century compilation of Jewish law) says that Jews are forbidden to rebel or make wars with other nations, or to retake the Holy Land. It is permitted for us to live in the Holy Land, but we must live there as citizens of a non-Jewish government, not as an independent state. Therefore we are against all the leaders of the state of "Israel", and certainly we deplore such violent rhetoric as used by Lieberman. He and other Zionists are giving Jews a bad name in the world, the Jews who should rightfully be regarded as the people of Israel (for Israel is the true name of the Jewish people, and it was stolen by the Zionists), G-d's chosen nation, who follow the moral dictates of the Bible.

As far as Hamas officials, if they are elected fairly, they must be regarded as the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people. We are against all terrorism and violence, and we are saddened at the casualties of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on both sides. We hope that the Jewish people will repent and realize that Zionism is religiously wrong, or at least realize that it is far from a realization of the old Zionist dream of a safe haven for the Jewish people, and that it has brought only the opposite: bloodshed for Jews and non-Jews.