(Photo: REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski/Pool)
A hardline rabbi group said in an open letter that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has declared a war on God through his recent peace talk efforts between Israel and Palestine.
The letter was sent to Kerry this past Sunday by the Rabbis from the Committee to Save the Land and People of Israel, an activist group that opposes any diplomatic talks between Israel and Palestine that involve territory concessions. The letter states that Kerry's recent mediation efforts between Israel and Palestine will only result in "heavenly punishment" for all parties involved.
"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! For God awarded the entire Land of Israel to our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in order that they bequeath it, as an everlasting inheritance, to their descendants, the Jewish people, until the end of all time," the letter reads.
"If you continue on this destructive path, you will ensure your everlasting disgrace in Jewish history for bringing calamity upon the Jewish people," continue the rabbis. "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."
The letter was signed by Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpo, who also founded another hardline group, the Our Land of Israel party.
The letter is referencing Kerry's ongoing peace talks with Palestine, where the secretary of state recently issued a set of proposals that include gradual Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, recognition of Israel as a "Jewish State" and a limited land swap with Palestinians. Kerry has met resistance from Israel over the deal, and over the weekend he threatened the Middle Eastern country with an international boycott if the peace talks fail.
Members of the American Orthodox committee have blasted the Committee to Save the Land and People of Israel's recent letter. The Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America released a joint statement earlier this week saying the letter contained "extreme and offensive rhetoric."
Kerry has been working to have both Palestine and Israel agree on a peace plan proposal before April, when the two groups will agree to participate in another year of peace talks. Earlier in January, the U.S. slammed comments made by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, who called Kerry's attempts at mediating peace talks "messianic" and said he wished the secretary of state would leave Israel alone. Yaalon later apologized for his comments, saying the U.S. is Israel's "greatest friend."