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Rabbi says Gaza evacuation will lead to escalation of terrorism


MOSCOW, August 18 (RIA Novosti political commentator Marianna Belenkaya) - The planned evacuation of Jewish settlements from the West Bank contradicts Israel's security interests and may ensue in a new wave of terrorism across the globe, Chief Rabbi of Russia Berl Lazar said.

"The so-called unilateral disengagement proves that political goals can be achieved by means of terror and violence," he said. "Today no one doubts that demands to deport Jews from the West Bank and cede Jerusalem and the rest to Arabs will follow [the] Gaza [evacuation]."

The outburst of terrorism would occur in Israel and other countries to which "the international alliance of terrorists has territorial and political claims," including Russia, he said.

As a member of the Middle East Quartet, Russia is interested in resolving the conflict in the region, Berl Lazar said. However, "nobody in Russia wants the Gaza Strip to become a stronghold of HAMAS and Islamic Jihad," he said.

The rabbi called a split of the Jewish nation another tragic result of the Gaza pullout.

"Many Israelis have lost faith in democracy as the prime minister failed to comply with his pre-election promises and politicians are ready to betray basic values for the sake of transitory group interests."

Berl Lazar also said most Russian Jews across the globe disapproved of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's evacuation plan.

"The Israeli government should learn that the Jewish diaspora in Russia supports the victims of deportation and condemns the betrayal of state ideology for the sake of the political interests of a small group of people," he said.

Religious leaders are against exiling Jews from their homes, but are making every effort to prevent the political crisis in Israel from escalating into a civil war, Lazar said.

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