"We must cleanse the country of Arabs and resettle them in the countries where they came from," head of the Yesha Rabbis Council, Rabbi Dov Lior, declared Monday, adding that, "If this means we have to pay them, we will. Without doing so, we will never enjoy peace in our land."
Lior made the statement during an "emergency meeting" of the Association of Rabbis for the People of Israel and the Land of Israel held in Jerusalem ahead of the Annapolis peace conference.
"You have no cause for concern, no peace will come out of all these conferences and agreements," Lior told the participants. The rabbi stated that although he was interested in peace, Israel could never hope to achieve peaceful relations "with evil people of this kind."
MK Uri Ariel (National Union), who also attended the meeting, said that the prime minister aimed to convince the public that Judea and Samaria should be given to the Palestinians. Ariel also called on the attendees not to waste their time on trying to change the minds of MKs and ministers. "This is a struggle of good versus evil," he exclaimed.
Rabbi Zalman Melamed stated that assisting or participating in the handing over of parts of Eretz Israel to non-Jews was strictly prohibited. "We must declare clearly that we will not do anything that is against our holy Torah. We shall fight all those who attempt to violate the Torah's mitzvot."
At the conclusion of the meeting, the association's secretary, Rabbi Yosef Artziel, read out the decisions agreed upon in the gathering: "No leader, in any generation, has the right to give away Eretz Israel… we call on the Jews abroad, and especially on community leaders and rabbis, to join us in our efforts against this treaty and its implications.
"Together, we will save the people of Israel from the government's terrible plan."