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August 18, 1989 - Image 39

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-08-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Nations peacekeeping force in
South Lebanon and who was
killed by Hezbollah, probably
under interrogation, after his
abduction.
The reluctance to free
Obeid is both punitive and
pre-emptive: "Who knows,"
said one Israeli source, "when
we might need to have a Hez-
bollah leader in an Israeli
prison."
Western sources do not
underestimate the complexi-
ty of the task • ahead in
negotiating the release of the
Western hostages, nor do they
believe it will be accomplish-

ed quickly.
They are, however, now con-
fident that ultimately the
ordeal of the hostages will be
ended and that no more lives
will be lost. Some are even
predicting that current events
will mark the end of the
nightmare of political
hostage-taking.
What they will not
acknowledge — in public, at
least — is that it was the
Israeli decision to deal with
the terrorists in their own
language that has finally
lanced this obscene boil on
the face of the Middle East. 1:1

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Sephardic Leader
OKs Land For Peace

political thinking of impor-
tant sections of the populace,
both in Shas and beyond,
where Yosef is regarded as the
foremost religious leader of
the age.
In Yosef's talks with
Mubarak, the Egyptian
leader had warned of the in-
creasing military strength of
Syria and Iraq, and had
stressed Egypt's own decade-
-long faithfulness to all the
terms of its peace treaty with
Israel. Israel's interests,
Mubarak said, were to
broaden the circle of peace.
Yosef had countered that
the potential partners were
disparate groups, not nation-
states, and Israel had to pro-
ceed carefully.
In this situation, the ques-
tion of territory-for-peace was
therefore "not immediately
relevant," Yosef continued.
Thus, his halachic examina-
tion of the subject was more
hypothetical "regarding how
we might act, according to
Halachah, if and when a pro-
posal for true peace were rais-
ed, which would require us to
relinquish territory."
Yosef cited sources all over
rabbinic literature regarding
the importance of the Eretz
Yisrael, or land Jews
historically consider to be
their birthright, versus the
importance of human life.

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I NEWS 1

Jerusalem (JTA) — Sephar-
dic sage Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
has publicly confirmed his
halachic position, whereby
Israel as a matter of principle
may relinquish territory in
return for peace.
But in a lecture in
Jerusalem this week, the
former chief rabbi and
present-day spiritual mentor
of the Shas party declined to
issue a formal halachic psak,
or ruling, to this effect, "since
it is not presently prac-
ticable."
The lecture, which opened
the annual Oral Law Study
conference here at the
Mossad Harav Kook, climax-
ed a fortnight of intense con-
troversy and speculation in
religious and political circles
following Yosef's meeting in
Egypt last month with Presi-
dent Hosni Mubarak.
Yosef had told the Egyptian
leader that in Jewish law, the
value of saving lives could
supersede the value of retain-
ing all of the Holy Land.
Yosef repeated this theme
in his lecture Sunday night,
citing copiously from
Talmudic and halachic
sources.
Part of his comments,
shown on television, made
front-page news in all the na-
tional press. Political com-
mentators believe his
remarks could impact on the

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

39

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