Rabbi Levi Brackman, Rivkah Lubitch, Kobi Nahshoni
June 4, 2009 - 12:00am

While Washington and Jerusalem seem to be on a collision course in recent days over the illegal construction of outposts in the West Bank, there are those who remain unfazed by the American pressure.

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, a prominent Religious Zionism leader, called on Israel on Wednesday to conduct "tough negotiations" with the US on the issue, and added that "yielding to pressure only breeds more pressure."

Rightists to circulate doctored photos of kaffiyah-clad Obama / Efrat Weiss
200 right-wing activists demonstrate outside American Consulate in Jerusalem in protest of growing pressure to halt settlement construction; extremists to circulate doctored photos of US president in Arab headdress and shaking Ahmadinejad's hand
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He said that Israel must deal with the Americans like Mordechai dealt with Haman, when he refused to bow down to him.

In two videos posted on the Maale website, the rabbi said: "There are those who claim we should be realistic and take into account the American pressure, and that if they are pressuring us to pull out, evacuate outposts and expel residents – we have to surrender."

This is wrong, said Aviner. "The willingness to succumb to pressure invites more pressure," he stated, and brought as an example the proverb, "A person who pretends to be a lamb will eventually get eaten by the wolf."

Beit El's rabbi admitted Israel relies on the US for its security needs, but pointed out that the Americans were not motivated by "love and charity" but rather by a desire to preserve their interests in the region. "When there are common interests there is tough negotiation," he said.

However, he later stressed that in fact Israel should not accept financial aid from the US at all, saying that according to the Gemara accepting charity from a non-Jew equals blasphemy. "A private person shouldn't take handouts – a state shouldn't take handouts… the American taxpayer has to support me? This is disgraceful!"


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