Rabbi to Imams: Islam recognizes Jewish right to Israel

Orthodox rabbi pens letter to Islamic scholars, arguing that they are obligated by the Quran to acknowledge the Jewish people’s right to Israel.

By World Israel News Staff

The Quran recognizes the Jewish people’s right to Israel and observant Muslims are obliged to do the same, an Orthodox rabbi from Israel argues in a letter penned to Islamic scholars.

Rabbi Oury Cherki, an Algerian-born lecturer at the Machon Meir yeshiva in Jerusalem and chairman of the Brit Olam – Noahide World Center, penned the letter, the third in a series of missives under the title “A Bridge between Faiths,” to a group of Islamic scholars to elucidate the Jewish perspective on the Islamic faith and to improve relations between Jews and Muslims worldwide.

In his third letter, released last week, Rabbi Cherki argued that Jewish control over the historic Land of Israel does not fall under the category of Dar al-Harb (literally the “House of War”), referring to land held by the enemies of Islam or land conquered from Islamic countries that must be recaptured.

“One of the fundamental obstacles to constructive dialogue between Judaism and Islam is the Muslim claim that Judaism is a religion but not a nation. However, from the perspective of Judaism, the Jewish nation is, first and foremost – a nation.”

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“Therefore, all of Jacob’s descendants are part of the Jewish nation, whether they believe in the Torah or not, and thus, they are included among the inheritors of the land of Israel.”

“The Jewish state should be recognized as the manifestation of the divine promise to return the nation of Israel to its land, as mentioned multiple times in Islamic sources: Sura 5,20: ‘Bear in mind the words of Moses to his people. He said: ‘Remember, my people, the favor God has bestowed upon you. He has raised prophets among you, made you kings, and given you what He has given to no other nation. Enter, my people, the holy land God has assigned for you. Do not turn back, or you shall be ruined’.”

Instead, the Quran recognizes Israel as the historic homeland of the Jewish nation, Rabbi Cherki wrote.

“Therefore, the State of Israel should not be regarded as a foreign entity imposing itself on the Muslim world (Dar al-Islam). On the contrary, it should be seen as the realization of divine justice as found in the Quran and the Torah: the return of the land to its rightful owners.”

Rabbi Cherki also cited the January 1919 Faisal-Weizmann Agreement, under which Emir Faisal – later king of Iraq – endorsed the Balfour Declaration, Britain’s pledge of support for a Jewish national homeland in the historic Land of ISrael.

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“We must note that in 1918, a meeting was had between the Emir Faisal, the son of Hussein, king of the Hijaz, and Chaim Weizmann, the representative of the Zionist Organization, which led to the 1919 London Agreement regarding cooperation between the Arab national movement and the Zionist movement.”

“On the basis of the brotherhood between the sons of Abraham, a happy period of peace and advancement of the world towards its correction can open.”

The correspondence between Rabbi Cherki and several dozen Islamic scholars across the Muslim world, was initiated following the Hamas invasion of Israel on October 7th.

After penning the first letter, Rabbi Cherki was invited to the United Arab Emirates, where he met with Sheikh Muhammad Talib al-Shahi, Director of the Preaching Department at the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments, and Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Defense Affairs, Interior and Foreign Affairs Committee at the UAE Federal National Council.

During the February meeting, Al Nuaimi endorsed Rabbi Cherki’s argument that the State of Israel should not be defined in Islam as Dar al-Harb.

It is “a lie, fabricated only in the past 100 years,” Al Nuaimi said.

“Stop trying to justify your existence; you are an established fact, and Jews are part of the Middle East.”