A prominent Orthodox rabbi has joined Christian faith leaders in opposing an international arms fair due to be held in London in September.
Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE from Stamford Hill joined former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Rowan Williams and others in branding the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) event a “blot on the moral landscape”.
The DSEI is one of the world’s major arms fairs and regularly attracts protests. Israeli and British firms exhibit alongside military delegations from countries with chequered human rights records such as Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Philippines, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Bahrain, all of which has made Gluck uneasy.
“As a Jew, I find war, those that cause war, and the weapons of war, despicable and horrific,” he said. “Our Talmudic sages teach us that peace is the key and source of all blessings from God.”
He added: “As a people who pray for the coming of Moshiach (Jewish Messiah), we see the eradication of conflict as an essential part of the ultimate good that humanity should strive for. We are enjoined not just ‘to give peace a chance’ but to ‘desire peace and pursue it.’ May we all work towards this and realise our goal.”
Williams said: “The way much of the arms trade works continues to be a blot on the global moral landscape. Governments have been negligent or collusive about the role played by arms exports in sustaining brutal and even genocidal conflicts.”
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