As representatives of more than 50 countries and organizations including Israeli PM Ehud Olmert are attending the U.S. brokered peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland today several hundred including a handful of Chabad chassidim are demonstrating outside the U.S. Naval Academy where the conference is taking place.
"It's not our job to demonstrate"
The demonstrators are holding up signs condemning the conference and warn against the dangers it poses for Israel. At the same time a mass prayer vigil has been organized by the shliach in Annapolis, Rabbi Nochum Light. The head shliach in Maryland has ordered the local shluchim not to take part officially in the protest demonstrations. Rabbi Shmuel Light, father of the shliach in Annapolis, came in from Crown Heights to take part in the prayer vigil.
Hundreds of reporters from all over the world are covering the conference as well as the demonstrations too. Rabbi Yaakov Konsopolsky was interviewed by CNN. He told CNN that "I came here as a Jew who cares about what goes on in Israel, the Rebbe warned against giving up land to the Arabs and all Chabad chassidim are mobilizing to protest.
Rabbi Noah Bernstien, a Chabad Chosid and member of the Iggud Horabonim was interviewed by Reuters News Agency. He told them that "Olmert has no mandate to sell out Israel to the terrorists. Israel belongs to the Jews. He mentioned the Halacha in Shulchan Oruch Orach Chaim 329 that it is forbidden to give up an inch of a border town that is under Jewish control to foreigners because it will lead to bloodshed.
It should be noted that at the same time, another kind of demonstration is being held by the Niturei Karta who are exploiting the international media to get their message across which is that Israel has no right to exist.
Shturem correspondent Beni Simcha to the conference will soon post an update on the prayer vigil.
For a special photo gallery from Annapolis taken by Beni Simcha click here, another gallery
Click here for video clip