I hope to convey to you,
honored guests, a few basic facts about the Jewish approach to (Al
Quds) Jerusalem which may well surprise you. Our opinions of current
events are often shaped by those with control of the media, by wealthy
powers little interested in truth. That which may be of the most
elementary opinion to me who has grown up as a believer in the Torah
may be something that has been drastically subject to media blackout.
Thus, what may be basic to me may well be very novel to you.
Muslims today are also victims of the calculated ignorance and
conscious distortions of the media. Therefore you may understand
that I have come here not only to teach, but also to learn about
you and from you. Here in this place where we may speak freely away
from the media-induced lies and superficiality, perhaps a few morsels
of truth may be pleasantly digested.
But before we turn to current issues, it is worthwhile first to
look back at some of the history of Jerusalem. What is the magic
of this city? Why does it draw so many Jews and non-Jews? And as
we begin out subject, let us define the word Jerusalem.
(Al Quds) Jerusalem is derived from a Hebrew word (Yerushalayim),
the root meaning of which is subject to variant understandings in
our tradition. Its most basic meaning is that of a “City of
Wholeness.” (Yeru Shalem). Others read it as a “City
of Peace” (Yeru Shalom). All of these alternative interpretations
are viewed in our tradition as true. Jerusalem is a city in which
the fear of G-d is palpable. It is a city in which one may find
spiritual “wholeness.” Finally, Jerusalem is in essence
a “City of Peace.”
And in Shalom His abode and His dwelling will be as it was in Zion.
The peace that once existed has especially in the last century not
been realized, not in a physical and this-worldly form. Yet the
potential for real peace, a peace among men and among nations, is
greatest in Jerusalem, for there the great holiness of the city
exudes true peace.
And now the agonizing question that haunts us all is, Why is the
“City of Peace” today very often a city of war and violence?
In this century in particular, peace has eluded the city. The first
half of this century was marred by many riots, the largest of them
being in 1920, 1929, and 1936, and during the war of 1948 Jerusalem
was a battlefield.
In 1967 the city was once again a battlefield. And to this very
day the streets of this Holy metropolis still run all too frequently
red with blood.
And the question still stalks us, Why? Why is this so?
Many so-called experts have their opinions as to the nature of
the Middle Eastern impasse. We believe that these analyses may embody
parts of the truth, however at the end of the day they remain flawed,
because they are missing the Divine element. They are missing the
core religious dimension.
I am sure that many of you know, the Neturei Karta was formed in
the Holy Land in the mid 1930’s. It brought together many
Orthodox Jews living in Palestine of diverse backgrounds who were
united in their opposition to Zionism. Of course they all shared
the deep, traditional and Torah-based reverence for the land. Their
ancestors had settled in the Holy Land centuries before the advent
of Zionism. We have heard it told from the elders of the movement
how up until the advent of Zionism, Jews and Palestinians lived
in peace in Jerusalem and throughout the Holy Land. These pious
Jews who traveled to Jerusalem and Palestine had no grandiose aspirations,
and certainly no yearning to create their own State. All they strived
for was to perfect themselves in the service of G-d, and they essentially
abandoned their physical comforts and pleasures in order to achieve
this spiritual goal.
We have heard how the Neturei Karta continued, even after the difficult
times of the 20’s and the 30’s, to live in peace with
their Palestinian neighbors. Stories abound how, in the midst of
the most difficult fighting of 1948, the old Orthodox inhabitants
refused to have anything to do with the Zionist army and were treated
respectfully by the so called “hate filled, anti – Semitic
But this anti Zionist persuasion was not simply the philosophy
of Neturei Karta of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. From the time of
Zionism’s inception it was nearly uniformly opposed by Orthodox
Jews and their Rabbis around the world and in fact those great rabbis
warned their followers that the result of the Zionist endeavor,
would be tragic. That it would lead to endless pain, suffering and
bloodshed, being that such a movement is in direct opposition to
This point is often difficult for outsiders to fathom, especially
since they are daily treated to media stories about “ultra-Orthodox
settlers” being among the most violent segments of West Bank
radical militant Zionism.
When I speak about Orthodox Jews, I am referring to traditional
Orthodox Jews who are interested in maintaining the age-old Jewish
approach to exile and redemption. The West Bank types are emphatically
at war with Jewish tradition on all of these matters.
In addition to the specifically Torah opposition to Zionism, with
respect to the specific attempt to leave a G-dly-decreed exile and
the creation of a false redemption, the Torah clearly prohibits
also the killing, stealing, and oppression of another people, and
there exist also in the Torah innumerable other transgressions of
man to his fellow man which are constantly being violated by these
West Bank radical militant Zionists, the so-called “ultra
Orthodox settlers.” Contrary to this rude behavior, there
was always the conviction among the traditional Orthodox Jews that
it was illegal and criminal according to the Torah to seize control
of the land from those who had been living there for centuries.
The holy land was not “a land without a people” by any
means, as the Zionists first stated.
But let us proceed slowly. What is the Torah-based opposition to
Zionism? It is really quite simple.
We know the exile of the Jewish people to be a Divine punishment
for sins. This led to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.
This state of exile cannot, must not, and is forbidden to be rectified
by material means. We are forbidden by G-d to create a Jewish State,
end of story!! The end of exile is completely dependant on our repentance
as a people. In fact, all attempts to hasten this process are doomed
to failure. The Talmud relates that these attempts no matter how
ingenious will result in terrible bloodshed. The record of the State
of Israel, with five wars in fifty years, endless killing and consistent
failure of all peace plans is ample testimony to the inherent failure
that accompanies pre-messianic efforts to end exile.
Of course, the obvious question is, aren’t we the same as
the Zionists, only that we posit to take over the land sometime
in the future?
The end of exile means the following in the traditional Orthodox
a) That G-d alone without any human intervention will end the exile;
for He wants to show that He is the one Almighty, and He does not
need assistance from His subjects.
b) At that time when He will reveal His Kingdom and His Sole Rule
to the entire world, everyone together will recognize His rule and
all will serve Him in harmony and in happiness.
c) VeAsu kulam agudah echat laasot retsoncha belevav shalem.
They will all make a bond together to do your will with a complete
heart and good will.
As it states on the wall by the Dog Hamishol Plaza opposite the
United Nations, a verse from Isaiah: “…They will beat
the swords into plowshares… The wolf will dwell with the sheep.”
G-d will make a new world wherein the spirituality will reign and
be open to all. This is something that with out present this-worldly
vision is incomprehensible:
…as a bird cannot understand how a fish swims underwater
and as a fish cannot comprehend the abilities of the bird to fly;
…as it is futile to explain to a blind man the differences
in color between red, green and black;
and no explanation will suffice until G-d opens the eyes of the
blind to see and to understand what could not be comprehended before,
so it is with the understanding of these future happenings: the
advent of the Messiah, the end of our this-worldly status: of ingrained
hate, war, animosity, the evil inclination.
And so our yearning for the Messiah, and our ultimate redemption,
is in no way detrimental to any nation or individual; on the contrary,
we are all together in this and we will be serving G-d in harmony
and in bliss. Therefore that is to say not with coercion and with
military might or force will this revelation come about, and obviously
this being the case this revelation and redemption is devoid of
military force and coercion.
Zionism was created by non-religious Jews; they viewed exile as
an inherently physical failing and weakness (since Zionism is devoid
of the spirituality of Judaism with its inherent G-dliness), and
therefore they viewed the redemption as simply a mater of physical
rejuvenation in the form of military victory in order to end our
current failing material situation.
Zionism attempts to falsify the holy future by equating the present
status of the so-called State of Israel with the Torah concept of
redemption as if it is one and the same.
And so by confusing the Holiness and hopes and yearnings of the
Jewish people with the G-dlessness and spiritual deprivation of
Zionists, we have given birth and indeed created a breeding ground
for all the mistrust and the questions asked by many. However, when
the truth will be revealed and the day of redemption will appear,
then all of this mistrust will automatically fall away.
In short, Zionism and the Zionist State have no equivalence to
the religious Holiness and hopes and yearnings of the Jewish people;
on the contrary, their hopes and yearnings are diametrically opposite
– Indeed, the name Judaism, Jewish Nation, Jews, Jewish State,
and the Jewish Redemption, and even the name Israel and the term
“the State of Israel” used by them is false and fraudulent:
a total sham.
We as Jews don’t want this false redemption; we are waiting
patiently for the revelation of G-d and only for His Redemption:
for when His name and kingdom will be revealed, honored and exalted.
We are thoroughly humiliated and deeply pained by Zionism, the
so-called “State of Israel,” and by the actions and
deeds which are constantly being perpetrated by them – and
all being done in the name of Jewry, the Jewish people, the Jewish
nation, the Torah and G-d Himself.
It is therefore no wonder why highly intelligent and esteemed scholars
conclude that this is the inherent nature of the Jew to carry out
these kind of actions and deeds, and in their bewilderment to comprehend
how so-called preachers of the holy religion can so believe, they
consequently determine that the words of the Torah must be heaven
forbid falsified, and that the actions of the Jews throughout history
must also have been a result of this (supposed inherent) deprivation.
It is important therefore to allow a few minutes for clarification
of this terrible error.
The Holy Torah was given by G-d to (Moshe Rabeinu) the Prophet
Moses on Mount Sinai, which was witnessed by the entire Jewish nation,
and they all heard how G-d first spoke to this entire nation and
then to Moses. The Torah was then handed down to the prophet Joshua
and to later prophets and judges and kings and leaders of the Jewish
nation, without any void of time missing between that process of
transmission, Indeed, it is well known that if even one letter is
missing or changed in the Torah Scroll, then that Torah Scroll is
rendered meaningless and unusable for any of the required Torah
readings. Therefore, for someone to state that a portion of the
Torah was falsified or false additions occurred is simply not true
and cannot be possible. The Jewish people have always strictly abided
by G-d’s commandments and all the millions of Jews throughout
the generations had the same exact text; they would never allow
a change which automatically renders the Torah Scroll false.
Now the question was asked, How can one understand why then the
Torah states that it was G-d’s commandment to kill women and
children. This is a topic which is dealt with in depth by the rabbinical
scholars. Time constraints may not allow a full discussion of this
subject at the present time, however you should know that the Torah
and its commentaries are open to all to study, so feel free to pursue
these issues. The issue is most pertinent to the fact that we are
constantly being commanded by G-d to emulate Him and His holy attributes,
as it is written and taught among our people, “Just as G-d
is compassionate, so must you be compassionate” and so on,
and I believe that if you will just ask your grandparents how their
relations were with their Jewish neighbors, then you will hear that
the G-d-fearing Jews were universally known for their compassion
Only with the inception of Zionism has this monster been created:
the picture of a Jew who is the opposite of compassion and goodness;
but this has nothing to do with the Torah or the continuity of Judaism.
And to equate the actions of the Zionists with the holy actions
of the Jews who followed the words of G-d through Moses, Joshua,
the prophets, etc., is a tragic mistake. In this mistake you are
falling into the trap of Zionism which wants to legitimize their
criminal endeavors by claiming that their actions are in the name
of the Torah.
And the Zionists furthermore vilify the Muslim by stating that
this conflict is between the Muslims and the Jewish religion.
Don’t be deceived by their words. The Jews have lived amongst
the Muslims for over a thousand years mostly in peace and harmony,
despite our having different religions.
The reason why animosity and mistrust has exploded in this last
century is because there is a new boy on the block: the secular
G-dless Zionist movement – and not because of the different
religions: these religions are the one and the same that have co-existed
peacefully for ages. The Zionists love it that you refer to the
Torah in explaining Zionism and their actions. Don’t be their
lackeys. Understand that they have nothing to do with the Torah
or the Holy Land, the Land of Israel. They are simply the incarnation
and embodiment of evil!
Based on the Torah’s ethics we are furthermore appalled by
the Zionist treatment of the Palestinian people throughout this
century. Hence we publicly condemn Zionism on theological and moral
grounds, for we are required to do so according to the righteous
dictates of the Torah.
And this, my friends, is the answer to Jerusalem’s suffering.
Being that the root cause of all of the problems is the Zionist
ideology and its child the Zionist State, and being that this ideology
and the so-called “State of Israel” is in and of itself
a sin of the worst kind, and being that this sin is incurring G-d’s
punishment upon the Jewish people and upon the world as a whole…
Therefore as long as this sin exists, even if hypothetically all
of the Palestinians and even the entire Arab peoples would agree
to its existence, G-d’s punishment of the Jewish people and
of others who are connected to this fray, and the endless resulting
bloodsheds in the world will not cease. This is because the mere
existence of this apostasy is a rebellion against G-d which constantly
causes G-d’s judgment and punishment.
We therefore point a finger at the Zionists and accuse them as
being the reason for the suffering. Only a total end to this illegitimate
State is the solution and this includes of course the transformation
back to the indigenous people the Palestinians, the rightful owners,
and our fervent prayer is that this should happen peacefully and
speedily – until that time there G-d forbid will be no peace.
Things look bleak at present for our wonderful city Jerusalem.
But we are optimists. We are optimists because we know for a fact
that in the long run God does not allow evil to remain triumphant,
as the Torah itself states, “Why are you transgressing the
word of G-d, for it will not be successful.” From this verse
our Sages teach us that anything that is done contrary to G-d’s
will will not be successful.
Let us mention a few men who stood up for the good and the true,
men of justice and faith and compassion from whom we can all learn.
On July 30, 1924, Dr. Yaakov Yisrael De Haan (may his memory be
blessed) was killed by a hit squad of the Hagganah.
Was he a Muslim extremist? No. He was a Dutch Jew who had found
his way back to Torah under the guidance of Rabbi Yoseph Chaim Sonnenfeld
(may his memory be blessed). Together they visited Muslim leaders
to secure peace before the establishment of the Zionist State. They
had visited the Emir Hussein and his son Abdullah. He was killed,
as admitted by the murderers themselves years later, because in
their words, “De Haan aspired to create an alternative to
the Zionist movement. This was the danger of De Haan.”
Let us not forget that the heroism of De Haan in the cause of peace
found many in the Arab quarters who were equally committed to righteousness,
compassion and reconciliation. For example, during the riots of
1929, as Arabs poured out of the Jaffa Gate, the prominent community
leader FakhriBey al-Nashashabi and others stood and convinced many
members of the crowd to go home. They risked their lives to save
Jewish lives, and other Jews who found themselves in the midst of
this battlefield against the Zionists would turn to Talal Pasha
(the leader of the Arab Legion in 1948) for protection. He, insurgents
and the Arab Legion took them under his wings and fully protected
them, so that not even a hair from their heads should be harmed.
Afterwards he saw personally to their transfer to Mea Shearim; even
after the terrible tragedy that befell his Legion, he safely secured
Also in Lebanon during the Zionist invasion we were repeatedly
told by many how the P.L.O. and Yasser Arafat protected the Jewish
I could go on and on but time does not permit.
My friends, these are our models. They stood for true peace and
reconciliation and they risked their lives and, in De Haan’s
case, they paid for it with their lives.
Read our website: WWW. nkusa.org.
Jerusalem will yet see peace. Jew and Palestinian will yet live
in harmony. With G-d’s help, the State will be dismantled
(and we fervently pray that this will happen speedily and peacefully),
the injustices will then be righted and the peoples of the Holy
City will unite in peace and prosperity. This temporal peace will
ultimately bring about the Divine Peace foretold of in the prophets
when all mankind will gather to call in the Name of G-d as brothers.
May it happen speedily and in our days, Amen.