Questions and Answers Concerning Protest Outside the Israeli Consulate, 28 April 2005
Q. What is the purpose of today's protest?
A. We have two goals. One is local, the other global.
First, we are demanding the immediate end to archeological digs, being
conducted at this very moment by the Israeli government, that unearth
centuries old Jewish graves in Jerusalem. Second, we are here to
declare that the Israeli government itself and the Zionist ideology
which it incarnates are in no way legitimate representatives of
the Jewish people, or of the Torah faith, which is the sole basis of
our very existence.
- Q. First things first, why are these excavations taking place?
A. The Israeli government has always demonstrated a callous disregard
towards the buried remains of our ancestors. Whether using the
pretext of road construction or scientific research, they have
dug up thousands of graves with impunity through the years.
- Q. Why do you describe this as a local problem?
A. It is a problem of an individual evil. Of course,
this is a matter of grave importance. It deserves the immediate attention
of those in the international community concerned with basic human rights'
violations. However, despite the magnitude of these desecrations, all those
gathered here today would agree that it is dwarfed by the far greater and
pressing problem of the Zionist enterprise in its essence.
- Q. Why is this a pressing problem?
A. Today, Zionism stands revealed before the Jewish people and, indeed, all mankind, as a failed enterprise. Zionism's founds (all, Jews who had rejected their ancestral faith) claimed that it was going to solve the problem of Jewish exile and suffering. It would offer a safe haven for all of world Jewry. Over half a century later, it has proven itself incapable of the far less grandiose task of so much as protecting the Jews already living in the Holy Land.
- Q. But the state has survived, hasn't it?
A. It is farcical to call a government that has subjected
its citizens to five wars and endless suffering as a desirable "survival".
How much blood must be shed till Jewry shakes off the shackles of world
Zionism's domination and begins to rethink this ideology's root assumptions?
- Q. What Assumptions are you referring to?
A. The core of Zionist thinking is the dogma, at the most a century old, that Jewish exile is man-made, that it is the result of the superior strength of the Roman army which destroyed the TEmple and that it can be ended by military and political action. This reductionist misreading of Jewish history represented a break with two thousand years of Torah belief and tradition on two counts:
- a. The founding of the Zionist state is in direct contradiction to
the teachings of the Torah which forbids the establishment
of a Jewish state and commands Jews to remain in exile
until released from that exile by G-d Himself, without
any human intervention, at which time all Nations of the World will
live together in peace.
Two thousand years ago, at the time of the Temple's destruction, the Jewish
people were forbidden by the Creator (kesubos 111a)
Torah faithful Jews are to behave in a civil, honest and grateful manner towards their hosts throughout the world.
- To go up en masse to the land of Israel
- To rebel against the nations
- To in any way attempt to end the exile
The Zionist intervention against G-d's will by establishing the "state of Israel" represents an official rebellion against G-d and the Torah, a rebellion which has generated untold pain and suffering.
- b. Jews have always viewed their exile as a Divine punishment. They
saw the sole means to their deliverance as repentance and
good deeds. By casting the drama of Jewish history in materialist,
this--worldly terms, Zionism was essence of the spiritual
odyssey of the Torah nation. It was doomed to failure.
- Q. Why doomed?
A. Because the Talmud and Midrash have foretold that
rebelling against G-d, by physically attempting to end Jewish exile,
will result in ceaseless and horrible bloodshed and because it is simply
metaphysically impossible for a rejection of Judaism, led by those who
deny Torah, to lead and represent the Jewish people with any success.
- Q. Why, then, is Zionism so popular?
A. After the terrible destruction of the Second World War,
European Jewry had lost many of its great leaders. In addition,
there was a sense of confusion that permeated many survivors.
The non-Jewish world was anxious to make amends for its
passivity during the Holocaust. Hence, the Zionist triumph
in 1918. However, a dispassionate reading of Jewish history
will yield the conclusion that, since its inception, Zionism
was opposed by the overwhelming majority of Torah observant
and believing Jews.
- Q. Was this opposition caused solely by Zionist philosophy?
A. No. In fact, it was the deeds of Zionists, both before they
came to power and after they became a state that revealed the true essence
of this movement. The Israeli state has long warred on the practice of
Judaism. It has violated the sanctity of Jewish graves for archeological
studies, desecrated dead bodies by performing wholesale autopsies, has
caused vast numbers of Jewish youth to abandon their religion, has maintained
the moral decadence of mixed sex armies. . . The list is endless.
- Q. Surely, now though, the state is a fact. It could only disappear with great loss of Jewish life.
A. Surely it only survives with great loss of Jewish life! We know what the state's existence has cost in blood and suffering. The price of its dismantling is unknown. However, we trust that would the Jewish people be true to G-d and His Torah and sincerely sun the philosophy of Zionism, then a peaceful means would be found to dismantle its apparatus.
- Q. What is the global goal of today's protest?
A. Beyond the short term goal of ending the current excavation, we are committed to letting the world know that non-believers, even though they may call themselves "Israel," exhibit the Star of David and display menorahs, have no right to speak in the name of world Jewry. As Rav Saadya Gaon (882 - 942), post Talmudic, Babylonian leader of the Jewish people, said, "We are only a nation by virtue of the Torah." Any formulations of Judaism that reject Revelation at Sinai, are distortions of the faith that was handed down over four thousand years ago. Those not professing the truths of Sinai, while Jews (and probably themselves the victims of the age of heresy in which we live), are not and cannot be truthful representatives of Judaism.
- Q. Do you have any hope that your message will be heard?
A. Today, more than ever before, the total failure of the Zionist
mania is obvious. Peace plans have failed. The "greatest" of right wingers,
Ariel Sharon, has shown himself utterly incapable of solving anything.
Daily the death toll mounts. All alternatives within the Zionist assumptions
have been tried. People are willing to step beyond the old cliches and
entertain new -- really old and traditional -- solutions. The cost of failing
to rethink Zionism mounts everyday.
- Q. If not Israel, what will be the focus of American and world Jewry?
A. The focus of Jews throughout the centuries was the service
of the Almighty via Torah and mitzvoth (good deeds). This was and is, the
only agenda of the Jewish people. By pursuing the imperative of righteousness,
with quiet dignity, with the Creator's help, we may be worthy of inspiring
and uplifting all men towards universal peace and G-d's service.
- Q. Is Zionism in contradiction with this task?
A. Most certainly. Firstly, as we stated above, the State of Israel and the ideology of Zionism, is expressly forbidden according to the Torah. Secondly, it drags the Jewish people into endless conflicts with other peoples. It forces us into an aggressive involvement in war, political maneuvering and pressure. These are not Jewish methods. In exile we are to accept our status and serve the Creator, while cultivating good will, honestly and friendly relations towards all. The haughty swagger and militarism of the Israeli state, are not in keeping with the appropriate response to exile, nor with the basic pieties of a G-d focused, sincere and loving people.
- Q. So your program is . . . .
A. To pray for the peaceful dismantling of the Israeli state, to encourage Jews the world over to sever their links to it, to proclaim before mankind that Judaism cannot be represented by heretics and to seek good relations with all individuals and nations.