My name is Rabbi Ahron Cohen. I am part of the group among
the Orthodox Jewish people known as “Neturei Karta” who oppose
the very idea of Zionism and bring out the concept that Zionism
and Judaism are totally opposing concepts and different ---
The question I have is (I suspect I will be supported by many of the members of this afternoon’s panel, although I didn’t get the impression that that would be the case with the plenary session) “Why does the international community have blinkers?”
This is shown by the very name of the conference: “International Conference of Civil Society in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace”. There cannot be “Israeli-Palestinian” peace. However there can be peace in Palestine.
The root cause of strife in Palestine is the very existence of the illegitimate Zionist state of Israel which has caused untold suffering to both Jews and Arabs for decades. I know that one of the speakers here referred to the fact that we should be talking, not about the 40th anniversary, but about the 60th anniversary. This is quite true, but I would go back to the 90th anniversary referring to the “Balfour Declaration.” The very idea, the very concept of one people coming in and taking over another people is abhorred by the Jewish religion. First of all from a Jewish belief point of view - it is against our belief (I will not now go into the details of how), but it is against the belief which has been handed down to us through the generations. It is also abhorred by Jewish values (which are shared by many beliefs) of humanitarian justice. And therefore, what I want to say is that perhaps there should be some sort of proposal or idea coming out of this conference to the effect that the international community should recognize the basic flawed concept of the Zionist state.
There have been many references to the comparison of the situation in Palestine with the situation that existed in South Africa where eventually the Apartheid regime came to an end. But I would remind everyone that all the efforts that were done which eventually succeeded in South Africa, actually brought the whole concept of an Apartheid regime to an end. There is now no Apartheid regime in South Africa. The whole concept of the regime there has changed. However, any Israeli peace idea still holds on to the concept of the Israeli ‘Apartheid regime’, because even if you have a two state solution, the one state which is going to be for the Jews is really still ‘Apartheid’. It still results in having deprived many thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, of people of their homes and of their livelihoods.