Orthodox Jewry wish to participate in the anxiety
and well wishing at this time of deep concern
regarding the health of President Yasser Arafat.
Part and parcel of Jewish Torah
conduct is to be concerned about the well being
of any sick person but in this instance our
concern is bound up not only with the wish for
the personal return to health of President Arafat
but also for the return to ’health’
of the whole ’sick’ situation in
President Arafat probably more than any other
one person embodies and has embodied for decades
the struggle of the Palestinian People against
the Zionist regime in Palestine.
President Arafat is the symbol
of the Palestinian People’s desire and
aim for freedom and independence in the land
in which they have been the indigenous population
Torah Jewry wish to reiterate once
again their total dissociation from the one hundred
year old confrontation between Zionist and Arab
in Palestine and its culmination in the form of
the illegitimate Zionist State. Illegitimate because
it is contrary to the Jewish Religious belief
which a) forbids us to have our own rule in exile,
b) to rebel against any nation or people, c) to
attemp to preemt the redemption. Contrarily, Jewish
belief requires us to accept the authority of
the indigenous population. The Zionist State is
also contrary to Jewish Religious teachings, because
of basic humanitarian justice.
The Zionists claim (misleadingly)
to represent the Jewish People and, as a result,
any animosity arising among the Palestinians and
indeed among other nations following the various
Zionist actions, falls on the whole of the Jewish
People. Those who harbour this animosity are then
accused of anti-Semitism.
However, what has to be made abundantly
clear is that Zionism is not Judaism.
Zionists cannot speak in the name of Jews. Zionists
may have been born as Jews, but to be a Jew also
requires adherence to Jewish belief and conduct.
Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism.
On the contrary Zionism itself and its deeds are
the biggest threat to Jews and Judaism.
Jews wish to declare that the Zionists do not
represent the Jews in any way and they have no
mandate whatsoever to speak in the name of the
President Arafat embodies the
Palestinian claim and dream to be their own
masters in Palestine and it is for this cause
that he has devoted most of his years.
Orthodox Jews endorse the Palestinian
claim to independence because that is the wish
of the Palestinian People, the indigenous population
of Palestine. This is what our Torah, our religion,
requires us to do.
We wish to add that the
connection between Arab and Jew goes right back
into ancient history. Mostly the relationship
was friendly and mutually beneficial. Historically,
the situation frequently was that when Jews were
being persecuted in Europe they found refuge in
the various Arab countries. Our attitude to Arabs
and Muslims must only be one of friendliness and
respect. It was only the advent of the
Zionists and Zionism which upset this age old
We also wish to declare
once again that the only solution to the impasse
in Palestine is the total peaceful dismantling
of the Zionist State. We would welcome
the opportunity to dwell in peace in the holy
land under a rule which is entirely in accordance
with the wishes and aspirations of the Palestinian
The Zionist State known
as “Israel” is a regime that has no
right to exist. Its continuing existence is the
underlying cause of the strife in Palestine.
We pray for an end to bloodshed
and an end to the suffering of all innocent people
- Jew and non-Jew alike - worldwide.
We wish President Arafat a speedy
recovery and we pray for a solution to the terrible
and tragic impasse that exists in Palestine. Hopefully
based on results brought about by moral,
political and economic pressures imposed by the
nations of the world.