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Because We Are Jews

Delivered by Rabbi Mordechi Weberman under the auspices of the Palestine Right of Return Coalition (Al-Awda NY/NJ), at the march in front of the “Israeli” Consulate, on Friday July 26, 2002

There are those who ask us why we march with the Palestinians. Why do we raise the Palestinian flag? Why do we support the Palestinian cause?

“You are Jews!” they tell us. What are you doing?

And our response, which I’d like to share with you this afternoon, is very simple.

IT IS PRECISELY BECAUSE WE ARE JEWS THAT WE MARCH WITH THE PALESTINIANS AND RAISE THEIR FLAG!

IT IS PRECISELY BECAUSE WE ARE JEWS THAT WE DEMAND THAT THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLES BE RETURNED TO THEIR HOMES AND PROPERTIES!

In our Torah we are taught, that we are forbidden to have our own State, even if all the nations including the Palestinian people, would agree to give it to us. Yes, in our Torah we are taught that G-D sent the Jewish people into exile around two thousand years ago. He then expressly forbade us to attempt to end this G Dly decreed exile. The Talmud clearly states that G-D foreswore us with three oaths; one, that we are not to go up enmass to the Land of Israel. Two, that we are forbidden to take up arms against any nation. Three, we should not attempt to bring about the redemption before its proper time. We are to wait patiently in exile until the time when G-D Himself will see fit to end the exile. At that time, He Himself, without any human intervention will bring about the redemption. At that time all the nations will recognize the one G-D and will serve Him together peacefully.

Secondly, we are commanded to be good and compassionate. Of course we are forbidden to steal, kill, etc. Yes, in our Torah we are commanded to be fair. We are called upon to pursue justice. And, what could be more unjust then the century old attempt of the Zionist movement to invade an other people’s land, to drive them out and steal their property?
The early Zionists proclaimed that they were a people without a land going to a land without a people.

Innocent sounding words.

But utterly and totally untrue.

Palestine was a land with a people. A people that were developing a national consciousness.

We have no doubt that would Jewish refugees, have come to Palestine, not with the intention of dominating, not with the intention of making a Jewish state, not with the intention of dispossessing, not with the intention of depriving the Palestinians of their basic rights, that they would have been welcomed by the Palestinians, with the same hospitality that Islamic peoples have shown Jews throughout history. And we would have lived together as Jews and Muslims lived before in Palestine in peace and harmony.

To our Islamic and Palestinian friends around the world, please hear our message --
There are Jews around the world who support your cause. And when we support your cause we do not mean some partition scheme proposed in 1947.

When we say support your cause we do not mean the cut off and cut up pieces of the West Bank offered by Barak at Camp David together with justice for less than 10 % of the refugees.

We do not mean anything other than returning the entire land, including Jerusalem, to Palestinian sovereignty!

At that point justice demands that the Palestinian people should decide if and how many Jews should remain in the Land.

This is the only path to true reconciliation.

But we demand yet more. We demand, that in returning the land back to its rightful owners, we have not yet done enough. There should be an apology to the Palestinian people which is clear and precise. Zionism did you wrong. Zionism stole your homes. Zionism stole your land.

By so proclaiming we proclaim before the world that we are the people of the Torah, that our faith demands that we be honest and fair and good and kind.

We have attended hundreds of pro Palestinian rallies over the years and everywhere we go the leaders and audience greet us with the warmth of Middle Eastern hospitality. What a lie it is to say that Palestinians in particular or Muslims in general hate Jews. You hate injustice. Not Jews.

Fear not my friends. Evil cannot long triumph. The Zionist nightmare is at its end. It is exhausted. Its latest brutalities are the death rattle of the terminally ill.

We will yet both live to see the day when Jew and Palestinian will embrace in peace under the Palestinian flag in Jerusalem.

And ultimately when mankind’s Redeemer will come, the sufferings of the present will long be forgotten in the blessings of the future.

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