Indeed, this pessimistic
prognosis seems rooted in a century of precedent. The first Jewish
settlers who came to Palestine with the intention of establishing
a sovereign Jewish state there arrived towards the end of the nineteenth
century. Palestinian nationalism – then generally subsumed
under the title Arab nationalism but soon to assume its more particularistic
title – began to flourish at about the same time.
The clash of these movements was played out through various wars,
atrocities, revolutions and dispossessions throughout the twentieth
century. Various strains of ideology in these rival nationalisms
have attempted to bring the matter to closure, either by force of
arms or, at times, by recourse to the negotiating table.
All these efforts, be they military or compromise oriented, have
one fact in common. Their result is always the same. They have failed
– failed utterly and totally. We may delude ourselves by yet
dreaming, as many do, that there is one final war or one last peace
plan which can calm all those concerned. Unfortunately there is
no indication that such is the case.
We of Neturei Karta International find the toll of dead and wounded
on both sides to be intolerable. We feel that it is high time for
a radical departure from the assumptions that have governed and,
effectively stifled free debate on the subject.
Our perspective is far from new. It is the centuries old view
of the Torah. It was once universally shared by all Jews and it
is only our people’s recent flirtation with assorted secularist
dogmas that have caused it to be forgotten of late in some quarters.
Simply stated – The essence of Judaism is our faith -- our
belief that G-d spoke to Moses and the assembled multitudes at Sinai
and there gave His Revelation to the world. This was, is and always
will be, Judaism.
The Jewish exile from the Holy Land , which followed the Roman
destruction of the Second Temple close to two thousand years ago,
was always viewed by our people as a Divine punishment. The state
of exile in which we found ourselves was not seen as the result
of military or political weakness. Rather, the Creator had decreed
that until such time as He would chose to redeem the world, world
Jewry was to remain in exile. The only possible means to alter what
was and is a metaphysical state are spiritual. Repentance, prayer,
Torah study, deeds of kindness and the like could hasten redemption.
Nothing else would be effective. Any other means of ending exile
is metaphysically doomed to failure.
Zionism was a movement dedicated to altering this traditional
view of redemption. It posited that political maneuvering; revolutionary
terror, war and dispossession would yield Jewish salvation.
Nothing could be further from the truths of Judaism.
However, Zionism not only broke with the teachings of our faith,
it also entered upon a campaign, now over one hundred years old,
to persuade and, eventually, force, when possible, Jews to abandon
their allegiance to G-d and the Torah and recreate themselves as
The Zionist movement was not only a heretical departure from Judaism
and a practical attempt to lure Jews from their Torah. It was also
monstrously blind to the indigenous inhabitants of the Holy Land
. In the 1890s, less than 5% of the Holy Land ’s population
was Jewish, yet, Theodore Herzl had the nerve to describe his movement
as that of “a people without a land for a land without a people.”
Time and again both Revisionist and Labor Zionists, the former
overtly and the latter under the clouds of deceptive rhetoric, have
sought the elimination of the Palestinian people from their state.
They have dispossessed thousands and refused them the right of return
or minimum compensation. They have kept the people of Gaza and the
West Bank stripped of basic political and human rights and denied
them the dignity of self-determination.
This aggression has plunged the region into its never-ending spiral
Sad to say, the bloody results of Zionism were not unexpected.
They were foretold in the Talmud. There we read that a human based
attempt to return en masse to the Holy Land would result in terrifying
loss of life. This is an unpleasant truth but its seems quite validated
by the past century’s events.
People of the Press, I have come before you today to offer a new
perspective on the Middle East, a new explanation as to why all
previous attempts at peace making have failed. It is our belief
that they are inherently doomed to fail. All of them share one fatal
assumption. They find it axiomatic that the state of Israel should
exist. And, in contrast to the plain evidence of the past half-century
of Jewish history they see its existence as a positive development
for the Jewish people.
Only blind dogma could at this date see Israel as something good
for the Jewish people. Established as a so-called safe haven it
has consistently over the past five decades been the most dangerous
place on the face of the earth for a Jew to live. It has been the
source of tens of thousands of Jewish deaths, of families torn apart
and has left a trail of grieving widows, orphans and friends in
Not to mention the countless thousands of Jewish souls diverted
from religion. And our Rabbis state “If you cause one to sin,
it is worse than killing him”.
And, let us not forget that this tale of physical Jewish suffering
is far magnified among the Palestinian people, a nation condemned
to poverty, persecution, homelessness, all pervasive hopelessness
and all too often, a far too premature, death.
This web of pain, the cries and tears of the grieving, demand of
us as Jews that we return to the wellsprings of our faith. We must
accept our task to serve G-d in humility and peace. This is the
essence of a Jew.
And, when so doing we will inevitably reject the bizarre and malicious
doctrines of Zionism, the falsification of Judaism.
We will realize that defying the Divine decree of exile is doomed
to bloody failure.
We will realize that our people’s hopes cannot be built by
shattering those of another people.
We will demand and with G-d’s, help live to see the peaceful
dismantling of the state. We will return the land to those who dwelt
upon it for centuries, the Palestinian people. Under their sovereignty,
we will work towards a just solution to any Jewish – Palestinian
problems created by the brief period of Zionist ascendancy.
There are I’m sure some skeptics here in the audience who
feel that a Palestinian state would represent a threat to the Jewish
people. My friends, I have been there time and time again as Neturei
Karta International has visited Palestinian and Islamic organizations
and I have been greeted with extraordinary warmth and brotherly
concern. We have visited Iran , been hosts of the government. We
were allowed to speak in Iran to both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences,
without any prior censorship. We have discovered time after time,
that Muslims in general actually yearn for good relations with Jews
and, that when the evil face of Zionism is stripped away, the naturally
good relations between our peoples bubbles to the surface.
Actully history bears witness that through out the centuries Muslim
countries were extremely hospitable to the Jews. In fact as a general
rule the Jews faired far better in those countries than in other
And in Palestine alone our grandparent have testified to the fact
that the Muslims and Jews lived in peace and harmony up until the
advent of Zionism.
Many stories of the close friendship that existed at that time
circulate in the Jewish communities, for instance, baby sitting
each others children was a daily occurrence
We also operate a web site. There isn’t a day goes by when
we don’t receive e- mails from around the Islamic world. They
are all positive. They bless, express love and brotherhood. Often
they credit us with having cured them of anti Jewish sentiments.
From Yemen to Great Britain the delight these people experience
in finding anti Zionist Jews is palpable.
This then is the image we offer as an alternative to the current
horror – of a Jewish people free of the need to kill and be
killed, free to pursue their Divine task of Torah practice and free
to live in peace and respect with all men. May the Creator grant
that we all be worthy of seeing that day. And ultimately the day
when all will recognize the one G-D and serve Him in harmony. AMEN