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Talk by Rabbi Ahron Cohen, Feb 2003, Birmingham & Warwick Universities

University of Birmingham and Warwick University, England:
Israel, Judaism & Zionism
NK Rabbis went to Birmingham and Warwick to explain their reasons for rejecting zionism and the zionist state


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The Palestinian Issue

Analysis of speech by Rabbi Cohen:

Talk entitled: Does Israel represent Jews?
Rabbi Cohen presents a talk on why true Judaism is opposed to Israel.

I would like to thank Rabbi Cohen and his colleagues for taking the time out to come to Warwick University and give us a very educational talk. As the organiser and chair, i received constant emails, thanking me for organising it and saying just how much of an excellent talk it was.

Some mentioned that Rabbi Cohen was a very good and moderate speaker. He spoke in the correct fashion and dealt with touchy issues well. For example, when asked about destruction of the state of Israel, he clarified that he wishes for a "peacefull dismantling" of the state, rather than a "destruction".

He added that "we pray for a peacefull resolution to the conflict". The Rabbi covered many issues related to the diametric opposition of Judaism to Zionism. Questions by the audience were quite varied and included genuine points of query as well as criticisms of the ideology by secular Jews and another Rabbi Cohen who is actually the resident Zionist Rabbi on campus.

The two Union Sabbatical officers (those who run the union) found the talk "very interesting", even though they were initially anxious as to the nature of the talk. The Jewish/Israeli society President had complained to both the University and the Union on the matter, to try and ban the talk. However, the University could not see any acceptable reason to ban it.

The situation did however get slightly flared up when the topic of the Jewish holocaust came up. Rabbi Cohen said that anything outside our conscience is God's decree. As a result, the Jewish holocaust is God's decree. Someone asked him whether this holocaust was to punish the Jews for Zionism, to which he responded by saying that he doesn't know for sure as he is not on a par with God, but that he thinks that is the reason why it happened. I would advise to be very careful about this in the future, as the jewish/Israeli President took the chance to ask me to stop the talk on the basis of "no platform for fascists".

The Rabbi needed to make clear that it was a horrific event like many through the course of history, but that ultimately it was God's decree and that his personal opinion is that it may have been punishment for the Jews disobediance of God and transgression to Zionism. I did calm the situation down and we were able to conclude the rest of the ten minutes of the meeting. Overall though, a successful talk for which there was around 120 man turnout. The adverse publicity nevertheless served as publicity and created an excited audience, eager to hear the Rabbi's views.

It was a pleasure to chair the talk.

Thank you for your services.

By Seyed Nazemi


Copyright 2003, Neturei Karta International