Gaza, Jews worldwide feel
Statement by Rabbi Dovid Feldman for
the visit to Gaza, December 2009.
Our hearts are full of pain over what happened here in Gaza,
and over the crisis Gaza is in.
At the same time, we are happy that we have the opportunity
to help. We never dreamed that we would have such an opportunity.
Many Jews would jump at such an opportunity if they would
have the opportunity.
We have come as representatives of many Jewish congregations
worldwide that are pained over the suffering of the people
here. It is very important to them that we be here to speak
on their behalf.
We thank the organizers of Viva Palestina, and of the Gaza
Freedom March for the amazing work that they do for the suffering
people of Gaza, and for giving us the opportunity to take
part in their work.
We also thank the government and leadership of Gaza for
hosting us, and the local people here for their beautiful
We have traveled through several countries, and experienced
many difficulties before arriving here. It is all worthwhile
to us to be able to be here with you and express to you how
much we feel your pain.
This is our second visit to Gaza. Our first visit was a
half a year ago; then we saw for the first time with our
own eyes the terrible destruction that was wrought here.
We took pictures, brought them home and spread them around
our communities, so that our brethren could better understand
the injustice that is being done to the Palestinian people.
Jews from many congregations around the world donated money
to purchase [trucks and] these critically needed medical
supplies for the suffering people here.
We condemn in the strongest terms the cruel Zionist attack
on Gaza that took place one year ago, an attack that unfortunately
has not yet ended. Orthodox Jews from communities in many
cities around the world protested publicly during the Zionist
attack on Gaza. Now, at this time of year, Jews are joining
in protests commemorating the first anniversary of the tragedy.
We know, however, that this is not just one year, and not
an attack just on Gaza. It is an occupation of all of Palestine
that has been going on for more than 61 years.
The Zionists do not speak in the name of the Jewish people,
and not in the name of the Torah and Judaism. What they do
is not only against international law – it is forbidden by
According to Judaism, Jews have been in exile by heavenly
decree since the destruction of the Second Temple. Jews are
forbidden to have their own country, even if it were founded
on an empty piece of land.
But by founding their country in an inhabited land, cruelly
killing or displacing the inhabitants, the Zionists violated
many, many commandments of the Torah, such as “Thou
shalt not kill” and “Thou shalt not steal”.
Jews are forbidden to rebel against the nations of the world.
Historically, Jews have always lived humbly and peacefully
in all Muslim lands, including Palestine.
We, as Torah observant Jews, condemn the existence of the
State of "Israel" and all its crimes against the
Palestinian people. We are embarrassed over what has been
done here in our name. The Torah demands freedom for Gaza
and for all of Palestine. The Zionists must give up all their
power, and make restitution to the Palestinians for all the
destruction and pain they have brought upon them.
Always remember the difference between Judaism and Zionism!
Judaism is a religion that teaches only the service of the
Creator. Zionism has tried to transform Judaism into political
nationalism, devoid of all holiness.
Zionism and the Zionist state do not in any way represent
the Jewish people, and certainly not the Jewish religion.
We pray for the speedy and total dismantlement of the Zionist
state. We hope that this will not cost any more suffering
for anyone, Jews or Arabs. At that time, and only at that
time, Jews and Arabs will once again be able to live in peace,
as they did before Zionism.
We look forward to the day when the ancient Jewish prophecy
will be fulfilled, “All mankind will form one group
to do G–d’s will with all their hearts.” Amen.