Orthodox Jews Join the Global March to Jerusalem
Speech by Rabbi Dovid Feldman of Neturei Karta International, Jews United Against Zionism, at a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon on March 29, 2012, one day prior to the Global March to Jerusalem.
In the name of the Almighty we shall do and succeed. As the verse says (Psalms 121:2) "My help is from the Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth".
As we stand at the final stage of the preparations for the Global March To Jerusalem, scheduled for tomorrow, March 30, known as the Palestinian Land Day, I would firstly like to thank the organizers of this very important march for their tireless work so far and specifically for giving our delegation the opportunity to join in and speak here in front of you.
Our delegation here today consists of rabbis from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, who represent anti-Zionist Jewish communities who salute and support the Global March to Jerusalem. Three of us are on our way to Amman, Jordan to join the march there, and we hope to have rabbis from Al-Quds, Jerusalem to join the march in the West Bank, if they manage to make it.
The anti-Zionist Orthodox Jewish community worldwide is pained and troubled by the existence of the State of Israel and all the criminal acts it has committed against the indigenous population of Palestine. The occupation of Jerusalem and all of Palestine is a violation not only of international law, but also of Jewish law.
Many myths are used by the Zionist State to confuse the masses, and not everybody is properly educated to have answers to them.
For example, people believe that there is a legitimate Biblical claim for the State of Israel to occupy the Holy Land.
The truth is quite different. According to traditional Jewish belief, Jews are in a divinely decreed exile. They are required to practice their religion and live as loyal citizens in the lands where they reside, and are forbidden to create a sovereign state of their own. This would be true even if this state had been created in an uninhabited land or in an inhabited land with the permission of its residents. But since the Zionist state was established in an inhabited land, through expelling and oppressing its people, it violates many other divine prohibitions, such as "Thou shalt not kill," "Thou shalt not steal," etc.Â
People today believe that Jews are in danger from the Arab population, that the Arabs have always hated us and they just want to drive us into the sea.
The truth is quite different. Jews lived in Palestine, including the Holy City of Jerusalem, for generations. They resided in the Holy land as a peaceful minority, practicing their Jewish religion and coexisting in harmony and mutual respect with their non-Jewish neighbors.Â But then the Zionist movement arose with the goal of achieving rule by oppressing others, and that was when the mistrust between Jews and Arabs began. There began to be bloodshed, and the casualties on both sides continue to rise to the present day.
Jews live today in the Islamic Republic Of Iran, exercising their freedom of religion.Â A delegation of our rabbis visited Tehran just four weeks ago, not for the first time. They visited the Jewish communities and watched the religious Jewish classes for the youth, and they were pleased by what they witnessed.
We are a Jewish delegation today visiting here in Lebanon and we are still alive!!! How? We are protected by the people of Lebanon.
We don't need a state of Israel to protect us and we don't want a state of Israel to endanger us.
Next to me is Senior Rabbi Lazer Hochhouser, originally from Quds-Jerusalem. He still remembers the peace that existed in Palestine in those days. He left Jerusalem after 1967 because he was so upset with Zionist actions being committed in his name.
The late Rabbi Amram Blau, one of the leaders of the anti-Zionist Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem a generation ago, once said: "We are brothers in suffering with our Palestinian non-Jewish neighbors."
It is our religion that this heretical entity is uprooting; it is our community in the Holy City of Al-Quds, Jerusalem that stands up against the State of Israel and is oppressed under this criminal regime. It is the peaceful coexistence that we all enjoyed that was destroyed by these warmongers.Â
Jewish opposition to Zionism is not new. It is not just since the recent assault on Gaza. It is not just since the occupation in 1967, nor since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. It goes back as far as the 1890's, at the very dawn of the Zionist movement. The vast majority of Jewish rabbinic leaders and their communities at that time opposed this new movement vehemently.
Jerusalem was always considered by Jews as a holy city, but this was never a reason for conflict. The very name "Jerusalem" means the city of peace. It was so for centuries and should remain so forever. Religion was never a reason for conflict between Jews and Arabs, despite the differences in our religions. The only reason for conflict was the invention of Zionism, and the current obstacle to peace is the state and its ongoing criminal policies.
We declare that the criminal acts committed by the State of Israel must be stopped.
We declare that the sovereignty over the entire Holy Land must be restored to its indigenous population.
We declare that the State of Israel does not speak in the name of the entire Jewish community and certainly not in the name of the Jewish religion.
It is because we are humans that we condemn the oppression in Palestine.
It is because we Jews that we are embarrassed that this is being done in our name.
It is because we are religious Jews that we are so upset that this in being done in the name of religion.
It is because we are descendents of Holocaust survivors that we feel the suffering of others.
We pray for the peaceful dismantlement of the entire State of Israel. We hope this takes place with no suffering to anyone, Arab or Jew. Then we hope to experience once again the beautiful harmony between our peoples that existed in the region prior to the invention of Zionism.
Ultimately we hope to merit to see the day when the glory of the Almighty will be revealed throughout the universe and all humanity will recognize the One G-d and serve Him in peace and harmony. Amen.