(From the newsletter of Neturei
Karta in Jerusalem – Hachoma, Tammuz-July 5762/2002)
The young martyr, Dr. Yaakov Yisrael Dehan was murdered
on July 1, 1924. He was a man who devoted all his energies
and the best years of his life to saving the remnant
of loyal Jews, and to promote peace with the veteran
Arab residents of the Holy Land. Through his knowledge
of politics and diplomacy, Dehan contributed much to
crystallizing an independent position for Orthodox Jewry
unaffiliated with the Zionist leadership.
At a time when the first followers of
the Zionist movement began streaming into the Holy Land
in large numbers, defiling the holiness of the land,
and by virtue of their idiotic ideas began to work to
expel the Arabs who had been living there for centuries
in order to establish a Zionist state.
The Zionists first approached the British authorities
by pretending to present themselves as the representatives
of the Jewish nation, who desired to establish a “national
home” without any regard whatsoever of the fact
that the vast majority of the Jewish People opposed
Zionism in those days. However, through their various
contacts, the Zionists managed to bring about the Balfour
Declaration (known among our rabbis of the time as the
Baal Peor Declaration – a pun referring to the
idolatry mentioned in the Bible), based on the “right”
of the Jews to establish a state in Palestine, and ultimately
the state itself to our great misfortune.
Good relations existed between the Jewish and Arab communities,
and the leadership of the Orthodox Jewish community
conducted themselves according to the principles of
Judaism, never provoking their non-Jewish neighbors.
The Arabs were very friendly and neighborly, and a spirit
of mutual respect was typical.
When the winds of Zionism began to blow through Palestine,
the Arabs began to change their attitude because of
the fact that they heard that the “Jews”
wanted to grab the Land from them and expel them. Of
course, they did not distinguish between the Zionist
troublemakers and the members of the loyal authentic
Jewish community that advocated tolerance and peace.
There were outbreaks of violence here and there, until
bloodshed began and many people died.
However, instead of learning from this experience that
brought suffering upon the Jewish People in the Holy
Land, and ceasing their dangerous lawless behavior,
the Zionists used these events as “additional
proof” for the need for a state and an army to
protect the Jews from violence. Jewish blood was of
no importance to the Zionists in comparison to their
“lofty” nationalist goals.
It was clear to the leaders of the Orthodox community
that there was an immediate need for an organization
to confront the Zionist organization, and demand that
the British desist from endorsing the idea of a Zionist
state, and resolve Arab-Jewish tensions peacefully.
A great and unexpected opportunity presented itself
in the form of Dr. Yaakov Yisrael Dehan, who had embraced
Judaism from a life of secularism, and had made his
way to the Orthodox community of Jerusalem during those
difficult days. He sensed the truth, and from then on
never ceased to march with the great rabbi of Jerusalem,
Rabbi Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld, who wisely advised Dehan.
Dehan established extensive contacts with many governmental
authorities in Europe, including the English, and proceeded
to carry out his work immediately. In no time at all
he transformed the loyal Jewish community from a tiny
one without any international recognition to a community
standing up against the Zionist heretics. He and other
members of the community represented the Orthodox Jews
under the name of “Eida Haredis” (G-d-Fearing
Community), and represented the position of the loyal
It goes without saying that the Eida Haredis was accepted
warmly among non-Jews, much moreso than was the case
with the Zionists – both because of the fact that
the Eida Haredis represented traditional, authentic
Judaism against Zionism that openly rejected Judaism
in its entirety, and because of the fact that the Orthodox
position made more sense in order to prevent bloodshed
and promote harmony in Palestine.
Dr. Dehan then organized a delegation of Orthodox leaders
to meet with Arab leaders headed by King Abdullah. The
Jewish delegation was headed by Rabbi Zonnenfeld, and
was welcomed by the Arabs like royalty. The king even
gave them expensive gifts as a sign of his affection.
Of course the Zionists were gritting their teeth when
they learned of this event, and saw the possibility
that all of their projects may end up collapsing in
front of their very eyes. The Zionists began their attacks
against the loyal Jewish community in general, and against
Dr. Dehan in particular. They slandered him with increasing
brutality until they went so far as to call for his
In those days the G-d-fearing Jews were persecuted greatly
by the Zionists, and whenever they ran into Dehan in
the street they would insult him. However, Dehan never
ceased his holy work on behalf of our rabbis. When the
Zionists realized that their persecution of Dehan had
no effect, they decided to kill him.
In a plan approved by the leading Haganah Zionists a
number of young Zionists encountered Dr. Dehan as he
left the Shaarei Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem. The Zionist
Avraham Tahomi, may his name be obliterated, shot Dehan
three times in the chest, and shortly thereafter Dehan
expired, returning his soul to heaven. This murder was
carried out with the approval of the Zionist leadership.
On that fateful day of July 1, 1924, when the Zionists
committed their crime, for which we suffer to this very
day and still do not see the end in sight, they shot
him in his pure heart. But they did not only shoot him
and kill him, but they shot and killed the entire People,
thereby preventing any plan that did not comply with
their wicked intentions.
Nevertheless, some seventy-eight years after that horrible
day, there is still a community of Jews following in
the authentic path, and refusing to bow to the Zionist
idol. It is in large measure due to the selfless holy
efforts of Yaakov Dehan, a martyr of his people who
paved the way with self-sacrifice that there are still
Jews who refuse to succumb to the Zionist regime of
heretics despite the fact that the Zionists overpower
the authentic Jews with their laws and power, It is
in the merit of Yaakov Dahan that there are still Jews
today throughout the world who stand and announce unflinchingly
their unswerving loyalty to the countries in which they
live, and that there are still Jews in this world who
declare to the nations of world that the Zionists and
their state has no link with Judaism or the Jewish People.
His murder proved to every loyal Jew that the Zionists
appearing on the scene were no friends of the Jewish
People, but were murderers who hated Judaism, something
that was the beginning of the opportunity of recognizing
the enemy. On the most recent anniversary of Dehan’s
murder we remembered the good work of Dr. Yaakov Yisrael
Dehan on behalf of authentic Judaism in his war against
Zionism and its wicked plans. Let us learn from his
work to strengthen our resolve and dedication in refusing
to bow to the Zionist idol, and to pray for divine providence
to redeem the world.