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Remarks Delivered by Rabbi Yisroel P. Feldman
of Neturei Karta International

At the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) Fifth Annual Convention Saturday December 22, 2001, Chicago IL (Palestine Open Files Program)

May the Creator of the world grant His blessings upon this gathering, and may He grant that my words find favor in His eyes, Amen.

Peace be upon you. It is a great honor to address this gathering, as a representative of Neturei Karta International.

To all too many Muslims and Jews throughout the world, to all too many Israelis and Palestinians (of whatever ideology), the notion of a Jew attending this conference, or of a Jew speaking at this conference would seem bizarre.

The novelty would be accentuated to them given that we are clearly Orthodox Jews, and the media are very fond of telling us, that it is the Orthodox, who are the most insensitive to the plight of the Palestinian people.

These simplistic and utterly false notions are nothing more than a testimony, to the near absolute domination of all major media in America by the forces of Zionism.

Let us state certain elementary truths.

We, Torah believing Jews, have been waging the struggle against Zionism and Zionists, long before the arrival of this ill conceived movement in the Holy Land . Before shots were fired, before land was taken over, before any of the Zionist crimes against the Palestinian people had been committed, we were locked in a titanic battle with this heretical movement across the length of Europe .

Torah leaders, learned rabbis and pious layman understood, that Zionism was a utter rejection of Judaism. They saw it as denying, the Jewish faith in Divine redemption, and of the reward and punishment of our people. They saw it as conceived by irreligious Jews, and leading to a loss of Jewish faith by the vast majority who adopted its doctrines.

Torah leaders issued proclamations and authored books, exposing Zionism for what it really was. All this, I say, took place before the movement's arrival in and eventual take over, of the Holy land .

In Palestine itself, many of the Orthodox Jews remained firm in their opposition to the movement and refused to recognize the state or accept any government monies from it.

But our concern today is not our Torah struggle against the Zionists. It is our wish to express to the Palestinian people our sympathy for their plight and support for their cause.

We did not commit the crimes of the Israeli state against the Palestinians.

We have opposed these horrors every step of the way.

These crimes were done by Jews much estranged from their faith.

Yet, the crimes have been done by Jews.

Therefore, we have come here today with a simple message. We of Neturei Karta are not powerful but whatever power we have is pledged to right the wrongs of Zionism.

We wish to state unequivocally our support for the Palestinian right of return with full reparations.

We wish to state our support for Palestinian self determination and sovereignty over all of Palestine . We would be pleased if this future Palestinian government would allow a certain number of Jews to continue to live there, as loyal citizens in their state but that is their decision.

Sadly this position is not shared by the Israeli state.

Thus it is our task to tell the world that the state does not represent the Torah or the Torah true Jewish people.

We desire peace between. Muslim and Jew.

The quarrel today is not between Judaism and Islam. It is not between believers of two different, but in many areas, similar faiths.

It is between the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and the cruel Zionist regime.

For believing Jews, schooled in morality and fairness, the choice is not a difficult one.

May the Creator o the world grant that the state of Israel be peacefully dismantled and Muslims and Jews live together, forever in peace.

A salam aleikhim

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