About Neturei Karta Neturei Karta Activities Recent Activities and Events
Search this site:

search tips sitemap

The Difference Between Judaism and Zionism

Presented by Rabbi Dovid Weiss of NKI
at the Islamic Center of Long Island on January 14, 2001

With G-d’s help I begin with a prayer, that my words be appropriate and that they enter your hearts in service of truth and peace.

It is a great honor to speak this morning before this esteemed gathering. My personal thanks is extended to the President of the Islamic center, Mr. Khankan for arranging this presentation and for all the help he has granted us in the past. For over a hundred years the Holy Land has been the site of conflicts, often violent, between several groups. To this day the battles rage on. Thousands have been killed over the years. Several hundred, large numbers of women and children among them, have been slaughtered during recent months. No end to the suffering is in sight.

Much of the conflict has been centered in the holy city of all, Jerusalem, described in the Bible as the city of peace.

In the Middle East and around the world, national leaders have repeatedly, over the last century, attempted to solve this conflict and bring peace to the region. All their attempts have failed. World empires, including those of England and the Ottoman Turks have been drawn into this conflict. Today the former is a shell of its former self, while the latter no longer exists. Yet, the conflict which dogged them goes on and on.

I’d like to pose to you this morning two very basic questions. 1) What is the conflict in the Holy Land really about? 2) What has caused it and can it be alleviated?

I hope to answer these questions this morning, but first we have to offer a few definitions.

It is a commonplace in the media to speak of a Jewish-Arab, or Jewish - Palestinian conflict. Others even refer to a Jewish -Islamic conflict.

In our view, all these descriptions of the Middle Eastern troubles are false. Very dangerously false.

We maintain that Jews and Judaism have no conflict with Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians or any other group.

This misunderstanding arises from the lack of a clear definition of Judaism and Jewry. Rav Saadya Gaon, a ninth century Babylonian Jewish scholar wrote, “Our national identity is the Torah.”

This is the starting point for any discussion of Judaism and therefore of Jews.

We are a people by virtue of the Torah.

We are bound to obey G-d, as it is written in the Torah. We understand our national destiny as it is written in the Torah.

We view our suffering or prosperity as it is analyzed in the Torah.

We look forward to the Messiah and universal brotherhood as it is foretold in the Torah.

Any political, social or historical viewpoints we have, must be rooted in the Torah and certainly never be in conflict with it.

This is the way all Jews, up until recent centuries, viewed their Jewish identity. They had one national and individual project. It was complete obedience to the Will of the Creator.

Thus, when Jews viewed the destruction of their Temple in Jerusalem and subsequent exile among the nations, they saw it through the eyes of the Torah and the prophets. That vision was a clear one. The people had sinned and, thus, forfeited their claim to the land. Their exile was a punishment. Only G-d Himself could end the exile. He would do so when the people’s sins were expiated and they had learned the lesson of total obedience to G-d.

At that time, without any human intervention, all nations will together serve G-d.

To attempt a human escape from exile; to, so to speak, shoot oneself out of a Divine decree was seen as ludicrous and supremely impudent.

In fact, the Talmudic Sages foretold, on the basis of various sources in the Prophetic books, that an attempt to effect a premature ending of exile, would result in untold bloodshed and suffering.

This was the approach of Jewry throughout the ages. Jews lived humbly. They sought good relations with all men. They strove, when allowed, to be patriotic citizens. Their task was to live quiet lives of piety and modesty, thus sanctifying the L-rd’s name with their conduct.

In the nineteenth century many segments of European society began to throw off the yoke of heaven. Assorted heretical movements grew up, which attracted both Jew and Gentile. Communism, evolutionism, Bible criticism, assorted forms of religious and secular liberalism, the Jewish Reform movements and scores of others, lured millions away from G-d and His law.

Born of this spirit of Godlessness, severed from all links with the Torah and Jewish tradition and in opposition to the nearly unanimous voice of Rabbis and Sages, we find at the end of the nineteenth century, a new movement that became known as Zionism.

This movement was the direct antithesis of everything which believing Jews had maintained for thousands of years. By calling for a human end to exile, it denied Divine Providence over reward and punishment. By summoning Jews to return en masse to the Holy Land, it violated one of the fundamental terms of exile as explained in the Talmud. And, lastly by putting its followers in a position from which it was inevitable that war result, it condemned to death the thousands of victims of those wars -- soldiers and civilians -- Englishmen, Jews, Palestinians and other Islamic peoples. Of, course, these wars, declared and undeclared, should have come as no surprise. They were the result of a wicked heresy let loose in history.

From Zionism’s inception, the traditional religious leaders of all segments of Jewry were virulently opposed to it. In nation after nation, its appeals were only accepted by those elements of the population whose attachment to their faith had already been weakened and whose knowledge of its basic doctrines was minimal. It was only after the second world war when Jewry emerged from the Holocaust leaderless and emotionally shattered, was Zionism capable of making serious inroads among some observant Jews.

Throughout the twentieth century, Zionists sought to drive masses of Jews towards Palestine in order to conquer the land by immigration. In incident after incident, they provoked the indigenous population as well as the British Mandate administrators. Often their aggressions flared into civil wars of various degrees of intensity. Many were those who were killed in this era from all three peoples.

Prior to the arrival of the Zionist immigrants beginning in the immediate pre World War I years, small pious and anti -Zionist Jewish communities lived in Jerusalem, Hebron, Safed and Tiberias. They had no desire to achieve political sovereignty over the land nor to flood it with Jewish immigrants. They were largely Rabbis devoted to study and prayers with a small number of shopkeepers and workers included. They were never subject to any harm or persecution by the local Palestinian people. Of course, both Jew and Palestinian at times suffered under Ottoman rule.

Those Jews who live today in the Holy Land and around the world, whose ancestors recalled those tranquil years, speak of the friendliest of relations between Jew and Muslim or Jew and Christian in Jerusalem and throughout the entire Holy Land.

This good will built up by pious Jews over the centuries has been very much endangered by Zionist actions and propaganda. The Zionists seek to demonize all Palestinians, all Arabs and all Muslims.

One of the greatest tragedies that Zionism has brought about is the identification of Zionism with Judaism and Zionists with Jewry in the popular mind, both Jewish and non – Jewish.

The takeover of the Hold Land, the dispossessing of its people, their constant persecution, insensitivity to their calls and claims for justice have all been done in the name of a so called “Israel”, as if this monstrosity set up to deny and defy the norms of G-d and man, has anything to do with the sacred task of Torah true Jewry.

Of course, the mainstream media operating under heavy Zionist control and mainstream politicians, with their careers always threatened by the likes of AIPAC and the ADL, are reluctant to ever question Zionist propaganda.

Hence, the equation of Zionism with Judaism continues.

This takes place, despite the efforts of anti –Zionist Jews for the last fifty two years to get our message out. Even large rallies attended by tens of thousands, in protest against the existence of the state or any number of its vile deeds, are routinely ignored in the media.

I personally have participated in many newsworthy protests and demonstrations against the Zionist state. They are rarely if ever mentioned. We have published many books which are routinely ignored.

This opportunity to speak to your group this morning is a wonderful opportunity to step outside of the media created prison and speak some simple truths about Zionism and Judaism and Jews and the Palestinians.

My friends, hundreds of thousands of Jews around the world, in New York and Montreal, in Jerusalem and London, in Antwerp, in Safed and Tiberias are Orthodox Jews who completely reject Zionism.

They realize that Zionism has denied G-d, created a rogue state which has usurped the name of “Israel” and subject the Palestinian people to a century in Hell.

Therefore, in answer to the questions I raised at the start of this talk, namely, 1) What is the conflict in the Holy Land really about? 2) What has caused it and can it be alleviated? We are now capable of offering answers.

The conflict in the Middle East is fundamentally about the abandonment of Torah Judaism by the Zionists and their subsequent rejection of the Divinely imposed, exilic agenda of peace, humility and piety.

The immediate cause of the conflict is the vicious dispossession and disenfranchisement of the Palestinian people by Zionist military might.

Lastly, this conflict and all its subsequent suffering cannot be stopped according to current understandings of it.

We are grateful to many well meaning Gentiles from the UN and in the United States and former Soviet Union and elsewhere for their attempts at negotiated settlement.

We can assure them, though, that their ideas will never succeed.

Middle Eastern turmoil is not caused by faulty peace plans or (G-d forbid) a lack of so called Israeli firmness!

Middle Eastern conflicts are caused by one thing, Zionism.

When Zionism will end, then and only then will peace come to that troubled region.

It is our hope and prayer and we trust the hope and prayer of all good men everywhere that this change may be brought about without loss of life.

Of course, given the givens at present it is difficult to imagine how this happy ending to our story may come about.

But, suffice it to say that the Creator has Powers and abilities which go way beyond those of mortal man’s understanding. And, above all else His Mercies are upon all His creatures.

May we live to see the day when all men in a true spirit of brotherhood will acknowledged their Creator.

Thank you a-salem aleikhim.

Click to view list of recent events
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Follow us on YouTube
Send this page
The Palestinian Issue

Copyright 2003, Neturei Karta International