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Talk given by Rabbi Ahron Cohen of Neturei Karta UK, at Luton, Bedfordshire UK, on the 28th July '02 under the auspices of the Islamic Human Rights Commission (Luton Branch).

My friends!

We are here today to protest against the terrible wrongs being perpetrated against the Palestinian People by the Zionist illegitimate regime in Palestine.

I am an orthodox Jew involved in ecclesiastical duties within the Jewish Community.

I am particularly involved in educating our youth.

How do I come to be here today? Let me explain.

My qualification to talk to you today is basically by virtue of my being one of many orthodox Jews who completely sympathise with your cause. The spearhead group among us who are involved actively in this matter on a regular basis are called Neturei Karta, which can be loosely translated as Guardians of the Faith.

Representatives of Neturei Karta take part in protests, which draw attention to Arab and Muslim pain, whenever they can. The Neturei Karta would like to express its solidarity with its Muslim brothers and explain the following points:

The ideology of Zionism and its practical outcome in the form of the State known as ‘Israel’ is completely alien to Judaism and the Jewish Faith.

The apparent connection between Judaism and Zionism is false. The connection has been nurtured by the Zionists in order to ensnare as many Jews as possible within their net. The very name “Israel” which originally meant what are known as the Children of Israel i.e. the Jewish People was usurped by the Zionists. For this reason many orthodox Jews avoid referring to the Zionist State by the name ’Israel’.

The Zionists have made themselves to appear as the representatives and spokespeople of all Jews thus, because of their actions, arousing animosity against the Jews. But, this is simply not true! Zionism is not Judaism. Zionists cannot speak in the name of Jews.

Zionism in general and its conduct against the Arabs, Muslims and wider world is totally contrary to the teachings of the religion, beliefs and hopes of the Jewish people.

For the last two thousand years or so the Jewish people have been in a state of exile decreed by the A-lmighty. The Jews were exiled from their land because they did not maintain the standards expected of them. This state of exile is the situation that exists right up to the present day. It is a basic part of our belief to accept willingly the Heavenly decree of exile and not to try and fight against it. In practical terms, exile for us means that Jews must be loyal subjects of the countries in which they live and not attempt to rule over the established indigenous populations of those countries. And of course this includes Palestine.

The Zionist movement founded approximately 100 years ago based on secular nationalistic aims was a complete abandonment of our religious teachings and faith - in general - and in particular regarding our approach to the peoples among whom we live.

It follows, therefore, that the Jewish people have no right to rule today in Palestine.

According to the Torah and Jewish faith, the present Palestinian Arab claim to rule in Palestine is right and just. The Zionist claim is wrong and criminal.

One must add to this wrong, the fact that in order to achieve an ill conceived nationalistic ambition, a shocking contravention of natural justice was committed by the Zionists in setting up an illegitimate regime in Palestine completely against the wishes of the established population, the Palestinians, which inevitably had to be based on loss of life, killing and stealing.

We want to tell the world, especially our Muslim neighbours, that there is no hatred or animosity between Jew and Muslim. We wish to live together as friends and neighbours as we have done mostly over hundreds even thousands of years in all the Arab countries. It was only the advent of the Zionists and Zionism which upset this age old relationship.

The Zionist oppression, abuse and murder of Arabs is a tragedy not only for the Palestinians but for the Jewish people as well.

It must therefore be clear that opposition to Zionism and its crimes does not imply hatred of Jews. On the contrary Zionism itself and its deeds are the biggest threat to Judaism. Zionism hates Judaism. Zionism has turned many Jewish believers into atheists and warmongers.

Together we must work so as not to allow the Zionists to fuel the fires of hatred between Arab and Jew. That is what they want and we must not let them succeed.

The Zionist State known as “Israel” is a regime that has no right to exist. Its continuing existence is the underlying cause of the strife in Palestine.

We pray for a solution to the terrible and tragic impasse that exists. Hopefully based on results brought about by moral, political and economic pressures imposed by the nations of the world.

We pray for an end to bloodshed, an end to the suffering of our Palestinian brethren and all innocent people worldwide.

We are waiting for the annulment of Zionism and the dismantling of the Zionist regime, and would welcome the opportunity to dwell in peace in the holy land under a rule which is entirely in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the Palestinian People.

May we soon merit the time when all mankind will be at peace with each other.

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