Rabbi Dovid Feldman lecture to the International Islamic University, Malaysia

Rabbi Dovid Feldman

Spokesman for Neturei Karta NY

Rabbi Dovid Feldman lecture at the Stand With Al Aqsa Forum, hosted by the International Islamic University, Malaysia

Thank you very much– Asaloom alekoom

We are all aware what is going on in Palestine, just recently over 250 where killed, about 2000 injured, and over 70,000 became homeless. It is so horrific to see those scenes how Israeli police are traumatizing young children. All of this is sad and should dive all righteous people to wake up and realize what is going on.

This tragedy is even much worse, that this is not something which is just going on the past couple of week, but this is sadly going on already for 73 years. Unfortunately after these decades we don’t even see an end to these tragedies.

To understand the issue of Zionism, from a Jewish perspective, I will elaborate on some basic Jewish concepts regarding the Zionist philosophy.

Judaism is a religion, not a race. It is true that if one is born Jewish they are required to follow Judaism, but, at the same time, we accept converts. Whoever accepts to follow Judaism entirely, is a Jew. Many converts in past history and today are scholars and Rabbis.

The concept of “the Jewish people” is also a religious concept. In past generations all, the Jewish people stood for, was following the religion, adhering to its basic beliefs and practicing its commandments

The Jewish religion is not conditioned on having a national homeland. Judaism is not a nationality. One can be a complete Jew, while being a patriotic Malaysian, American or Palestinian citizen.

In fact, not only do we not need a homeland to be Jewish, but it is actually forbidden for Jews, in this day and age, to have a sovereign Jewish state. According to basics of Jewish belief, G-d sent the Jewish people into exile, and are forbidden to end this Godly decreed exile by their own physical means. Including fighting wars or provoking other nations.

The ultimate redemption that Jews are waiting for, is when G-d himself will redeem the entire world. As the verse says, “The earth will be filled with the knowledge of G-d.” And as the Jewish prayer book says, “The nations will all form one group to do Your will wholeheartedly.” All the nations will agree to whatever happens at that time. All peoples will serve G-d together in Peace.

In the meantime, Jews are commanded to wait for God’s redemption, as humble and loyal citizens of the countries where they live.

That is how Jews lived in exile for 2000 years. There were better times and there were worse times. By the way, the Jews living in Arab and Muslim countries were treated far better than their brothers in the European countries. When Jews fled persecution in Europe, it was the Muslim countries that took them in, with open arms, and allowed them to practice Judaism freely. But no matter what, we accepted G-d’s decree of exile as an article of faith, faith for which we were ready to give our lives for. We never rebelled against our host nations.

In addition, the Torah teaches compassion for other people. Half of the commandments are about how to relate to other people: giving charity, supporting the foreigners in our midst, respecting other people’s property, returning lost objects, judging others fairly and so on.

Given what the Jewish people were about, it’s no wonder that the Arabs and Muslims had no problem coexisting with the Jewish people over the centuries. We were not a treat to them, we didn’t have any agenda of offending them. They welcomed us, we were respected and protected by them.

Now let’s talk about the Zionists.

The Zionist movement was a group of people from Jewish decent, who planned to change the Jewish people into the opposite of what it was. It’s not just that they wanted to abandon Judaism. We’ve had many Jews like that, in our history. No, they wanted to keep their Jewish identity, but change Judaism into something different. They dropped the spiritual meaning of Judaism and made their only goal to have their own land like other nations. They attempted to transform Judaism from a religion into nationalism.

Now, to achieve their homeland, they could have gone to any empty place in the world. They could have truly found “a land without a people, for a people without a land” as was the Zionist slogan. Even then, of course, it would have been against the Torah, and the religious Jews would have been opposed to it.

But they realized that in order to attract Jews to their movement, they needed to do more than that. The simple Jews were not Zionists, and they could only be convinced to join, if the goal was Palestine, which was familiar to Jews, as the Holy Land. They incorporated holy concepts into this movement, not that the Zionists cared anything about holiness, but they wanted to arouse the emotions of the Jewish masses. They used this as propaganda in order to gain the necessary support to form their movement and create their nationalism. And they told the Jewish masses the Big Lie, that Palestine was an empty land waiting to be colonized, a “land without a people.”

In 1948, they carried out ethnic cleansing, driving out the Palestinians from the land. To this day, they refuse to allow them back. In the early years, people believe their propaganda that Palestine had been mostly empty before they came, and that the Palestinians had left on their own. But as time went on, it became more difficult for them to conceal the truth: that they had ignored the existence of an entire people, and they had oppressed them, violating Judaism’s cardinal sins of murder and theft.

The greatest rabbis denounced the Zionist movement from its founding day. Palestine was already home to a religious Jewish community, which had coexisted peacefully for centuries with the Palestinians. These Jews strongly opposed Zionism and were greatly concerned to see that peace disturbed. In 1929, after Zionist provocations on Al-Aqsa, led to violence between Arabs and Jews, Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, chief rabbi of Jerusalem, issued a statement clarifying that Jews have no demand for ownership over Al-Aqsa or any other sites holy by the Muslims.

The rabbis continued to warn, that a Zionist state would mean endless wars and tragedies for both sides. And unfortunately they were proven right.

After seeing all what is taking place, these decades of unfortunate bloodshed, every right minded person should stop, wake up and realize that something needs to be done and we all need to contribute in helping those suffering people, to end this cycle of bloodshed.

Now we need to understand, the Zionist movement is insisting that you be considered as the “Jewish State”. By saying so, they confuse the masses that all Jews support their movement, and that supposedly, the Jewish religion condones all their actions. By doing so they attempt to silence whoever criticizes them, as anti-Semitic, or against God.

This is totally wrong. On the contrary, as Jewish people throughout the world, we are terribly concerned about what is happening. This is a true embarrassment to our people, since all of these actions are being committed supposedly in our name. It is a true desecration of G-d’s name when the Jewish religion is unfortunately being misused to justify all these crimes.

And ironically, by associating all Jews with Zionism, the Zionist movement is causing or exacerbating much anti-Semitism, since people see all Jews as responsible for their criminal actions.

In addition, it is not only that they use the Jewish religion; they also use the Holocaust for their propaganda. The untold suffering that Jews went through, including my own grandparents, has become a tool for them to justify their state and silent critics. True religious Jews learn the opposite lesson from the Holocaust. Because we suffered, we don’t want to see any other people suffer.

We are Jewish communities worldwide in a vehement opposition to the state of Israel, to its mere existence and all its criminal action towards the Palestinian people.

We are promoting a totally free Palestine. We are demanding that all rights be restored to the indigenous Palestinian population. We are very clear that all of the occupation is criminal and is anti-Jewish.

We encourage all people to be very clear, when you speak against Zionism, when you speak about this conflict, do not refer to this as the Jewish State, as the Jewish people,, because this is not a Jewish State and the people committing those crimes are not representing the Jewish people. We are talking about the Zionist State. We are talking about the Zionist people, who are misled, many of them might even be innocent, but certainly it doesn’t represent all Jews.

When we differentiate between Judaism and Zionism, most of the Zionist propaganda falls away.

In conclusion, let’s pray that this suffering of people, already going on for so long, should stop. Let’s hope that this ends peacefully. A free Palestine where all peoples can once again live together, in that holy land and serve the Almighty, as the case was before the invention of Zionism.

Ultimately lets pray for the day when the glory of the Almighty be revealed throughout the entire universe, when all peoples together will serve Him in peace and harmony.

Thank you