Speech by Rabbi Feldman for Quds Day virtual event

Rabbi Dovid Feldman

Spokesman for Neturei Karta NY

Speech by Rabbi Feldman for the Quds Day virtual event hosted by the Bay Area Quds Day Committee

Assaloom alekoom
First, I would like to thank the organizers of today’s event, for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to share the traditional Jewish solidarity with today’s event.

We have come together virtually today, in observance of the International Quds Day, to remember the oppressed people of Palestine. We should never forget the defenseless victims, who have been killed, tortured, expelled, displaced, arrested and oppressed in so many ways, for the past 73 years. So many villages have been destroyed to make room for the State of Israel and so many homes are still being demolished for the continuous settlement expansion.

Regularly, the Israeli government approves the construction of more homes in the settlements, built on the land of former Palestinian villages, while the Palestinians are confined to cramped quarters, not allowed to build or expand, and not allowed to travel as they please.

The issue of Palestine is a cause that should interest every right-minded person. The suffering of countless men, women and children should spur us all to speak up.
We as Jews sympathize with the suffering people of Palestine not just because we are human, but specifically because we are Jews.

It is the Jewish religion, the Holy Torah, which condemns the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the ongoing atrocities committed against them.

The Torah teaches that Jews were sent into exile by Devine decree and are forbidden to establish their own sovereign country. The Torah teaches not to kill, steal or oppress any human being. The Zionists stole the land of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and drove the owners out of their country, using selective killings and scare tactics.

We cannot stand by while our religion is being violated. When the Zionists misuse Judaism to justify crimes, this is a true desecration of G-d’s name. As Jews we cannot stand by silently.
Jewish communities and their leaders, in the Holy Land and worldwide, even before 1948 to the present day, have been opposed to the existence of the State of Israel, to the occupation of Palestine and to all Zionist criminal atrocities.

We sympathize with Palestine not just as supporters, but as actual victims. We Jews are victims of the Zionist movement as well.

The anti-Zionist religious Jewish community in the Holy Land is constantly harassed and oppressed by the Zionist regime. This has been going on since the founding of the state of Israel. Just in the recent weeks, a number of night raids took place in the Jerusalem anti-Zionist neighborhood of Meah Shearim, in which the police broke into the homes of several Jews, whom they suspected of speaking out against the government.

They hate us now, and they’ve hated us since their beginning. Their founders wanted to put an end to Judaism. Their goal was to transform Judaism from a religion into nationalism. They brought Jewish immigrants in, from communities around the world and put them in brain-washing camps to convince them to abandon Judaism.  David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, said: the dream of Zionism would be complete when prostitutes and thieves all conducted their affairs in the Hebrew language. He made a deal with the Orthodox, to allow a few Torah students to be exempt from the army, saying to himself that in one or two generations all of these religious Jews would be gone in any case. Golda Meir, another Former Prime Minister of Israel, said, “When we finish fighting the Arabs, we will turn to fight the Orthodox Jews.” This is what they strive for. But thanks to the commitment and courage of our communities, with the help of the Almighty they were not successful. We are still here, and in greater numbers than ever. We promote and educate the traditional Jewish opposition to Zionism. This is why they hate us and continue to work for our destruction.

We share the pain of the Palestinian people. We suffer together with them. We are victims as they are. As a former leader of Neturei Karta in Jeruralem, Rabbi Amram Blau said in 1973: “We are brothers in suffering with the Palestinian people”.

The traditional Jewish opposition to Zionism, as well as the Zionist oppression of its anti-Zionist communities, are almost unknown to the world and blacked out from the media – just as the Palestinian story is ignored.

Not only the mainstream media ignores us, but even social media companies are starting to censor us. Our page on Facebook was blocked last week due to Zionist propaganda that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. The Zionists want to tell the world that Zionism is a Jewish concept and therefore to be anti-Zionist is to be anti-Jewish. But nothing could be further from the truth. Zionism is actually diametrically opposed to Judaism and Jews. And on the contrary, by conflating Judaism and Zionism, the Zionists are causing anti-Semitism, because people incorrectly associate the Zionist crimes with all Jews.

At this opportunity I would like to express our outrage at the handful of settlers, who recently marched in the streets of the Holy Land to attack the Arab neighhors. These people misrepresent Judaism in the worst way. The anti-Zionist rabbinate of Jerusalem, the Eida Hacharedis, representing over 100,000 Jews in the Holy Land, last week issued a statement condemning them. And I quote:

“We protest and condemn those extremist Zionists from the Lehava organization who marched against the Palestinian community here in Jerusalem, with murderous cries of “Death to Arabs”. We are doubly pained by the desecration of G-d’s name- when these activities are done by, or connected with, religious Jews.”

But we need to clarify that we are not just opposing the fringe radical settler movement, but also the moderate Zionists. We are not promoting a two state solution, but rather a totally free Palestine, where all rights should be restored to the indigenous Palestinian people.

We prefer a non-Jewish Palestinian rule over the Holy Land to the current Zionist rule. We expect Jewish life in Palestine to be much better under G-d fearing Arabs, who would have respect for the Jewish community and their values and allow them to practice Judaism in peace. We remember the days before Zionism, when Jews and Arabs lived alongside each other in peace.

In conclusion, let’s pray for the peaceful dismantlement of the state of Israel. The end of this rebellion against the Almighty. The end of the unjust occupation and oppression of an entire people. Once this obstacle to peace is removed, we can hope that the peace that once existed in the region will once again become reality. And ultimately let us pray for the fulfillment of the ancient Jewish prayer: “May all nations form one bond to serve You wholeheartedly”. May we merit to see this- soon in our days. Amen.