Speech by Rabbi Yisroel Feldman for Quds Day Rally

Rabbi Yisroel P. Feldman

Senior Rabbi, Neturei Karta International

Thank you

Asaloom Alecoom

I want to thank the Al-Quds Day Committee in New York city for inviting me to this important online conference, and all the participants for listening.

Unfortunately, this year we are still facing the corona virus pandemic, and can’t go out into the street to meet you all personally, as in past years. But I want to thank the Almighty for giving us the opportunity to do this virtual meeting.

We can’t allow the cruel occupation of Palestine to continue. Despite the current limitations, we need to continue to spread awareness of this issue.

We are here to express solidarity with the Palestinian people, after 73 years since the Palestinian Nakba, the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. The Palestinian people were killed, tortured and displaced, forced to live in refugee camps outside their homeland. Those remaining in Palestine are fenced into crowded areas, as their land is annexed and confiscated bit by bit every year. They are stateless people, deprived of the right to vote in their own country. The occupation continues and unfortunately it is constantly getting worse.

Especially we Jews feel that it is important to show our solidarity with Palestine and opposition to the existence of the State of Israel and to all Zionist crimes, because they are unfortunately being done, supposedly, in our name and in the name of our religion.

The Zionist movement is misusing the name of Jews and the religion of Judaism, as a cover to justify their crimes and win support. They use the accusation of anti-Semitism to silence those who speak up against them. They claim that their state is a Jewish state, and based on this, they pressure countries to expand the definition of anti-Semitism to include criticism of their state. But actually there is nothing Jewish about their state, and speaking out against its crimes is fair.

The Zionist ideology, to build a homeland for Jews, is against the Jewish religion, which teaches that Jews are in a Divinely decreed exile and may not end it with human power, and Jews may not fight against other nations.

In addition, all the crimes they commit against the Palestinian people are forbidden by the Torah, which commands us, “Thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not kill.”

The entire Zionist movement is in contradiction to the Jewish religion. Its leaders don’t keep the Torah’s commandments, they just use the Torah when it is convenient for them to claim rights to the land and to rationalize their crimes against G-d and against humanity. (They say they have a right to the land because the Torah says that the Almighty promised the Holy Land for the Jewish people. But they pick and choose what to quote from the Bible. The Torah also says that G-d sent the Jewish people into exile and forbade them to return en mass on their own.)

Not only do they not keep the Torah personally, but they have always worked to uproot and destroy the observance of Judaism and Jewish faith. They invade Jewish schools and order them not to teach children the Jewish faith. They grab away boys and girls from our community, harass them and force them into the army.

They seek to transform Judaism from a religion into a nationalism, where to be a Jew, one need not believe in G-d, one need not believe in the Torah, one need not keep Jewish law. All one needs to be is a patriotic citizen of the political State of Israel and fight in its army. They want to take the People of the Book and turn them into the people of the sword.

With their propaganda, they claim that their state is necessary for the peace and security of Jews. They want the world to forget that actually, Jews and Palestinians once lived together in peace, and in fact throughout the Arab and Muslim world, Jews once lived side-by-side with their neighbors in peace and mutual respect. The older among us still remember those days.

Actually, their state brought not security but bloodshed. Thousands of Jews, Palestinians and other Arabs lost their lives due to the conflicts they started.

Their nationalism is not just a perversion of Judaism. It was built at the expense of the indigenous Palestinian population, at the expense of the Jews who lived in Palestine before they came, and at the expense of Jews around the world.

[I have a problem, that i’m afraid that we are talking too much of the jewish problem of zionism. we need to remember that this s a pro-palestinian event and we need to facus mainly of the occupation and autrocities towards the palestininans – okay but I like the previous sentence because we are Jews so it makes sense for us to also mention what the Zionists did to Jews. I’m adding in the next paragraph more about the Palestinians]

It’s embarrassing to us to watch them oppress the Palestinian people in our name. They are desecrating the name of G-d and the name of our holy Torah. It is painful to see them dirtying the Holy Land with their intolerable behavior

Authentic Jews and their leaders, since the creation of the State of Israel until the present, have been completely opposed to it, and have come out in public against them all over the world.

The Zionists don’t represent the Jewish people and certainly cannot speak in the name of the holy Torah. The very name “Israel” was stolen by them. Authentic Jews around the world demand that the entire land and all rights be restored to the Palestinian people. As Jews we say that our people would be more safe and our religion more respected under Arabs who believe in G-d and fear Him, than under these heretics, Jews only by birth, who make war against Judaism and humanity.

We pray for the speedy and peaceful dismantlement of the State of Israel, and forthe time when PalestiniansandJews will once again live side by side in peace and harmony.

Ultimately we pray for the time when we will see the fulfillment of our prayers, “May all people join together in one group to do the will of the Almighty wholeheartedly,” with the revelation of the glory of the Almighty throughout the universe, soon in our days.

Amen.