Statement by the Central Rabbinical Congress of the USA and Canada, in reaction to the recent tweet by Brooklyn Councilman Kalman Yeger that “Palestine does not exist”

Statement in reaction to the recent tweet by Brooklyn Councilman Kalman Yeger that “Palestine does not exist”

One of the severe oaths that G-d placed upon the Jewish people was not to fight against the nations of the world, as stated in the Talmud (Kesubos 111a). From that time until today, we have kept our oath, and throughout our years of exile we have followed in our forefathers’ footsteps, seeking only peace with the nations and speaking in a friendly manner with them. With humility we have bowed our heads and borne the yoke of exile in all the countries where we are scattered.

Prominent individuals who represent our community, of course, need to be especially careful not to say anything inflammatory or provocative, for if they do, their words are publicized immediately and become known across the globe, and the name of G-d is desecrated. They therefore have a double responsibility to be cautious and relate peacefully to our neighbors from other races and creeds, not to start quarrels with them or battles of words.

With the above in mind, we were shocked to hear that a councilman from the Jewish community violated the above guidelines and aroused anger among the non-Jews, with a public statement
antagonizing the Arabs. This is a departure from the path of the Torah, which has come down to us by tradition from previous generations. Such provocations have also the potential to lead to violence. We, as religious Jews, hereby condemn his statement, and we distance ourselves completely from his hateful words.

Furthermore, we warn all who serve and represent our community in public: Please be careful with your words, and do not jeopardize our good relationship with our neighbors.

Signed April 2, 2019.

Central Rabbinical Congress of the United States and Canada

The Central Rabbinical Congress, established in 1955, is a worldwide organization representing over 150 anti-Zionist Orthodox Jewish congregations.

Print PDF