To Those Who May Wonder Why We Are Here Today

Questions and Answers Concerning Today’s Protest Outside the Israeli Consulate

Q: – What is the purpose of today’s protest?

A: – We have two goals. One is local, the other global. First, we are demanding the release of Rabbi Daniel Biton, a prisoner of conscience, currently incarcerated by the Israeli government. Second, we are here to declare that the Israeli government itself and the Zionist ideology which it incarnates are in no way legitimate representatives of the Jewish people or of the Torah faith which is the sole basis of our very existence.

Q: – First things first, why was the Rabbi imprisoned?

A: – At a trial, where his only offense had been to engage in peaceful religious protest, he declared his opposition to the very existence of the Israeli state. For this “politically incorrect” dissent he was jailed.

Q: – Why do you describe this as a local problem?

A: – It is a problem of an individual’s unjust suffering. Of course, this is a matter of grave importance. It deserves the immediate attention of those in the international community concerned with basic human rights’ violations. However, despite the magnitude of the Rabbi’s plight, he would be the first to admit that it is dwarfed by the far greater and pressing problem of the Zionist enterprise in its essence.

Q: – Why is this a pressing problem?

A: – Today, Zionism stands revealed before the Jewish people and, indeed, all mankind as a failed enterprise. Zionism’s founders (all Jews who had rejected their ancestral faith) claimed that it was going to solve the problem of Jewish exile and suffering. It would offer a safe haven for all of world Jewry. Over half a century later, it has proven itself incapable of the far less grandiose task of so much as protecting the Jews already living in the Holy Land.

Q – But the state has survived, hasn’t it?

A:—It is farcical to call a government that has subjected its citizens to five wars and endless suffering a desirable “survival.” How much blood must be shed till Jewry shakes off the shackles of world Zionism’s domination and begins to rethink this ideology’s root assumptions?

Q: – What assumptions are you referring to?

A: – The core of Zionist thinking is the dogma, at the most a century old, that Jewish exile is man – made, that it is the result of the superior strength of the Roman army which destroyed the Temple and that it can be ended by military and political action. This reductionist misreading of Jewish history represented a break with two thousand years of Torah belief and tradition. Jews have always viewed their exile as a Divine punishment. They saw the sole means to their deliverance as repentance and good deeds. By casting the drama of Jewish history in materialist, this – worldly terms, Zionism was attacking the essence of the spiritual odyssey of the Torah nation. It was doomed to failure.

Q: –Why doomed?

A – Because the Talmud and Midrash have foretold that physical attempts to end Jewish exile will result in ceaseless and horrible bloodshed. And, because it is simply metaphysically impossible for a rejection of Judaism, led by those who deny Torah, to lead and represent the Jewish people with any success.

Q: – Why, then, is Zionism so popular?

A: – After the terrible destruction of the Second World War European Jewry had lost many of its great leaders. In addition, there was a sense of confusion that permeated many survivors. The non – Jewish world was anxious to make amends for its passivity during the Holocaust. Hence, the Zionist triumph in 1948. However, a dispassionate reading of Jewish history will yield the conclusion that, since its inception, Zionism was opposed by the overwhelming majority of Torah observant and believing Jews.

Q: – Was this opposition caused solely by Zionist philosophy?

A: – No. In fact, it was the deeds of Zionists, both before they came to power and after they became a state, that revealed the true essence of this movement. The Israeli state
has long warred on the practice of Judaism. It has violated the sanctity of Jewish graves for archeological studies, desecrated dead bodies by performing wholesale autopsies, maintained the moral decadence of mixed sex armies . . .The list is endless.

Q: – Surely, now though, the state is a fact. It could only disappear with great loss of Jewish life.

A: – Surely it only survives with great loss of Jewish life! We know what the state’s existence has cost in blood and suffering. The price of its dismantling is an unknown. However, we trust that would the Jewish people sincerely shun the philosophy of Zionism, then a peaceful means would be found to dismantle its apparatus.

Q: – What is the global goal of today’s protest?

A: – Beyond the short term goal of freeing Rabbi Biton, we are committed to letting the world know that non – believers, even though they may call themselves “Israel,” exhibit the star of David and display menorahs, have no right to speak in the name of world Jewry. As Rav Saadya Gaon (882 – 942), post Talmudic, Babylonian leader of the Jewish people, said, “We are only a nation by virtue of the Torah.” Any formulations of Judaism that reject Revelation at Sinai, are distortions of the faith that was handed down over four thousand years ago. Those not professing the truths of Sinai, while Jews (and probably themselves the victims of the age of heresy in which we live), are not and cannot be truthful representatives of Judaism.

Q: – Do you have any hope that your message will be heard?

A: – Today, more than ever before, the total failure of the Zionist mania is obvious. Peace plans have failed. The “greatest” of right wingers, Ariel Sharon, has shown himself utterly incapable of solving anything. Daily the death toll mounts. All alternatives within the Zionist assumptions have been tried. People are willing to step beyond the old clichés and entertain new – really old and traditional – solutions. The cost of failing to rethink Zionism mounts everyday.

Q: – If not Israel, what will be the focus of American and world Jewry?

A: – The focus of Jews throughout the centuries was the service of the Almighty via Torah and mitzvoth (good deeds). This was and is the only agenda of the Jewish people. By pursuing the imperative of righteousness, with quiet dignity, with the Creator’s help, we may be worthy of inspiring and uplifting all men towards universal peace and G-d’s service.

Q:– Is Zionism in contradiction with this task?

A: – Yes. It drags the Jewish people into endless conflicts with other peoples. It forces us into an aggressive involvement in war, political maneuvering and pressure. These are not Jewish methods. In exile we are to accept our status and serve the Creator, while cultivating good will, honesty and friendly relations towards all. The haughty swagger and militarism of the Israeli state are not in keeping with the appropriate response to exile, nor with the basic pieties of a G-d focused, sincere and loving people.

Q:– So your program is . . .

A: – To pray for the peaceful dismantling of the Israeli state, to encourage Jews the world over to sever their links to it, to proclaim before mankind that Judaism cannot be represented by heretics and to seek good relations with all individuals and nations.

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