Judaism and its opposition to Zionism
What is Judaism and who are the Jews?
Judaism is a system of belief and practices derived from the Torah, and the Jews are the people who hold those beliefs and follow those practices. Judaism sees all of history as the Almighty’s plan. The history of the Jewish people has a specific format outlined in the words of the Torah which includes the Old Testament, the words of the prophets, the Talmud etc. There was a time when Jews had a land, a monarchy and a Temple in Jerusalem. When the Temple was destroyed and Jerusalem was conquered by the Romans almost two thousand years ago, the Jewish exile began. Jews are still waiting for that exile to end with the messianic era, when all of mankind will unite in the service of the Almighty.
According to Jewish belief, the Jews did not lose the Temple and Jerusalem because of their own military weakness. Rather, it was the Almighty’s will that the Jewish people be exiled and spread around the world as an atonement for their sins, and in order to spread the Almighty’s message to all the nations of the world. Therefore, it is clear that Jewish military force cannot end the exile; the exile will end only when the Almighty sees fit to end it and send His redeemer. It is for this Divine redemption that the Jewish people have always waited – not for any sort of conquest of the Holy Land, or opportunity to return to it.
The Jewish view of exile and redemption is legally expressed in the famous Talmudic passage of the Three Oaths, under which the Jews are bound during their exilic existence. The Almighty put the Jews under oath: 1. not to return en-mass to the Holy Land, 2. not to rebel against the nations of the world, 3.not to attempt to end the exile with their own actions.
During exile, Jews were commanded by the prophet Jeremiah (29:7), "Seek the peace of the city where I have exiled you, and pray to the Almighty on its behalf, for with its peace you will have peace." Jews were to be loyal to their governments and not entertain any thoughts of rebellion.
A large part of the Jewish people spent centuries of
their exile living under Muslim governments of North Africa and the Middle East, including Palestine. The relations between the Jews and Muslims in these countries were historically very good. The Jews were loyal citizens, and their religion, culture and scholarly tradition flourished.
What is Zion and what is Zionism?
Zion is a name used in the Torah for Jerusalem. Zionism is the name adopted by a movement of non- religious Jews founded in the 1890s, whose goal was to transform the meaning of a Jew and to revolutionize the course of Jewish history. Their goal was to transform the meaning of Judaism from spirituality, religion and holiness, into base materialism, nationalism and altogether removing the Almighty from the equation. They proposed a political and military solution to what they saw as the “problem of exile.” They advocated mass Jewish immigration to Palestine, without regard to the rights of Palestine’s non-Jewish population. They armed themselves and learned military tactics in preparation for a war of conquest. And they claimed that adherence to their movement alone was the criterion for being a Jew – it did not matter whether a person believed in the Almighty and His Torah.
In 1948, the Zionists achieved their goal and founded a state in Palestine. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled or frightened away from their homes and not allowed to return. Using their absorption system for new immigrants and their educational system for children, the Zionists brainwashed millions of Jews into believing in their new order. Even in the religious community Zionism made inroads, convincing some Jews that the Jewish exile could be ended by military force. Other methods utilized by the Zionists, where fear mongering and creating panic, that the Arabs hate Jews like the Nazis and “will drive all the Jews into the sea”, basically a second holocaust. Thank the Almighty, a significant segment of Jews haven’t fallen prey to Zionism and they continue to keep the laws of the Torah and stand in total opposition to Zionism and the State of “Israel”.
To this day, the Zionists continue to occupy Palestine. Their belligerent policies have put a strain on Jewish- gentile relations throughout the world. Zionism is today the biggest catalyst of exacerbating anti Semitism universally.
What was the religious Jewish reaction to Zionism?
From the very beginning, almost all Orthodox Jewish Rabbis and their followers condemned the Zionist movement sharply. This was understandable, as the movement came to uproot and overturn everything that Judaism stood for. The Zionists tried to present themselves as a harmless movement to bring Jews to a better life in the Holy Land, but the Rabbis correctly saw Zionism as a false messianic movement, an anti-Torah movement, and a movement that would jeopardize Jewish-gentile relations.
An Orthodox Jewish community had existed in Palestine for centuries, and the Rabbis of that community were especially vehement in their denunciation of Zionism. Those Jews valued the relationship they had built with the Palestinian Arabs, and foresaw that Zionism would bring that friendship to an end. They were also horrified at the desecration of the Holy Land that took place as the irreligious Zionists began to arrive in droves.
The Rabbis of various countries met and discussed what needed to be done. In Russia, Poland and Germany, an organization called Agudath Israel was founded to stop the spread of Zionism. In Austria and Hungary, the Orthodox Rabbis all forbade their followers to join the Zionist movement. In Palestine, the Eidah Chareidis of Jerusalem was founded as an alternative to the Zionist National Council, and an independent rabbinate was founded to oppose the Zionist rabbinate.
However, in the wake of the destruction of European Jewry in the Second World War, the Zionists saw their opportunity to pull religious Jews into their movement. The majority of Orthodox rabbis and communities had been wiped out, and the survivors were left without guidance, feeling defenseless and vulnerable. The Zionists’ promises to found a state and “defend the Jewish people” began to appeal to some of them.
Furthermore, the Zionists used brutal means to silence their opposition within the Jewish people. In 1924 they assassinated Dr. Yaakov Yisroel DeHaan, speaker and diplomat of the Eidah Chareidis of Jerusalem. They used force to quell peaceful Jewish demonstrations, and during one demonstration they murdered amongst others Rabbi Pinchas Segelov. In 1948, they opened fire on Rabbis of the Old City of Jerusalem who came out to make peace with the Jordanian troops. Rabbi Amram Blau (1900- 1974), a prominent anti-Zionist leader in Jerusalem, was shot at and imprisoned many times in the course of his struggles.
Yet there remained many religious Jewish communities, organizations and academies of Torah study around the world in which the original Jewish faith continued to be taught and Zionism denounced. Anti-Zionist Jewry has held countless demonstrations in the United States, Palestine and other countries, protesting against the Zionist regime and its decrees. Their brave leaders ignore the Zionists’ threats and do not allow their voice to be silenced up until the present day.
Even broader in base are the large communities of Jews, both in the Zionist State and elsewhere, who do not celebrate the Zionist Independence Day, do not wave the Zionist flag and do not serve in the Zionist army.
What is Neturei Karta?
Jewish religious opposition to Zionism began immediately at the birth of Zionism. Many of the Jews who where most vociferous against Zionism were referred to, since 1938, as Neturei Karta. – At that time Neturei Karta was a wing of the Eidah Chareidis, the independent anti- Zionist community of Jerusalem. The name is Aramaic for “the Guardians of the City.” Their goal was to oppose the founding of a Zionist state and to return to peaceful coexistence with the Palestinians in Palestine.
Since 1948, the goals of Neturei Karta have been threefold: 1) To protest in various ways against the existence of a Jewish state in any form; 2) to protest against Zionist cruelty toward the Palestinians and all the countless other crimes committed against the Palestinian people; 3) to protest against the multitude of Zionist anti- Jewish and anti-religious decrees.
Over the years, Neturei Karta has publicized its message through regular newspaper ads, appearances on television, radio, internet, public appearances and demonstrations, etc. More recently they have established a website. For the Jewish world, they have published numerous books and pamphlets in English, Hebrew and Yiddish, as well as held lectures in major Jewish communities.
Neturei Karta organizes its own demonstrations, and it also attends larger pro-Palestinian demonstrations organized by others. Their high-profile participation alongside pro-Palestinian activists has been covered extensively both in the Western and Middle Eastern media.
Neturei Karta speakers are available to speak at universities and conferences around the world, as well as for radio and television interviews. For more details contact.
[link to www.nkusa.org