A massive protest was held by thousands of anti-Zionist Jews in front of the White House on March 5th, 2012 to protest the visit of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington, DC.
Since protests like these go largely unreported by all of the major corporate media, people unfamiliar with the politics of this issue will likely be surprised to discover there is a very large constituency of Jews who reject the policies of the state of Israel as well as the concept of a Jewish state entirely.
"Zionism is not Judaism," they wish for all the world to know. Judaism has been hijacked by the political philosophy of zionsim, a philosophy which violates the tenants of the Torah, and which drives the human rights abuses and atrocities committed against the people of Palestine. But because Israel is branded as a Jewish state, this has fueled anger against the Jewish people, as if Israel's policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing of Palestine represents the will and moral compass of all Jews. But true Jewish philosophy, as the people in this protest state, is diametrically opposed to zionism and Israel's policies. Judaism calls for peace.
In part 2, Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss of Neturei Karta International, Jews United Against Zionism, speaks to the press during the demonstration in front of the White House.
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Neturei Karta Q&A:
What is the basis of your position?
Jewry always viewed their exile as a Divine punishment for sins. Thus, exile is the result of metaphysical forces. It cannot be rectified by force, political efforts or any other this worldly means. Jews yearn for the Biblically promised redemption of the entire world to be ushered in by the Heavenly appointed Messiah. This yearning manifested itself over the centuries only in prayer, good deeds and a spirit of penitence. This is the only Divinely sanctioned methodology to end the punishment of exile. Zionism, at root, rejected this sacred view of history. Its vision was and is limited to material cause and effect. Hence, to the Zionist mind -- which has come, tragically, to dominate much of contemporary public discussion -- exile was simply the result of Jewish political weakness. Their solution was to establish political sovereignty over the Holy Land. In order to do so they agitated politically and eventually launched a military conquest in order to capture the Land. Blind to both Torah imperatives and elementary justice they disregarded that a people was already inhabiting the land. Thus, their efforts required the dispossession those who had lived there for centuries, the Palestinian people.
What was the Orthodox reaction to Zionism?
It was overwhelmingly negative. A battle has raged between the forces of Zionism and Torah Jewry for the past century. After the founding of the state some Orthodox Jews have tried to make the best of a bad situation by working within the state to protect religious interests. Hundreds of thousands of Jews worldwide oppose this position. We stand among them. By participating in the state one implicitly recognizes its legitimacy and thus denies the reality of Divine exile and Messianic redemption.
What is your position on the Palestinian people?
Our exilic mission is to live humbly and at peace with all nations. The Zionists have violated the terms of exile by behaving in a consistently barbaric manner towards the Palestinians. We believe that contemporary sovereignty over the Holy Land belongs to those who have lived there for centuries, the Palestinians. If they would be disposed to allow some Jewish communities to live peacefully in their midst is entirely their decision, not ours. After the coming of the Messiah questions of political "rights" will be rendered irrelevant. All men will join together in the joyous worship of their Creator.
What is your position on the State of Israel?
We are, obviously, opposed to its very existence. In practice, we shun any participation in the state and refuse to accept its benefits, financial or other, in any form. In practice we frequently protest against the state's actions and, more importantly, its very existence. We have often joined Palestinians in protests and demonstrations. Our speakers are available to address any organizations on the subject of Zionism. We have often spoken to and visited Arab groups in America and in the Holy Land.
What are your concerns besides anti-Zionism?
In reality all our concerns are one. As Jews throughout the centuries our sole concern is obedience to the Will of G-d as revealed in the Torah. We are, as are all Jews, concerned with any matter which touches on this mission. For example, we are very much involved in efforts to oppose the arrogant demands (often accompanied by threats) by Zionists and others that European nations surrender to them millions of dollars for "reparations" and assorted other payments. This is neither in keeping with the humility demanded of us by exile nor does it square in many cases with the actual facts. Anti-Zionism is simply another part of a G-d centered, sacred world view.
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