Jews, Palestinians Stand Together Against Israel
By Maria Hussain
As the Neturei Karta gathered in Highland Park, NJ to meet the
Palestinians who were there to support them, a little girl
asked, "Who are those rabbis, Mommy?" "They are not from our school.
I don't know what they are doing here." The Highland Park Jewish
community was soon to find out. The occasion was "Walk For Israel," a
fundraiser in Johnson Park commemorating Israeli Independence Day.
Twenty-seven Hassidic Jews, including three rabbis had arrived to
declare as heresy the existence of the State of Israel and recommend
its peaceful dismantlement in the service of God.
Supported by members of the local community, including Palestinians,
their message was simple. "Zionism is forbidden by the Holy Torah!"
they admonished the Israeli flag-waving Zionists. Perhaps it was the
first time many in the Highland Park community had ever heard that
there was an Orthodox Jewish Anti-Zionist viewpoint, which is totally
silenced by the media and public education system. That is why the
Talmudic scholars and rabbis took the time and effort to come
directly to their Jewish brethren to present their case. According to
Rabbi Dovid Feldman, "Judaism and Zionism are not the same thing. In
fact, authentic Judaism has always been opposed to the idea of a
"All rabbis were universally opposed to the Zionist state. In 1947,
Rabbi J. Z. Dushinsky, the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem wrote to the UN
on behalf of 60,000 members of the Orthodox Jewish Ashkenazic
Community of Jerusalem that they refused to automatically accept
Israeli citizenship upon inception of the Zionist State."
Furthermore, he explained, "The State of Israel is only using the
Torah to legitimize a system which is not based on the Torah. The
Israeli Supreme Court is not a rabbinical court, it is just for show."
The Neturei Karta support Palestinian sovereignity over all of the
Holy Land. As one Jewish demonstrator explained to a local supporter,
it does not matter if the ruler of Palestine is Yasser Arafat or
Saddam Hussein. The Jewish community should ask permission to live in
Palestine from the Palestinian government. If they are denied
permission, they must leave peacefully. The Palestinian people have a
right to their homeland and to financial restitution. The Neturei
Karta believe that blame for the bloodshed in the Holy Land lies
squarely on the Zionist movement's moral blindness and obstinate
refusal to take into account the existence of peoples other than
The "Walk For Israel" had several hundred participants, less than the
expected turn-out, for whom the County Park had been closed to cars.
This privacy created an atmosphere where, despite the police
barricade between the two camps, the message was able to get across
clearly and perhaps painfully. Although the demonstration was small,
it was a success, as it achieved the intended purpose, which was to
make sure that such a shameless display of ethnic nationalism would
not go unconfronted. It is hoped that this demonstration might
encourage some misguided Zionists to turn back to Judaism.