THE GREAT GULF BETWEEN ZIONISM AND JUDAISM
Paper delivered by G. J. Neuberger a member of Neturei Karta at the Tripoli Conference on Zionism and Racism
Where the Torah tells about the creation of the first human being, the most prominent Jewish commentator, Rashi, explains that the earth from which Adam was formed was not taken from one spot but from various parts of the globe. Thus human dignity does not depend on the place of one's birth nor is it limited to one region. The greatness or worth of a person is not measured by his or her outward appearance. Jews believe that Adam was created in G-d's image and that he is the common ancestor of all mankind. At this stage in human history, there is no room for privileged people who can do with others as they please. Human life is sacred and human rights are not to be denied by those who would subvert them for "national security" or for any other reason. No one knows this better than the Jews, who have been second-class citizens so often and for so long. Zionists, however, may differ. This is understandable because Judaism and Zionism are by no means the same. Indeed they are incompatible and irreconcilable: If one is a good Jew, one cannot be a Zionist; if one is a Zionist, one cannot be a good Jew.
The Treason of Zionism
A conference such as this is long overdue, and I wish to thank those who made it possible to hold it. For over 60 years I have fought Zionism, as did my father before me, and I am therefore quite familiar with it. For those who have been in this fight for only the last ten or twenty years, what I have to say may be surprising or even shocking. Nevertheless these matters must be stated clearly and openly, because unless the disease of Zionism is diagnosed accurately, it cannot be cured. Too long have those opposed to Zionism engaged in daydreaming and wishful thinking. In order to recognize Zionism for what it is, one has to know about Judaism, about Zionism -- the opposite and negation of Judaism, and about Jewish history. In the time allotted to me, I am not going to talk about the actions of the Zionists; they will be adequately dealt with by other speakers. As a Jew, I plan to discuss Zionism, which is rebellion against G-d and treason to the Jewish people.
To begin with, a few definitions: Who is a Jew? A Jew is anyone who has a Jewish mother or who converted to Judaism in conformity with Halacha, Jewish religious law. This definition alone excludes racism. Judaism does not seek converts, but those who do convert are accepted on a basis of equality. Let us see how far this goes. Some of the most eminent and respected rabbis were converts to Judaism. Jewish parents throughout the world bless their children every Sabbath and holiday eve, and they have done it in the same way for millennia. If the children are girls, the blessing is, "May G-d let you be like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah." Not one of these matriarchs was born a Jewess; they were all converts to Judaism. If the children are boys, the blessing is, "May G-d let you be like Ephraim and Manasseh." The mother of these two was an Egyptian woman who became Jewish and had married Joseph. Moses himself, the greatest Jew who ever lived, married a Midianite woman who became Jewish. Finally, the Tanach, the holy writings of the Jew, contains the book of Ruth. This woman was not only not Jewish by birth, but she came from the Moabites, traditional enemies of the Jewish people. This book describes Ruth's conversion to Judaism and is read annually on the holiday commemorating the giving of the Torah, the "Law," i.e. the Pentateuch. At its very end, the book of Ruth traces the ancestry of King David, the greatest king the Jews ever had, to Ruth, his great-grandmother.
Apart from the Zionists, the only ones who consistently considered the Jews a race were the Nazis. And they only served to prove the stupidity and irrationality of racism. There was no way to prove racially whether a Mrs. Muller or a Mr. Meyer were Jews or Aryans. The only way to decide whether a person was Jewish was to trace the religious affiliation of the parents or grandparents. So much for the this racial nonsense.
Racial pride has been the downfall of those Jews in the past who were blinded by their own narrow-minded chauvinism. This brings us to a second definition. Is there a Jewish people? If so, what is its mission? Let us make this completely clear: The Jewish nation was not born or reconstituted a generation ago by some Zionist politicians. The Jewish nation was born on Mount Sinai when the Jews by their response, "let us do and let us hear," adopted the Torah given to them by G-d for all future generations. `This day you become a people," though valid still today, was spoken thousands of years ago.
According to Jewish tradition, there are seven Noahide laws which apply to all human beings. Then there are the Ten Commandments which form basic standard of morality and conduct for adherents of all monotheistic religions. In addition to these, there are 613 laws obligatory for Jews, and every Jew has to observe those which are applicable to him or her according to Halacha. It is the carrying out of these mitzvoth, "commandments," which constitutes the essence of being Jewish, and therefore of the Jewish people and their covenant with G-d.
In what way are the Jews a "chosen people"? Every Jewish man anywhere and at any time when called to the reading of the Torah says, "Who has chosen us from all the peoples and gave us His Torah." This is the way in which the Jews are chosen. The Jewish people are chosen not for domination over others, not for conquest or warfare, but to serve G-d and thus to serve mankind. "And the hands are the hands of Esau," has been traditionally interpreted to mean that while "the voice is Jacob's," the hands- - symbolizing violence - are Esau's. Thus physical violence is not a tradition or a value of the Jews. The task for which the Jewish people were chosen is not to set an example of military superiority or technical achievements, but to seek perfection in moral behavior and spiritual purity. Of all the crimes of political Zionism, the worst and most basic, and which explains all its other misdeeds, is that from its beginning Zionism has sought to separate the Jewish people from their G-d, to render the divine covenant null and void, and to substitute a "modern" statehood and fraudulent sovereignty for the lofty ideals of the Jewish people.
Hypocrisy and Perversion
One means of misleading many Jews and all too many non-Jews is the Zionist misuse of names and symbols sacred in Judaism. They use the holy name Israel for their Zionist state. They have named their land acquisition fund with a term that traditionally implies the reward for piety, good deeds, and charitable work. They have adopted as a state symbol the menorah (candlebrum). What hypocrisy, what perversion it is to have the Israeli army fight under an emblem, the meaning of which is explained in the Tenach (on the occasion of a previous return to the Holy Land) as, "not with armed force and not with power, but in My spirit says the Lord of Hosts."
The infamous founder of political Zionism, may his name be cursed, who only discovered his own Jewishness because of anti-Semitism displayed at the Dreyfus trial in France, proposed various solutions to what he called the "Jewish problem." At one point he proposed to resettle the Jews in Uganda. At another he proposed to convert them to Catholicism. He finally hit on the idea of a Judenstaat, an exclusive Jewish state. Thus from its very beginning Zionism was a result of Anti-Semitism and indeed is completely compatible with it, because Zionists and anti-Semites had (and have) a common goal: To bring all Jews from their places of domicile to the Zionist state, thus uprooting Jewish communities that had existed for hundreds and even thousands of years. Loyalty to the Zionist state was substituted for loyalty to G-d, and the state was made into the modern "golden calf". Belief in the Torah and fulfillment of religious obligations in Zionist eyes became a private matter and not a duty for every Jew or for the Jewish people. The Zionists made divine law subject to party or parliamentary votes, and they set their own standards of conduct and ethics.
Neither the founder of political Zionism nor any of the prime ministers of the Zionist state believed in the divine origin of the Torah nor even in the existence of G-d. All prime ministers were members of a party that opposed religion in principle and that considered the Bible a document of ancient folklore, devoid of any religious meaning. And yet these same Zionists base their claim to the Holy Land on this same Bible, the divine origin of which they deny. At the same time they conveniently forget the Jewish holiday prayer "and for our sins have we been exiled from our land," and ignore the fact that the present exile of the Jewish people is divinely decreed and that the Jewish people are neither commanded nor permitted to conquer or rule the Holy Land before the coming of the Messiah. The Jewish people do, of course, recognize special spiritual ties to that land they call it Eretz Yisrael. Every morning, afternoon, and evening, and night they mention it and Zion and Jerusalem in their prayers, and indeed a Jew does not sit down to a meal without doing likewise. To the Jew, the very soil of the Holy Land is different from that of any other spot on this globe, and wherever he is he turns his face toward Jerusalem during prayers. To live in the Holy Land or even to be buried there was always considered to be of high merit.
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