Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Protectors of the City: An Interview with Rabbi Dovid Weiss

In March of this year, I went back to my second home in Palestine. While I was there the Israeli elections were taking place. On the morning of the elections I walked around Jerusalem and decided to head over to West Jerusalem to see what was going on. I didn’t plan on doing any specific article on the elections, simply because I wasn’t sure if I could find an angle that would be unique. That all changed as I walked towards Zion’s Square. I came across a small group of protestors holding signs saying things like; “This is the land of Palestine” “Resist Zionism”, “Zionism is a sin.” None of this was unusual. I know plenty of Israeli Jews and Arabs who would protest official Israeli policy. But these weren’t the usual secular Israelis that I would expect, nor were they Palestinian Israelis protesting their second class citizenship, not even reformed Jews from a group like Rabbis for Human Rights, these were Ultra-Orthodox Jews

When I saw them, I had to do a double take. What the…? I approached the group cautiously and looked on from a distance. People passed by looking on quizzically, some nodding as if to say they supported the group; others staring on perplexed (just like me), and still others who wasted no time in showing their disgust by spitting in their direction. Yet these men, young and old stood at their station protesting in the spirit of non-violence.

I walked up to an older gentleman and asked him what was going on. He explained that they were members of Neturei Karta and that they were a group that was against Zionism and the formation of the State of Israel on Palestinian land.

We talked a bit more and then I realized that I needed to get going, but I wanted to talk with someone from his group to do an interview. I asked if they had a group in the United States and he said they had and mentioned Rabbi Dovid Weiss the director of Neturei Karta in the US. The following is an interview that I conducted with Rabbi Dovid Weiss via telephone, to inquire more about this organization.

Christopher Brown: Could you speak about the organization and how it was founded?

Rabbi Dovid Weiss: Yes, before the name Neturei Karta was given, people who followed the ideology of Zionism started coming up to Palestine at the beginning of the twentieth century. And the Jewish community felt very threatened by this very new ideology that was contrary to the Torah, the Jewish belief and they started to try and build a fortification against this influx that was trying to breach the wall of Judaism. And they formed a God fearing community and they had some Rabbis who started in the 1910s and 1920s and they had different names for the organization. Then in 1930 they say it started.

They use to hang on the walls, paste on the walls of old Jerusalem signs with declarations against the movement of Zionism. And on one of those signs was a copy of the passage in the Talmud which says; That some wise men came into the city and they asked the inhabitants of the city; ‘Who are your protectors?’ And they pointed to the soldiers and to Rabbis. And the wise men said that these were the ‘The destroyers of the city.’ The protectors of the city are the wise men and the scholars; The Neturei Karta. The Protectors of the city, are the wise men and the scholars.

And this they hung up, basically referring to the Zionists who came in with their militant movement and so forth. And then afterwards the ones who were very vocal from the religious community, the ones who stood out more against Zionism were called the Neturei Karta. It is an Aramaic word and comes from the Talmud, which was written in Aramaic.

CB: Why do you feel that the Jewish community is threatened by Zionism?

RDW: Simply it really is the antithesis, the diametric opposite of what Judaism is. Judaism is a religion of thousands of years. We know the forefathers; Abraham, Issac and Jacob, and that the Jews made a bond with God on Mount Siani to watch the Torah, to uphold the Torah. And Zionism was started a mere hundred years ago in the 1890s; they came and they decided to transform the whole concept of spirituality of God; they decided to make this into a new thing into a nationality of national aspirations, of materialism, to have a piece of land, a proud nation amongst nations, and to transform spirituality into materialism into a nationalistic goal a political goal.

And this is the diametric opposite of what Judaism is. It was opposed by all the Rabbinical authorities. And who were the fathers of this ideology? Who were the ones who came up with this plan? Theodore Herzel and his friends. People who are far removed from the observance of the Torah, they detested the religion, they loathed religion and they really wanted to transform or uproot Judaism spirituality of the Jewish people. Then they decided that they have to have land to form it and they first went to Uganda and to different lands that would be practical. But then they realized that they won’t have a Jewish following, so they picked the land of Palestine to form their state. And in so doing they breached a few oaths that God put the Jewish people under because the destruction of the temple we were expressly commanded by God, we are forbidden, to make any attempt to return to a sovereignty to have our own kingdom our own entity because we are in exile by God. What we are suppose to do as a Jewish people is wait patiently until God sees fit, and then there will be a metaphysical change in the World and all humanity together will go up and serve one God. So we yearn to eventually return to the land of Palestine but not as us ourselves, without human intervention, without fighting the World.

Taking over a whole land, fighting other people, militants going in there against the will of the Palestinians and taking over their land; this is totally forbidden according to the Torah and we were warned that there will be catastrophic results.

Taking over a whole land, fighting other people, militants going in there against the will of the Palestinians and taking over their land; this is totally forbidden according to the Torah and we were warned that there will be catastrophic results.

In the Torah we are forbidden to have a State even if it were to be uninhabited and desolate it would be forbidden because of the banishment by God. We are forbidden to have our own entity. And this compounds the problem and the transgression of the Torah because it was an inhabited land and the Palestinian people living there, we as a Jewish people are suppose to emulate God. Just as God is compassionate we should be compassionate. That’s what Judaism is all about, being a nation of priests and a Godly nation. And here Zionism is doing the opposite of thou shall not steal, thou shall not kill. Zionism is oppressing a people, subjugating them expelling them, banishing them from their land of their parents. You see, this is all contrary to the Torah, all forbidden and Judaism is in opposition.

When Zionism started it started in Europe. Vienna was where Theodore Herzel came from. Basil, Switzerland was where they made the first Zionist congress in 1890s. And so they came up and they picked Palestine. And all of a sudden they started moving into Palestine with the idea to take over the land and create a state.

And the Jewish community in Palestine at the time was a God-fearing community, living door by door with the Muslim and Arab neighbors. And all of a sudden they realized here are a bunch on non-religious Jews coming in here, with a terrible plan of nationality. So they started speaking up, and they formed the groups against the Zionists. And till this day we have hundreds of thousands of Jews still loyal to the Torah who will never accept Zionism and the cause of over fifty years of bloodshed and killing of Jews, and Arabs and what is going on today in Lebanon, and claiming the Torah and using it to establish a Jewish state and using that to legitimize their terrible, evil, misguided, political movement.

CB: Your organization has members who live in Palestine/Israel, how are you viewed by those in the State of Israel as well as in Palestine?

RDW: Many of the people today just want to live their lives in peace and unfortunately the majority of Jews are non-religious, and live to have peace, and want to have peace, their not that much into Zionism. How they look at religious Jews is the question in a certain manner, you know they just threw away the yoke of the Torah and as long as they are not disturbed in their lifestyle they don’t care neither here nor there.

Some of them look at this as a very good issue because it speaks up to the rights of Palestinians and many of them are human rights supporters, which shows that there are many Jewish supporters who share that view, on the other hand there are Jews who are opposed to the hundreds of thousands of us, and we are viewed as the traitors to the Jewish people.

Unfortunately they have been conned into believing that Zionism is part of Judaism, which is exactly what the forefathers of Zionism wanted. That they supposedly went to Palestine, representing God’s will in Judaism and so forth and they conned the Jews; and unfortunately Evangelical Christians throughout the World are saying; “This is God’s wish that the children of Israel should have a land.” And unfortunately many Jewish people bought into that and they’ve been fooled by the ignorance of the teachings of the Torah. Unfortunately many Jews are unlearned in the teachings of the Torah and they have not learned the teachings of the Torah properly and they look at these Jews (Neturei Karta) as traitors in a manner.

But its so varied because many Jews who really are in opposition to whole ideology of Zionism and yet they joined the government because it is the defacto ruling power in the Holy Land. And they feel that they have to have representation, just like the Palestinians need representations. Right now the religious community is very split. There is a very large anti-Zionist feeling. Our colleagues in Palestine won’t participate in any way, they don’t recognize the legitimacy of the State. And then there are others who many years ago made the decision to have representation in the State, because they were dying from hunger and thirst, because the Israelis were controlling all the money and so forth, so they have to have representation. At the same time, that group, groups like the Shas Party and large vocal groups who are part of the government, they don’t send their children to the army. And they don’t have Israeli flags on their school buildings and so forth because in essence, they are also in opposition to Zionism. They're Rabbis, from the inception of Zionism, were our Rabbis. We shared the same Rabbis we were all in opposition to the State of Israel, to the concept of Zionism before it was created they were in opposition. Unfortunately, these guys made a compromise and joined. But they won’t send their children to the army, and won’t have Israeli flags.

CB: What eventually happened to those Rabbis who joined?

RDW: Now unfortunately today, they have fallen prey to Zionist propaganda as our Rabbis foresaw. That’s why they warned them not to take, money not to the join the government, because they’ve bought into different issues by the Zionist governments. And so they bought into the ‘fear factor’ where the Zionists tell the World that; The Arabs want to kill every Jew. And that they hate everybody who’s not Muslim. So the Jews are mortified. Their fear is total that the Arabs are going to come in and murder every Jew and throw them into the sea as the Zionist keep on saying.

So that fear brought into position that they don’t want to return the land, not because they appreciate the State of Israel. In fact, if the State of Israel were to be abolished this moment and Jews weren’t to be killed they wouldn’t shed a tear, they would celebrate together with us. Because this is the teachings of the Torah. The Torah is clearly in total contradiction to the concept of Zionism.

CB: Since the second Intifada there have been members of the Knesset who have called for the heads of Israelis who would speak out in support of equal rights for Palestinians. With the views that your organization espouses, I would imagine that these threats are magnified within the whole of the Zionist community could talk about this?

RDW: It’s a sad history. As soon as the Zionist movement came into power, our Rabbis rose up in opposition. And we might say that the first well known Jewish martyr was well connected with western governments and the western world. He was a diplomat from, I believe Denmark. His name was Israel de Hahn and he moved up to Palestine at first he chose to be a Zionist but then became a repentant Jew, and then he realized that the religious leaders were in opposition, and he said to the religious leaders: “Look your voice is not getting heard” and he’s a diplomat a distinguished scholar from Europe, he’ll get them connected with the European leaders. And that is what he set forth to do.

And the first thing he did was to arrange a meeting with the King of Trans Jordan, King Abdullah with the chief Rabbi of Jerusalem. So when the Zionists realized what he was up to the Haganah, their terrorist group, they murdered him in cold-blood, and it’s in their documentation the Zionist court documentation.

Now since then and up until today, the Jewish people who have stood up in opposition you can go to our website at and see pictures of Jewish people being constantly beaten because we make demonstrations. We are non-violent, we don’t carry arms, and still our people are beaten and put into prison because we stand up in opposition to Zionism. And it is ongoing up until today, you can see pictures of this, and the World doesn’t know.

CB: Why is that?

RDW: Why? Just as they have beaten us we have, hundreds, thousand, some times hundreds of thousands of Jews who stand up in opposition. And many many more would be demonstrating if it wouldn’t be for this intimidation of Zionism.

In the same way when we speak up, many people are fearful of speaking up. The same way the press is intimidated not to report the fact there are Jews who are anti-Zionists. Case in point; I was just in Toronto this past week and there were a lot of demonstrations of thousands of people against the Israeli consulate and marching in other areas of Canada. And in the papers in Canada there was not one word mentioned of this even though it should be something of an interest to have a group of Orthodox Rabbis standing together with the Lebanese and Palestinian people and the Muslim people on the platform, we couldn’t be missed, and most of the papers didn’t even mention the fact that there was this demonstration, which was unbelievable.

And this is the sad history of over fifty years of what’s going on. The Zionists are very efficient. They have something called AIPAC which is involved in the intimidation of politicians. So the politicians are fearful to speak up against Zionism. And the greatest crime is, if you were to speak up and say that there are Orthodox Jews who are opposed to the Jewish State this would undermine their legitimacy.

They are very careful not to let these things get reported. If it does, they immediately attack the newspapers and reporters. When we want to speak at universities, the heads of universities are called and the board is called not to allow us to speak, and it goes on and it’s a very sad fact of what the Zionist do. They intimidate. They intimidate people to be fearful of speaking up.

So people think that they are the legitimate voice of the Jewish community and the Jewish State. And they think that it is a religious conflict between the Arabs and the Jews. And this is a tragedy because it is not a religious conflict. We as Jews, as practicing Jews, have been living side by side in all the Muslim countries amongst the Arab peoples. We have no problem. The problem is purely political since the creation of this movement, Zionism, which became ultimately the State of Israel.

With the creation of Israel this is where the impediment to peace is, because it is a political thing which is falsely using the Torah to legitimize what they are doing. And they are constantly on-guard to make certain that they should be referred to as ‘The Jewish State.’ And anyone in opposition would be considered and labeled an anti-Semite. And therefore cowering and intimidating people into not speaking up against them, and literally beating and intimidating the Jews who try to speak up against them, their voices are not heard, and this is what is going on today.

The fact in Lebanon they are, supposedly, fighting terrorism, and terrorists who simply don’t want people to live in peace. When in truth, they are the root cause of the suffering and the endless river of bloodshed that has happened for the Jews, The Palestinians, and the Lebanese for well over fifty years now. And tragedy upon tragedy has occurred because they are using the name of God, and causing so much harm uprooting religion from the Jewish people, their spirituality, and the lives of so many different human beings. This is against God and we must stand up and be vocal and let the World know the truth. That the World would not be afraid to stand up and call it what it is; an illegitimate, evil movement, it’s purely a racist movement against people and it should be stopped in its tracks.

And that would bring peace and that would bring true harmony that we had before Zionism. Contrary to what Zionism wants to portray we weren’t living in constant conflict with the Muslims and Arabs this is totally false. You can ask any old Arabs and Jews and they can talk about the best of times when they had strong relations with each other.

Once Zionism has been put on the side, you will see that we can once again live in harmony.


Anonymous said...

Israel will probably take Lubenan all the way to the Turkish border. And the reason why they have to find a place to put the 75-100 million world Yehude Population..I smell the Greater Israel movement happening. Folks this is ethnic blood Jews we are talking about Meaning Hebrew..Jews from the 12 tribes.

World Jew Population of 25 countries.

25 International Jewish Populations they are in no cetain order. These are
Ethnic i.e blood Jews meaning Hebrews. Some are Christians some are religious Jews. This is only a count of 25 countries.
This pole was supposedly done privately by different organizations who meticulously counted and recounted and critiqued there counts. This is a fairley accurate count. And yes there are that many Jews in America. Our Census is a joke in this country it is not accurate at all. It is bias and controlled. Thats why Private Census counts are done here and elsewhere like this one and want to remain anonymous. So if you believe the American Census count you are blind.
18-22 MILL. 2.Israel 5 MILL. 500 THOU. 3. Russia 6 MILL.
4.Venuzuala 3 MILL. 5. Mexico 3 MILL. 6. Chile 2 MILL.
3 mill.
Argentina 3 MILL.
1 MILL. 500 THOU.
600 THOU.
United Kingdom
4 mill.
6 mill.
500 thou.

15. Cuba 500 thou.
16. Germany 5 mill.
17. Poland 4 mill.
18. Netherlands. 1 mill.
19. Romania 1 mill 500 thou.
20. Ireland 500 thou.
21. Portugal 1 mill.
22. Greece 500 thou.
23. Italy 2 mill.
24. Spain 2 mill.
25. Ukraine 3 mill. 500 thou.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Hey Loran Very Interesting I agree with You...I have seen these figures before..And they are true...

Ibrahamav said...

But they are not, nor does Israel want another festering backwards Arab population to baby sit.

There is no "greater Israel" plan. Israel is great enough.

Anonymous said...

Firstly - It is a well known fact that the neturei karta are nuts.

Secondly, It's very cute that he thinks that it is not a religious problem
"And they think that it is a religious conflict between the Arabs and the Jews. And this is a tragedy because it is not a religious conflict."

It is a completely religious problem. They call Jews infidels etc. I would love to do a test and see what happens if we put this "Rabbi" in the middle of Gaza. He would probably last about 10 seconds and then be beheaded - simply because he is a JEW.

"And the reason why they have to find a place to put the 75-100 million world Yehude Population"
This is the most ludecrous thing I ever heard. I promise, there are not millions of people secretly planning on moving to Israel.

I think I'll stop now, I'm probably better off just banging my head against a wall.