We are journalists from Tempo weekly magazine, one of the tree most popular magazines in Turkey. In Turkey, there are not too much people who know your ideas even, there are not much people who could think there can be a group of Jews against Zionism. Nowadays, we are working on this issue and we really want to contact with you. If an interview which would be about your ideas and projects could be possible (it can be by e-mail or an another way you prefer), you make us happy.
I would be happy to give you an interview and answer any questions you have. Just send the questions to my e-mail address.
First of all, on behalf of Tempo magazine thank you very much to accept our request. As I mentioned before, we are interested in Jewish organizations against Zionism in the framework of our news. Thus, we have several questions to you which are about your organization and Jewish community. Meanwhile excuse me because of our ignorance if I ask any irrelevant question.
In above, you could find a list of questions that we request you to answer as soon as possible.
-What are your believes, goal and argument exactly?
-What is your message to world and if any to Turkey?
– What are you thinking about Israel politics?
-Do you see your politics exterior or parallel with politics of Israel?
-What are you thinking about Turkey and its politics about Jews, Israel and US?
-Do you know how many Jews who are against Zionism are in US and in the World?
-What are their instruments to make an influence?
-Your organization reaches how many of them? How many members do you have?
-What is your expectations from the middle east countries including Israel?
-What is the opinion of Jews against Zionism about the last events between Lebanon and Israel?
-What are your project in short term and in long term?
-What could be change if all of the Jews think or believe like you?
-Who is Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach? Is he important for you, if yes what is his important?
-Could you send us high resolution photos of you and of your organization?
-Is there any other organizations which have the same aim with you? Could you advise us another person or organization who could help us about our news?
You could find our magazine’s official website at the link however it is not in English, it is in Turkish. http://www.tempodergisi.com.tr/
Thanks you very much for your cooperation.
Our belief is that the Jewish people, which has been in exile among various nations since the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in the year 69 of the Common Era, must continue to live in exile until G-d sends us the Messiah. Exile means that we may not claim any rights to the Holy Land, or make any attempts at political sovereignty. We are forbidden to wage wars against any other people. The Messiah will be a prophet who performs miracles, and his status as the Messiah will be clear to all men. All the nations will live in peace with each other and with the Jewish nation, the Jewish nation will be restored to its ancestral land, and the Messiah will be their king. Until that time we must wait and take no political or military action.
This is not a new belief, or the belief of a small sect. This has always been the belief of all Jews, everywhere. But in the past two centuries, starting in Eastern Europe, we have unfortunately seen a large movement of Jews away from their Torah and their religion. Many Jews became secularized, and left the observance and beliefs of Torah behind. The Zionist movement was founded in the late 1800s by such Jews. They proposed a political solution to the Jewish exile. At first they began by negotiation with various governments, then came the Balfour Declaration. Some religious Jews also came to settle the land, because although political independence is prohibited, it is considered a good deed to live in the Holy Land, and they felt that the British government was giving them an opportunity to do that good deed, as well as escape from the dangers of Europe. But in the end, in 1947-48, despite the U.N. vote, the Zionists had to fight for the land and they expelled many non-Jews, and these are things that religious Jews never supported.
Today about six million Jews live in the State of Israel, of which about 25% keep the laws of the Torah. Many of these, however, are somewhat ignorant and rely on flawed interpretations of Torah law. That is why you hear about “religious” Jews who advocate holding onto every piece of the territories and fighting for it. About 10% of the population are “hareidim” which means more fundamentalist religious Jews who follow the true interpretation of the Torah. These people share our beliefs that any Jewish state before the coming of Messiah is a sin and a serious error. Some of these participate in Israeli elections; our group does not. But we agree on the basic principles; the difference is only in tactics. We hold that participation in Israeli elections would indicate approval of their government’s existence.
In America, England, Belgium and other communities there are perhaps another 600,000 hareidim; thus altogether there are about 1,200,000 non-Zionist religious Jews in the world. Of those there is a smaller group of about 150,000 who advocate open opposition and struggle against Zionist ideology. This includes the communities of Satmar, Munkacz, Stolin, the Brisker schools of Talmudic study, and the Eidah Haredis the religious Jews of Jerusalem who are descended from the community that lived in the Old City in the 1800s, before Zionist colonization began. The Neturei Karta organization (which also maintains a website) is a subdivision of the Eidah Haredis of Jerusalem. These last 150,000 are the group whose views our organization represents, although in a more general way we represent all non-Zionist Jews.
Though all these people agree with our views, most of them are not active members of our organization. The reason is that religious Jews mostly keep to themselves they live together in large communities in which they speak their own language, Yiddish, and hardly ever mix with non-Jews. Most do not use the Internet or read American English newspapers.
Our organization attempts to spread the true Torah view about exile, redemption and the State of Israel to Jews who are ignorant of it, by means of these modern media. Our hope and goal is that all Jews realize that Zionism is against the Torah, repent, and eventually dismantle the State of Israel and live peacefully in exile. Not only will this spare Jewish and non-Jewish lives, but it will be a fulfillment of the Torah law, which is of great importance to us. The Jewish people is one unit, we all feel responsible for each other, and therefore we are not satisfied that we ourselves keep the Torah we want all Jews everywhere to do so.
Our organization also attempts to reach the non-Jewish world. Since the Zionist state claims to represent world Jewry, and many people who oppose the state eventually begin to hate Jews by association, we try to explain to the world that Zionism is not Judaism. Zionism is a heretical breakaway movement from Judaism. We don’t want anyone to blame Jews, and especially religious Jews, for what the State of Israel does.
We are also saddened by the constant state of warfare between the State of Israel and the various terrorist groups, of which the current war in Lebanon is the latest and worst manifestation. We hope that if these groups, and Palestinians in general, know that Zionism is not true Judaism, but only a passing fad, they will realize that they need not resort to violence in order to defeat the Zionists and regain their land. Judaism, in its long history, has seen many other heretical movements arise within it, attempting to change basic principles of the Torah, such as the Sadducees, the Christians, the Karaites, and the Sabbateans (this last movement began in Izmir, Turkey). These movements are now either long gone or are not part of the Jewish people at all. Today we continue to stand with the pure, original Torah given at Sinai. Zionism, like every other heretical Jewish movement of the past, will self-destruct in a peaceful way. Its adherents will either return to true Judaism, or else assimilate with non-Jews and give up their Jewish identity.
We are a religious group, not a political group. That is to say, we have no political platform apart from our religious teachings. We do not call ourselves pro-Palestinian or pro-Arab. We say that Jews should abandon political sovereignty in the Holy Land, not because we want the Palestinians to have the land, not because we think the best strategy is to give in to one’s enemies; but simply because our Torah says we may not control the land. What the world decides to do with the land after we vacate it is not our business.
Our methods of reaching the world include our website, weekly e-mail newsletters, press releases on current events, advertisements in major newspapers and radio, and a Hebrew book, soon to be published, explaining our ideology and its Torah sources. An English book has also been written on Jewish anti-Zionism, “A Threat From Within” by Yakov M. Rabkin, a professor at the university in Montreal, Canada. The book is available from Palgrave Macmillan, in English and French. Our website’s rich content gives a historical and documentary look at the uncompromising war that Jews faithful to the Torah fight against Zionism. Over three million people in countries around the world have visited the website. A staff of scholars, knowledgeable in the subject, is continuously available to reply to letters and questions written by readers of the website. Our e-mail newsletters in English explore the Torah sources against Zionism, and they are sent weekly to tens of thousands of people.
Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach (1854-1925) was the rabbi of Belz, Poland and a great Hassidic leader. He was known for his outspoken opposition to Zionism. But he was not the exception but the rule all the great rabbis of that time were opposed to Zionism. They include Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan, Rabbi Chaim Elazar Shapiro, Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman, Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik, and countless others. In the postwar era, because of the ignorance of the Jewish masses, it has general been difficult for rabbis to speak out against Zionism, so most of them keep silent on the subject. The great exception to this was Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum (1887-1979), rabbi of Satmar, Hungary and later founder and leader of the Satmar community in New York. Rabbi Teitelbaum wrote many lengthy books against Zionism, and they have become the bible and starting point for all thought and ideology in this area. Anti-Zionist Jews from all circles continue to derive their inspiration from him.
Thank you very much for your detailed explanations. This information will be very useful. But could you tell us your ideas about the Holocaust. Do you blame on Zionist for the things happened to Jews during the ww2? And what do you think about the Turkish politics? have you got members in Turkey? these extra information could enrich the news. Ones again thank you very much.
The Zionists could have done more to save Jews during WWII. One of the most famous examples of a rescue mission that failed because of the Zionist leadership took place in Turkey, which was neutral during the war. In 1944 Eichmann, the Nazi official in charge of destroying Hungarian Jewry, sent a Jew named Joel Brand as an emmisary to the Zionist leadership in Istanbul to ask them for “trucks for blood.” The Nazis offered to spare one million Jews in exchange for one thousand tons of tea, one thousand tons of coffee, and ten thousand trucks. But Moshe Sharet, Yitzchok Greenbaum and the other leaders of the Zionist Agency decided that it would be undesirable to invest any efforts to save these Jews, because it might displease their British allies and interfere with their plans for a Jewish state in the Holy Land. So they decided to conceal Brands mission. They lured him across the border from Turkey into Syria, the British took him to a prison in Egypt, and he languished there for months with his message undelivered, until all the Jews of Hungary were burned up.
In general, the Zionists were mainly concerned about immigration to Palestine, when they could have been saving Jews by bringing them to other places. They controlled the major Jewish organizations at that time, and a lot of money was at their disposal.
Stories like these show the wickedness and callousness of individual Zionists, but this is not really the basis of our position. We don’t reject a movement or an idea because some of its proponents happened to have been bad people. Rather, our rejection of Zionism is based on the concepts I outlined to you in the last letter.
Ones more thank you very much. These useful information that you gave us is the basis of our news. I hope the news that we wrote will help people to change their ideas about Israel and the Jews.
This is my personnel opinion that if State of Israel continue like this (I mean the events in Lebanon), the level of anger to Jews will augment however there are many Jews who are also against the expansionist politics of Israel. In Turkey’s understanding of Islam all the tree religion are both grow out from the unique God whom we call Allah or Tanr1 (in Turkish). But contemporary Turkish people could not understand why Israel imply such kind of militarist politics in the name of God although all of the three religions are source from the God. I think that people should know that Israel doesn’t mean Judaism and i think this limited news will help this aim.