What is Zionism?
Zionism is a movement founded by Theodor Herzl in 1896 whose goal is the return of Jews to Eretz Yisrael, or Zion, the Jewish synonym for Jerusalem and the Land of Israel.
The name of “Zionism” comes from the hill Zion, the hill on which the Temple of Jerusalem was situated.
Supporters of this movement are called “Zionists”.
Today there is much confusion among Jews over the meaning of the term Zionism. It means different things to different people.
The reason for this is that historically, Zionism has been a movement dominated by secularist Jews. Herzl and most of his colleagues were assimilated Jews, who did not believe in or practice the Torah. Some Zionists were vehemently anti-religious, and saw the Torah and mitzvos as outdated rituals with no place in their modern state.
Yet the essence of the Zionist idea – that Jews should return to the Holy Land and establish a government – is not inherently secular, and in fact the Zionist movement had some religious members from the very beginning.
Some Jews today use Zionism as a synonym for Israeli secularism, and thus support the State of Israel while claiming to be anti-Zionist. These people’s only complaint about the State of Israel is that it is not religious enough. They hope for the day when the state will be dominated by the religious parties.
But this is not the meaning of the term Zionism as used on this site. When we talk about Zionism here, we are refering to the concept that Jews should rise up, emancipate themselves from exile without waiting for the messiah, and establish a Jewish government in the Holy Land. Using Jewish texts, we demonstrate that this concept is against the Torah and has been opposed by rabbis in all generations.
There have been hundreds of rabbis over the past century who spoke out against the Zionist movement. But because of the ambiguity of the term, it is not always possible to prove that a given rabbi meant to oppose the concept of Zionism, rather than just secularism. For this reason, religious Zionists often make the claim that much rabbinic opposition to Zionism was only because it was a secular movement. On the Rabbinic Quotations section of this site, we have avoided this confusion by carefully selecting those quotations that are clearly against the concept of Zionism itself. As the reader will see, these quotations alone are enough proof that almost all of the greatest sages and leaders of the Jewish people opposed the establishment of a Jewish state.
An American rabbi has censured Israel’s apartheid expansionist policies in the occupied Palestinian territories, saying such measures run counter to Judaism, Press TV reports.
“Judaism does not permit us to oppress other people, steal their land, or in any manner being uncompassionate to the people,” Yisroel Dovid Weiss, a New York-based activist and spokesman for anti-Zionist group Neturei Karta, said in an exclusive interview with Press TV on Saturday.
He went on to say that Jews used to coexist peacefully with Muslims for hundreds of years before the advent of Zionism and subsequent creation of Israel in 1948.
“It (Israel) defies logic. It flies in the face of … righteousness and everything that the humanity calls for, by occupying Palestine,” Weiss pointed out.
The Haredi rabbi also described Israel as a purely illegitimate entity, saying, “They (Israelis) have stolen the land from people and they are thieves. The Torah does not give them the right, the Jewish law does not give them the right to the land.”
On March 21, Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, slammed the Israeli regime for its “ethnic cleansing” through forcing Palestinian citizens of East al-Quds (Jerusalem) out of their city.
Falk said Tel Aviv’s policies bear “unacceptable characteristics of colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing.” More than 11,000 Palestinians have lost their right to live in East al-Quds since 1996 due to laws favoring Jews and revoking Palestinian residence permits, he noted.
Palestinians seek to create an independent state on the territories of the occupied West Bank, East al-Quds, and the besieged Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.
The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.
Torah Jews Reject Zionism
A Jew is one who remains faithful to the laws of the Jewish religion, that is, the Holy Torah and its commandments.
The Jewish people became a people before they had their own land, and continued to exist as a people also after they went Into exile, because our very peoplehood is based exclusively on the Torah.
The Holy Land was given to the Jewish people on the condition that they observe the Torah and its commandments. When they failed to do this, their sovereignty over the land was taken from them, and they went into exile. From that time, <http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/articles/3strongoats.htm>we are prohibited by the Torah with a very grave prohibition to establish a Jewish independent sovereignty in the Holy Land or anywhere throughout the world. Rather, we are obligated to be loyal to the nations under whose protection we dwell.
This situation has existed for close to 2000 years when the Jewish people were dispersed throughout all corners of the world. During this time, the Jews always remained faithful to the country in which they lived.
The Jewish people are grateful to all those merciful nations which have allowed them to observe Torah and the commandments undisturbed.
From ancient times, the relations between the Jewish and Islamic peoples have always been those of peace and brotherhood, and friendship always reigned between them. The proof of this is the fact that for centuries, in all the Arab lands, hundreds of thousands of Jews lived in honor and amidst mutual esteem.
Jews throughout all generations yearned to grace the sacred soil of the Holy Land and to live there. However, their sole purpose was to fulfill the commandments dependent upon the land and to absorb Its holiness. Never, G-d forbid, did they have any nationalist or sovereign intent whatsoever which, as mentioned above, is forbidden to us. Indeed, also here in the Holy Land, our fathers lived in neighborly harmony with the Palestinian residents of the land, helping one another, to mutual benefit.
Until about two hundred years ago, the vast majority of Jews observed the Torah and the commandments in entirety. Jewry’s leaders were Torah scholars, who directed the people according to the Torah. They were loyal citizens in the host nations where they dwelled and to the local laws. They prayed for the welfare of their respective governments. To our sorrow, at that time a small number of Jews slowly left their observance of Torah and commandments. Together with this, they began to deride the spiritual leadership of their people. This assimilation was the basis upon which, one hundred years ago, the ideology of Zionism was born. Its founders were assimilated Jews who had abandoned the Torah.
Immediately at the founding of the Zionist movement, masses of Jews under the <http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/rabbis.htm>leadership of their Rabbis, launched a heavy battle against Zionism. Their attack was directed not only at the non-religious Zionist idea, but rather, primarily at its opposition to the Torah-ordained path that Jewry must follow while in exile. As such, the Zionists incited the nations of the world, demanding political sovereignty over the Holy Land while remaining oblivious to the resentment this would arouse In the Palestinian Arabs, the land’s veteran inhabitants. As stated, the leaders of Orthodox Jewry vehemently opposed the movement with all force.
The Zionists refused to heed the voice of the Rabbis and Torah authority. They persisted in their ways until they succeeded in influencing the British government to issue the Balfour Declaration concerning the “establishment of a national home for the Jews in the land of Israel.” To our great sorrow, <http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/quotes/baruchkaplan.htm>from that point on began the deterioration of the good relations between the Jews and the Arab inhabitants of the land. This occurred because the Arab people understood that the Zionists wished to seize rulership from them. In addition, the Arab people had suspicions as if the Jewish people wished to seize control of the Temple Mount and other similar sites. Matters worsened as a result.
The Jewish leadership of that time saw it as proper to clarify before the Arab leaders that the <http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/quotes/truthandpeace-zonnenfeld.htm>Torah-true Jews had no desire whatsoever for sovereignty, and that our desire was to continue to live in peace with the Arabs, as we had always done. The leader of the G-d-fearing Jewish community at that time, <http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/quotes/sonnenfeld.htm>Rabbi Yoseph Chaim Zonnenfeld. of blessed memory, organized a delegation in July of 24′ which <http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/quotes/sonenfeld_to_hussein.htm>visited King Hussein and his sons Faisal the King of Iraq and the Amir Abdullah In order to lucidly present to them the position of the G-d-fearing Jewish community. The Jewish delegation clarified unequivocally that Torah Jewry is totally opposed to the Zionist sovereignty over the Holy Land. It Is worth noting that the delegation was received with great honor. They were even assured that all Arab lands were <http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/rabbiquotes/abramblau.htm>completely open to Jews, however, on the condition that the Jews do not demand political rights. This condition also applied to the Holy Land. One of the members of the Jewish delegation, <http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/onlinebooks/martyrsmessage.htm>Professor Yisroel Yaakov De Haan, paid with his life for his participation.
Torah Jewry protests at every opportunity against the Zionist rule over the Holy Land, and the Zionist rebellion against the neighboring nations. Torah Jewry has condemned the Zionist oppression of the Palestinians, the land’s veteran inhabitants who have been driven from their homes and properties. The Zionists’ barbaric and violent deeds are absolutely antithetical to the essence of the Jewish people.
Torah Jewry has never ever recognized the Zionist state. Since the Zionists succeeding in establishing their state, Torah Jewry has continuously announced to the world that the Zionists do not represent the Jewish people, and that the name “Israel” that they use is a forgery. For as has been stated above, it is forbidden to us from the Torah to rebel against the nations, and all sovereignty by us is prohibited. Rather, we await the days when all the world will recognize the sovereignty of the Creator, and the words of the prophet Isaiah will yet be fulfilled: “And they will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. No nation will lift its sword against any other, nor will they learn warfare anymore.”
Anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews have refrained to this day from taking any funds from the Zionist regime, whether for their educational institutions, synagogues or other benefits. Obviously, <http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/elections.htm>they do not participate in the Zionist elections, whether for the “Knesset” or for the municipality. We do not serve in their army, and we even avoid speaking in the Hebrew language that the Zionists Invented. (incidentally, this is not the holy and true Hebrew language in which the Bible is written.) All this is done because Torah Jewry does not recognize the Zionist regime, which Is against the Torah and against humanity.
Lately, the question has once again arisen concerning the Temple Mount and sovereignty over it. Thus, we wish to state unequivocally: a) In our time, it is a severe Torah prohibition for any Jew to set foot on any part of the Temple Mount area. b) The Jewish people have no claim whatsoever to sovereignty over this holy site, which is under Islamic authority, nor over any other holy site. Rabbi Zonenfeld was once asked, “is it true, that the Rabbi prefers an non-Jewish government over all of the Holy Land”? Rabbi Zonenfeld replied, “if King Hussein would rule over Palestine, the holiness of the Holy Land would not be diminished to even to an Iota degree”. We yearningly await G-d’s great day, when He will return His Divine Presence to Zion, restoring the holy city to its former holiness and glory as in days of old, to be a light to the peoples and the nations.
The Zionists have no right of any sovereignty over even one inch of the Holy Land. They do not represent the Jewish people in any way whatsoever. They have no right to speak in the name of the Jewish people. Therefore, their words, declarations and actions are not in any way representative of the Jewish people. This is because the Zionists’ seizing of power over the Holy Land is antithetical to Jewish law, and also because the Zionists do not behave like Jews at all rather, they desecrate the sanctity of the land.
We once again clarify that it is our desire to live in peace with our Arab and Palestinian neighbors, as we did before the Zionist revolution, and as Jews all over the world till today live, accepting the yoke of rulership of their host nation, with complete loyalty. Our sole desire is to serve our G-d and to fulfill His commandments with a perfect heart and to delight in the radiance of the sanctity of the Land.
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