on August 16, 2017 the Vayoel Moshe Satmar elementary school in Kiryas Joel Monroe New York, held a protest against the state of Israel and its actions. The rally condemned the recent forced draft into the Israeli army, the Israeli governments brutality against those objecting to serve and those publicly protesting. About one thousand students took part.
Following is the text of the speech of on of the students Lipa Lefkowitz, 13 year old, that was delivered at the protest.
We have come out here today to speak up for our suffering brothers, Orthodox Jewish youths just like us, living under the so-called state of Israel. The Israeli government is trying to force the boys and girls in our community’ to join their army. Whoever refuses to cooperate, and whoever protests or objects, is persecuted, beaten and arrested.
Why do we refuse to serve in the Israeli army? Orthodox Jews have always been opposed to Zionism. Jews are forbidden to leave exile by physical means, fight against the nations of the world, wage wars or shed blood. The Torah forbids us to support this movement, and certainly to take part in their army actions.
In addition, the Zionists, from their founding day, have tried to put an end to Torah observance among Jews. Experience has shown, that Orthodox Jews who serve in their army quickly abandon their religious observance. And this is exactly the Zionist plan: they want to secularize our community and make us part of their society.
Our greatest rabbis have opposed Zionism from the outset, opposed the existence of the State of Israel and all its actions. To this day, the Eidah HaCharedis, the independent anti-Zionist rabbinate in Jerusalem, and rabbis around the world, teach publicly that it is forbidden to serve in the Israeli army.
According to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, conscientious objectors have the right to refuse to serve in the army. That is part of human rights and religious freedom. But the State of Israel doesn’t care about human rights!
We admire our brothers in the Holy Land who stick up for their religious principles. And we tell the Zionists: No! We will not serve! We will not serve!
And do not tell us that we have to help you defend the Jewish people in the holy Land. We used to live in peace with our neighbors in the Holy Land. Now you Zionists have come and started wars, and you ask us to help you fight them? What a chutzpah!
Jews around the world are horrified the Israeli government’s current brutal persecution of religious Jews!
We ask the world to take up the cause of our brothers who are suffering under the Zionist regime. We ask our country, the United States of America, to advocate for religious freedom, human rights and justice in the Holy Land. And everyone should see that when the Israeli government fights against the Torah and persecutes Orthodox Jews, it shows clearly that they cannot claim to represent Judaism or the Jewish people.
We mourn for the destruction of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple, and we pray for the time when G-d will rebuild it. Every religious Jew knows, that we cannot rebuild it on our own. We are forbidden even to enter the Temple Mount. As we say in our prayers, “You, G-d, set it on fire, and in fire You will one day rebuild it.” Our redemption will not come through human hands. We are waiting for the coming of moshiach, may he come soon, amein!