On Sunday, June 3, 2018, a distinguished group of 70 senior anti-Zionist Rabbis, including Holocaust survivors, representing Orthodox Jewish communities of New York, protested the annual Celebrate Israel Parade in New York City. The number 70 symbolized the mourning of authentic Jews worldwide for the 70 years of the state’s existence
Speech by Rabbi Jeremiah Kohn, an Orthodox Jewish Holocaust survivor, at the rally
Text of speech
We are standing here on the sidelines of this parade in celebration of the State of Israel, and we are here to tell the Jewish people and the world: There is nothing to celebrate here!
For 70 years, the State of Israel has violated Judaism and denied the Jewish faith. For 70 years the state of Israel has brought nothing but calamity, wars and bloodshed. This is not a cause to celebrate, this is a cause to mourn!
From the very start, the Zionist movement was founded and created by outspoken heretics who not only violated each and every part of Judaism, but attempted to eradicate Judaism from the Jewish people.
Recently the State of Israel is attempting to force religious Jewish youth to serve in their army, and they persecute whoever refuses and whoever protests against them.
They want all our young boys and girls to go to an army, or else go to jail. This is an additional attempt how to indoctrinate the remaining faithful Jews into becoming Zionist and join their immoral behavior
According to Jewish belief, Jews are forbidden to create a sovereign state or wage wars against other nations. Authentic Jews opposed the creation of the State of Israel from its very beginning and will never serve in its immoral army.
Jews lived in the Holy Land for centuries with their non-Jewish neighbors. Jews lived there peacefully with no political goals. We do not need a Jewish state and a Jewish army to protect Jews. On the contrary, the Zionists created the problem.
Now they want to continue and they want us to join them. And we say no! We will not join this movement that only continues a rebellion against G-d and the cycle of bloodshed and violence.
The brutal suppression of public demonstrations is a violation of universal freedom of speech, and forcing Jews to join an army which is forbidden according to their beliefs, is a violation of freedom of religion.
Religious Jews deserve the right to be conscientious objectors - we object to the Israeli army based on our religious principles.
The only country today where Jewish religion is oppressed, is the so-called “Jewish” state of Israel and today there are Jews celebrating over this! How can they celebrate when the Torah is being violated? How can they celebrate when conflict and suffering are being created? Is a piece of land more important to them than the Torah, more important than peace?
They think that their state will protect Jews against another Holocaust.
I am a holocaust survivor, so are a number of my collagenous here today, and we can say that: “After all the death and destruction we suffered in the holocaust, we consider this Zionist movement nothing but a continuation of the tragedies, not the solution.”
We thank G-d for sparing us. We express our thankfulness by abiding by His law and religion, not to join or support the greatest rebellion against Him
Zionism is a political movement which is in total contradiction to Judaism, it is transforming Judaism from a religion into nationalism, yet insists on calling itself a “Jewish” State. But in fact the State of Israel is not Jewish at all and does not represent world Jewry.
All that our communities in the Holy Land wants, is to live in peace with their non-Jewish neighbors and practice and preserve the Jewish religion, as we did prior to the establishment of this political State of Israel.
We look forward to the days of moshiach when we will merit the prophecy of Isaiah: “one nation shall not lift up sword against another, neither shall they study war anymore”.