Hamas Islamic Resistance

Jewish community hails Hamas for drawing distinction between Judaism and Zionism

20 July, 19

Neturei Karta, religious group of Haredi Jews based in New York headed by Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, sent on Thursday a letter to Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh praising his movement’s statement which draws a distinction between Jews and Zionism.

“We are greatly appreciative of your understanding of the distinction between Judaism, a religion, and Zionism, a nationalistic movement,” the Jewish rabbi wrote.

“The Jewish community has lived peacefully in Palestine for hundreds of years in mutual respect with our Palestinian neighbors, never seeking to dominate or attack anyone,” he added.

He went on: “The Torah teaches that we are in exile and therefore we must live humbly as loyal citizens of our countries, praying for their wellbeing.

“That is how Jews lived in countries all over the world for 2000 years, and that is how we wish to continue living.”

This letter came after the movement had issued a statement, clarify remarks made by a member of its political bureau last week in which he mixed between Jews and Zionists.

In the letter, Hamas said: “Our struggle is with the occupation occupying our land and desecrating our sanctities, not conflict with the Jews in the world or with Judaism as a religion. The movement has already condemned the attacks against safe Jews in their places of worship.”

Here is the full text of the letter of the Jewish rabbi.

His Excellency Ismail Haniyeh

Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau

Dear Mr. Haniyeh,

We were pleased to read your movement’s public statement, “Our struggle is with the occupation occupying our land and desecrating our sanctities, not conflict with the Jews in the world or with Judaism as a religion. The movement has already condemned the attacks against safe Jews in their places of worship.”

We are greatly appreciative of your understanding of the distinction between Judaism, a religion, and Zionism, a nationalistic movement. The Jewish community has lived peacefully in Palestine for hundreds of years in mutual respect with our Palestinian neighbors, never seeking to dominate or attack anyone. The Torah teaches that we are in exile and therefore we must live humbly as loyal citizens of our countries, praying for their wellbeing.

That is how Jews lived in countries all over the world for 2000 years, and that is how we wish to continue living.

In 1929, the chief rabbi of our community in Jerusalem, Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, writing in the name of Palestinian Jewry, published a famous open letter speaking out against the violence of the newcomers to Palestine, the Zionist movement. His successor as chief rabbi, Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky, came before the United Nations in 1947 and, in the name of his community, expressed opposition to a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.

We Orthodox Jews are greatly pained over the occupation, with its long history of killing,

stealing and oppression. With an aching heart we cry out, “Not in our name!”

A large percentage of Orthodox Jews are opposed to the Zionist state and all its actions, both

around the world and in Palestine. It’s well-known that members of our community who live

under the Zionists refuse to serve in the IDF, and are currently struggling to resist the Zionist

government’s attempts to draft them.

We greatly appreciate the fact that your movement clarified its stance in regard to some

unfortunate comments, which most certainly have been made out of pain and emotion. Emotional comments such as these only play into the hands of the Zionist narrative that claims Palestinians hate all Jews. This in turn helps the Zionists to claim that they are here to protect and represent all Jews and that all Jews support them.

We also want to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for the language of the new

Hamas charter, which makes clear the distinction between Jews and Zionists, and states that your struggle is not against Jews or Judaism. We have met with you and other Hamas leaders in the past, and we have witnessed your friendship to Jews and respect for Judaism firsthand.

We pray for the speedy and peaceful dismantlement of the Zionist state. We pray that the

unnecessary loss of life of Arabs and Jews should no longer continue. We pray and look forward for the day when Arabs and Jews will once again live together in peace in tranquility as in centuries past.

Ultimately we pray and yearn for the revelation of the Almighty’s glory, when all humanity will serve Him in harmony and joy. Amen

With respect and best regards,

Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss - Neturei Karta, New York

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