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Zionism an antisemitic project

Tehran Times – Israel’s latest killing campaign in Gaza has devastated Muslims and even Jews all around the world.

Palestinian civilians are unable to protect themselves or their loved ones from Israeli attacks, leaving Muslims in other parts of the world feeling powerless as they witness the tragic events unfolding on their screens.

Jews are also experiencing the repercussions of Israel’s actions. Reports show that there has been a surge in antisemitism, especially in Western countries where there is limited understanding of Judaism and Israel. Many individuals are unfairly associating all Jews with the actions of the Israeli regime, leading to unjust blame and discrimination.

The Tehran Times recently had the opportunity to speak with Yisroel Dovid Weiss, a rabbi and spokesperson for Neturei Karta, an anti-Zionist Jewish group. Through this conversation, we aimed to gain insight into the current global situation for Jews and delve into the historical context and legitimacy of Zionism. 

The transcript of the interview has been edited for more clarity and conciseness:

Q: How did you react to Israel’s recent assault on Rafah and the regime’s brutal killings of Palestinians seeking shelter in tents, which have shaken the world?

A: We are mourning the tragedies of Gaza and what happened in Rafah. The atrocities Israel commits get worse as each day goes by. Every day, there is a new Nakba that shocks the world. 

We are hurting with the people of Palestine and all we can do is to demonstrate. The Jewish people who are true to the Jewish religion and reside all across the world including in al-Quds, Europe, South America, and the U.S., are totally in opposition to the creation of the Zionist state of Israel. Those who have created Israel claim they have acted in accordance with the Torah and say they established the Zionist state for Jews and Judaism. We are practicing Jews and let me tell you that the Torah and the Jewish teaching do not give these people the right to create a state. Since 2000 years ago, Jews have been prohibited from creating sovereignty in even 1 cm of land. Even if a land is devoid of any residents, we wouldn’t be allowed to build a nation there. That is what the Torah tells, and Zionists have gone against the guidance of our book. 

Throughout our lives, we have been demonstrating against the state of Israel. I began my endeavors when I was a teenager and some of my younger colleagues have been protesting their entire lives. We have taken to the streets around the world and even in Jerusalem, where we were brutally beaten, assaulted, and arrested by Israeli forces. Despite all this, we continue to demonstrate, because practicing Jews who follow the religion thoroughly know that the creation of Israel is against what God has ordered us to do. 

We plead with world leaders to help bring an end to the occupation of Palestine. We want people to know that opposition to Zionism does not equate to antisemitism.  It is only proper and correct that a person stands against Zionism and demands the immediate dismantlement of the Israeli state. 

Q: Israel claims its latest killing campaign in Gaza is to protect Jews, yet there has been a surge in antisemitism globally. Do you believe there is a connection between Israel’s actions in Gaza and the recent rise in antisemitism?

A: I believe that a dictionary definition for antisemitism should be the “Zionist state of Israel”. There is nothing more antisemitic in the world than the Israeli state. Israel says its killings are in the name of Judaism. So, when people around the world take a look at Zionists’ horrendous crimes in Gaza, and elsewhere, they automatically affiliate that with every Jewish person and especially people like us who are very evidently religious. 

Sadly, I can tell you that antisemitism has in fact been on the rise because people affected by Israeli propaganda believe every Jew is a supporter of Israel. And frankly, that is not something Zionists would not want to see. Israeli officials want Jews around the world to believe that everyone hates them and that they should move to the “safe haven” Zionists have created. Zionism builds on the blood of Jews. The more the Jews suffer, the better for Zionists in occupied Palestine. 

Q: Israeli leaders argue that when Palestinians demand the liberation of their lands, it implies a call for the massacre of Jews. Do you share this perspective?

A: The argument that people calling for the freedom of Palestine are essentially calling for the eradication of Jews is simply an insult to human intelligence. 

We lived alongside Palestinians for hundreds of years with no problems. When we were getting brutally killed in Europe and being forced to leave our religion, Palestinians embraced us with open arms and gave us a safe place to stay. The most precious being to every person is their baby and we used to babysit each other’s children. Antisemitism was always a European phenomenon. Middle Easterners never harassed us and when we came here, they actually knew a lot about our religion. Everything was peaceful until we decided to steal Palestinian lands and make a state of our own. 

And even if we look at similar instances in history, it becomes clear that these Israeli claims are vulgar and false. Did a massacre happen in South Africa when apartheid was dismantled? The answer is no. 

There has never been a religious conflict between Muslims and Jews. We lived peacefully for hundreds of years and we can do it again. There is also no doubt that the state of Israel will be dismantled because that is the promise of God. No one can go against Almighty God, and He says that Israel will cease to exist. 

Q: You had the opportunity to meet with the late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi before his tragic passing. Attending his funeral last week, what are your thoughts on him and the significant turnout at the ceremonies?

I met with Mr. Raisi more than once. I saw him once in the Iranian city of Mashhad when he had not yet become president. I also saw him alongside Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian last year in New York. We felt very comfortable talking to them. They treated us with kindness and friendship. Mr. Raisi even tried to comfort me by saying that he knows we come under attack because of what Israel is doing. 

After his passing, Jewish communities from all over the world contacted me and asked me to travel to Iran to offer condolences on behalf of Jews. Thank God, I miraculously managed to get a visa in a very short time and get here for his funeral. And the ceremonies I attended in Tehran were unlike anything I had ever seen before. People in millions had come out to pay respect to the late president. The weather was hot and we had to walk long distances, but people did not care. It proved to me that Mr. Raisi was truly a well-respected and popular man in Iran contrary to Western descriptions of him who call him a hardliner. 

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