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Anti-Zionism is a rejection of racism and imperialism, not …

Posted By on February 2, 2019

We applaud Jewish Voice for Peaces (JVP) recent statement, Our Approach to Zionism, for its unequivocal opposition to Zionism. We share the values and goals of justice, equality, and freedom that JVP outlined in its statement.

We wish to register, however, some of our concerns with parts of JVPs statement, Our Approach to Zionism. First, the statement links its discussion of Zionism to collective Jewish pain and trauma. Second, it gives credence to the idea that Zionism is a nineteenth century ideology that emerged from Jewish life, not a colonial ideology developed to expand western imperialism in Palestine. JVP segments Zionist ideology into its cultural, religious and political strains. While they oppose the political Zionism that led to the establishment of the Zionist state in Palestine, they do not spend significant effort tackling the other two strands, and as such imply tacit approval of the latter strains. Moreover, the statement goes further to redefine anti-Zionism as a loose term referring to criticism of the current policies of the Israeli state, and/or moral, ethical, or religious criticism of the idea of a Jewish nation-state. Meanwhile, ever since the general strike of 1936 and the great Palestinian revolt against the British mandate, anti-Zionism has been defined as the rejection of Jewish-only colonies, created on Palestinian land through expropriation and forced expulsion of indigenous Palestinians for the purpose of building the economic and demographic conditions for establishing a colonial nation-state in Palestine. It was only natural that massacres, genocide, and eventually apartheid would inevitably ensue where the colonizer has sought to establish dominance over the colonized.

A quick reading of history, as Ghassan Kanafani and others have done, reveals Zionism preceded the nineteenth century and had always been a partner of colonialism and Western imperialism. After the occupation of Egypt, Napoleon marched over 30,000 troops onto Jaffa and Acre. A French report published after the military attack of 1799 stated that Bonaparte wants to restore to the Jews their Jerusalem. We agree that Zionism has established an apartheid state. But we would go further and state that the apartheid relationship the colonial distinction between different kinds of humans is at Zionisms core. This racist movements colonial roots were no secret, nor were they exogenously imposed. As the biographer of Herzl wrote, he knew that he would be going further than any colonialist had so far gone in Africa, and would temporarily, alienated civilized opinion as they, in Herzls 1896words, would occupy the land. As he continued, By the time the reshaping of world opinion in our favor has been completed, we shall be firmly established in our country, no longer fearing the influx of foreigners, and receiving our visitors with aristocratic benevolence.

We therefore see the historical sequence differently. Zionism did not merely emerge as one amongst many Jewish responses to antisemitism, but as part-and-parcel of European imperialism. It received British support precisely because it would create a colonial outpost at the crossroads of Asia and Africa, and on the shores of the Mediterranean, a body of water nestled between three major continents. The idea was always to give strategic access to the Mediterranean coast while denying it to Palestinians, with the exception of the Gaza ghetto, while expelling Palestinians to British-created Jordan. This colony would perpetually tie that outpost, with existential dependency, to imperialism. Thus, whatever the subjective intentions of non-political Zionists during the era of colonization and settlement, they were taking part in and contributing to a broader colonial project. A rejection of all forms of Zionism, not just political, is thus critical to true solidarity grounded in justice, anti-racism, and anti-imperialism.

We agree that the creation of Israel and Zionism has led to a racist hierarchy amongst the Jews living in Palestine and has been a recurrent tool to break the ties of Jewish communities living in Arab lands from Tunisia to Egypt to Yemen to Iraq. We see this as an organic outgrowth of the Zionist project of denigrating the whole of the Orient and the cultures and ways of life which live in the region. One of the biggest proponents of anti-Semitism has been the Zionist movement. It bombed synagogues in Iraq and Tunisia. Later in the 1980s, in the midst of the Lebanese civil war, in which both Israel and the US were directly implicated, the Palestine Liberation Organization stood guard in front of Lebanese synagogues in the Jewish quarter, only to be obliterated later by Zionist bombs targeting these buildings to ensure that Jews had no safe havens in their native countries and outside of Palestine. And as Hannah Arendt described in detail, during WWII Zionists allied with Nazi leaders and conspired against the Jewish resistance leaders in Warsaw to guarantee complete rupture of Jewish continuity in Europe and outside of Palestine.

Anti-Zionism, then, is a politic founded on the denial of the colonial relationships of oppression in Palestine, and by extension rejects the continued existence of the European Jewish state in Palestine. It is a stance which rejects the right of people from Europe to invade and take over those lands and set up a hierarchy of peoples within them. Anti-Zionism is not merely criticism of current Israeli policies or even the idea of a Jewish nation-state. It is a rejection of an imperially-imposed, racist, settler-colonial state.

Zionism is also not limited to Palestinian dispossession and occupation. Zionism has carried out multiple and ongoing attacks on surrounding and further afield Arab states, from Egypt, to Syria, to Lebanon and Tunisia, including decades-long occupations of the Levantine region and extensive assaults on Lebanon. It has helped assassinate Arab radical leadership, including the Moroccan Marxist militant Mehdi Ben Barka, George Hawi, and Mustafa Ali Zibri. It has provided arms and training to right-wing, fascistic, anti-Communist, racist, and antisemitic regimes, from apartheid South Africa, to the dictatorships of the Southern Cone and Central America in the 1970s and 1980s, to ongoing and massive arms sales to the right-wing US allied Indian government, to cozying up to the crypto-fascist Bolsonaro regime in Brazil. It also partnered with the military junta in prosecuting a genocide in Guatemala that resulted in the murder of 200,000 people, mostly indigenous Mayans. Zionists aided and trained the Lebanese Force and Falanges, the Southern Lebanese Army, and Al Qaida factions, and even coordinated directly with the Islamic State. In this, Israel has carried out an agenda which it has been loyal to from its founding: turning itself into the spears-tip of empire across the Third World and against Third World national and social liberation struggles. We consider these facts highly relevant to constituting an anti-Zionist politic, which has historically been inseparable from a broader internationalist and anti-colonial position which rejects the influence of Europe and the US empires in the affairs of the countries of the Third World.

Of course, we recognize and applaud JVPs efforts in finally joining the ranks of the anti-Zionist movement after many years of incoherence that functioned to strengthen the Zionist colonial project under the mask of liberal Zionism. However, historical and ideological clarity are important. Anti-Zionism is an internationalist politic, one to which our own predecessors, Palestinian and Jewish, have made important contributions. We uphold that legacy, and warmly embrace this important step from Jewish Voice for Peace in developing an ever-sharper analysis of Zionism as part of a shared struggle to rid the region of Israel and all the reactionary precipitates of the Zionist project. Thus, we wish to push our ally even further, so that JVP may understand anti-Zionism for what it is, a liberationist ideology grounded in anti-imperialism and anti-racism. This view of anti-Zionism has only one logical conclusion, a total rejection of all forms of Zionism and the embrace of true decolonization.

Eyad Kishawi, Palestinian activist and member of Al-Awda

Max Ajl, Tunis, Tunisia

Liliana Cordova-Kaczerginski, Madrid, Spain

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Anti-Zionism is a rejection of racism and imperialism, not ...

Mass Holocaust-denial infecting Eastern Europe study …

Posted By on January 29, 2019

A new study suggests that Holocaust denial is at its worst in Eastern Europe, where revisionist governments driven by feelings of victimhood try to erase their nations culpability in the massacre of Jews.

The study, published on January 25 just days before Holocaust Remembrance Day indicates rampant levels of historical revisionism regarding the mass-extermination of Jews under Nazi rule in eastern parts of the European Union. The Holocaust Remembrance Project was conducted by researchers from Yale and Grinnell Colleges and endorsed by the European Union of Progressive Judaism (EUPJ), an umbrella organization which links more than 170 progressive Jewish communities in 17 countries.

Revisionism here refers to people minimizing their own governments complicity, downplaying the number of victims, or claiming that the events of the Holocaust never occurred at all. Based on their findings, the study assigned countries a green, yellow, or red rating, indicating progress, caution or problems, in their relation to Holocaust history. Poland, Hungary, Croatia, and Lithuania all received a red rating, indicating that these countries have a serious incapability of living up to their tragic histories.

Poland is particularly taken to task in the study. The authors describe the country as run by a right-wing nationalist government engaged in competitive victimization, emphasizing the experience of Polish victims over that of Jewish victims. Aside from rising levels of anti-Semitism and continued reductions in Holocaust education, the country came under fire for a law it passed in January of last year which made it illegal to implicate the Polish state in Nazi crimes.

On the other hand, Romania and the Czech Republic were both given a green rating, and were held up as exemplars. The Romanian government was praised for requiring mandatory Holocaust training for its military general staff and establishing an independent Holocaust-study commission.

While this part of the report focused on countries in Eastern Europe, the rest of the continent didnt fare much better in recent related studies. One study published around the same time indicated that despite widely available evidence, 1 in 20 Britons dont believe the Holocaust took place at all.

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Books and DVDs on Zionism –

Posted By on January 29, 2019

Readings on Zionism and Related Topics

Neturei Karta now offers books, publications and DVDs for sale.

The 100 year record of religious Jewish opposition to Zionism.

READ FREE ONLINE! The Rabbis Speak Out or purchase a paperback copy. ($12.00)

Exile and Redemption: The Torah Approach by "A Friend of Neturei Karta" -- (62 pages, illustrated, footnoted) This is a fundamental work which presents in detail the Torah approach to Zionism, explores the history and effect of the movement in history and suggests how the rejection of Zionism will yield many blessings for the Jewish people. Included as well is a step by step overview of the recent dialogue between Orthodox Rabbis and the Minister Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam.


(41 pages) Rabbi Moshe Beck, a leading thinker of anti-Zionism is interviewed by Patrick Harrington of Third Way (England).

A fundamental exploration of Zionism and its underlying philosophy. The new addition includes several additional articles by Rabbi Beck

Read Online

Traditional Torah Opposition to ZionismDocuments of the past 100 years religious Jewish opposition to Zionism

New expanded edition


A Threat from Within: History of Jewish Opposition to Zionism

by Yakov M. Rabkin, 261 pages.



The Tragic Irony Misusing the Holocaust for Political AGenda, The State of israel Hijacks a Jewish Tragedy (44 pages)

Read Online

* * *

Neturei Karta International P.O.B. 1316 Monsey N.Y. 10952 U.S.A.

Other remittances must be sent separately and cannot be added to your shopping cart:

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American Sephardi Federation – Home | Facebook

Posted By on January 26, 2019

At the Crossroads of Sephardic, Mizrahi, and Russian-Speaking Worlds: A Three-Part Learning and Cultural Series on the Greater Sephardic Communities of the Former Soviet Union

Back by popular demand, the American Sephardi Federation's Young Sephardi Scholars Series is excited to once again host a 3-part learning and cultural series on the Russian-speaking Jewish (RSJ) communities of the Greater Sephardic world. The cultures and histories of Bukharian, Georgian, and Kavkazi (M...ountain) Jews are situated at the fascinating, yet lesser known, intersection of RSJ, Sephardic and Mizrahi life. Led by Ruben Shimonov, this multimedia learning series will provide a unique opportunity to explore the multilayered and rich stories of the three communities.

The dates of the series are:2/19 (Kavkazi Jews)3/26 (Bukharian Jews)4/16 (Georgian Jews)

All sessions will begin at 6:30 PM in the Kovno Room at the Center for Jewish History (15 West 16th Street, NY, NY 10011).

Light dinner reflecting the cuisine of Bukharian, Georgian, and Kavkazi Jewish communities will be served.

Registration: $18 per session or $36 for all 3.

Please note: Space is limited and tickets will not be sold at the door. Once sold out, the event will be closed.

Co-sponsored by JDC Entwine. This project was created as part of the COJECO BluePrint Fellowship, supported by COJECO and Genesis Philanthropy Group.


Ruben Shimonov is a Jewish educator, community builder, and social innovator based in New York City. His multilayered identity as an immigrant, Bukharian, Sephardic, Mizrahi, and Russian-speaking Jew continuously informs his commitment to the cultural and global diversity of the Jewish people. Ruben has previously brought this passion to his work at Queens College Hillel as Director of Cross-Community Engagement and Education, where he had the unique role of cultivating Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewish student life on campus. Ruben is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Sephardic-Mizrahi Q Network, a grassroots organization that works to build a vibrant and supportive community for LGBTQ Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews. He also serves as Vice-President for Education and Community Engagement on the American Sephardic Federation's Young Leadership Board, as well as the Director of Educational Experiences and Programming for the Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee of New York. Ruben was recently named among The Jewish Week's '36 Under 36' emerging Jewish communal leaders and social entrepreneurs. He is also a 2018 ASF Broome & Allen Fellow, as well as a 2018 COJECO Blueprint Fellow. Among his speaking engagements, Ruben was recently invited to present at Limmud Festival in the United Kingdom, one of the largest annual Jewish learning conferences in the world.

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What is Zionism? | Torah Jews

Posted By on January 26, 2019

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.

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What is Zionism? | Torah Jews

Zionism – Kids | Britannica Kids | Homework Help

Posted By on January 26, 2019

The roots of Zionism stretch back many hundreds of years. In ancient times Jewish people lived in Palestine, a region in the Middle East near the Mediterranean Sea. With such biblical places as Judea and Galilee, this area is considered a holy land by Jews. But Muslims, or followers of Islam, also claim it as holy, as do Christians.

Over time Jewish people migrated to other regions of the world, where they were usually a minority compared to the Christian population. Faced with intolerance, Jewish religious leaders called for followers to resettle their ancestral homeland in Palestine. As the Enlightenment spread through Europe in the 1700s, so did freer ideas about religion. Jews became more accepted.

In the late 1800s things began to change. Jews in Russia, Poland, and other Eastern European countries became victims of fierce persecution, or severe mistreatment, simply because of their religious beliefs. In Austria, anti-Jewish feelings (anti-Semitism) ran particularly strong. There a journalist named Theodor Herzl resolved that the future of Jewish life lay in Palestine. He envisioned an Old-New Landa modern state located in the ancient Jewish homeland. Herzl described Jews and Muslims in Palestine working together to bring about a state where both could live. Under Herzls direction, Zionism became a political movement.

As Zionism gained followers, more and more Jews moved to the Middle East, escaping maltreatment in some European countries. By 1914 about 90,000 Jews lived in Palestine. They settled in the countryside and built cities. They also organized schools and cultural institutions. By 1935 the Jewish population of Palestine numbered 300,000.

In the 1930s Europe was coming under the domination of Adolf Hitler, a powerful German leader who despised Jews and was determined to destroy them. Also intent on taking over Europe, Hitler ordered troops into Poland in 1939, launching World War II.

The Holocaust, Hitlers punishment and mass killing of Jews, turned the tide of world opinion in favor of Zionism. After World War II most nations agreed a Jewish homeland should be set up. On November 29, 1947, the newly founded United Nations proposed that Palestine be divided between Arab Muslims and Jews. The state of Israel was proclaimed on May 14, 1948. Zionism had achieved its goal.

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In Crown Heights, Hasidic Graffiti Artists Are Pushing The …

Posted By on January 26, 2019

If you walk by Primo Hatters mens hat shop on Kingston Avenue in the heart of Crown Heights, you might just miss it.

Look into the alleyway on the side of the store, and youll see a striking bright blue portrait of an old Hasidic rabbi.

Solomon Souza, a 25-year old graffiti artist, and 40-year-old Chassidic pop artist, Yitzchok Moully, decided to use Crown Heights walls as a gallery for their colorful street art last month. Visiting from Israel, Souza painted a blue portrait of the Alter Rebbe, also known as Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of Chabad Hasidism, whose yartzeit was commemorated this month.

But this is no Judaica shop art. This is street art gone Hasidic. And the response from the local community has been mixed.

For many in the community, the idea of painting holy rabbis on walls of buildings seemed sacrosanct. A disgrace to the Alter Rebbe, one commenter wrote on a local news site. There are many other ways to add color to Crown Heights streets, in a Hasidic way too is nothing sacred any more?Others found the art uplifting. I just love walking down Kingston Ave and seeing the face of the Alter Rebbe, one commentator wrote. There is enough shmutz out there all over the place, on every bus stop, the subway station, billboards, etc., wrote another. We need something kosher to be available.

Others found it downright inspiring. A few people passed by as I was working on it and said critical things, said Souza. But one woman walked over and said shes actually a descendant of the Alter Rebbe and she loved it and thought it was suitable and respectful. So I have one of his descendants approval.

The London-born artist, known for his hundreds of spray paint portraits in Israels Mahane Yehuda market that came alive at night after shops shuttered their doors, has been creating street art since he was 15. His portraits take up to four hours to complete, and subjects include political personalities, thinkers and rabbinical figures. Souza was an artist in residence this past year with The Israel Innovation Fund, which supports art in Tel Aviv, where Souza completed the largest mural on a building there.

And he isnt the first to try his hand in Crown Heights.

Two years ago, a Montreal Hasidic street artist, Zreyli, painted five portraits of the Lubavitcher Rebbe along with the Seven Noahide Laws on Crown Heights street walls. Shortly afterwards, some local Chabad youths defaced it, painting over images of the Rebbe with a blackout square. A year later, the same murals got defaced again, this time with an image of a dark-skinned woman with bright red lips, accompanied by Hebrew writing. Zreyli, a 56-year-old father of 10 children, who had gotten permission to paint the murals, called the culprits zealots with a fanatical attitude.

Originally from France and inspired by the French graffiti artist Mr. Brainwash, Zreyli has done street art in Montreal on many walls that are legally designated for art. Featuring the Lubavitcher Rebbes and also the Satmar Rebbe from Poland, they lasted at times for several years.

When you put art in the street, you dont expect it to stay there, Zreyli said. We put it there as a gift for everyone to see. We dont get paid, some people help with providing paint, but we do it because we believe in it. Its a shock when its destroyed, and yet we do it again and again.

Zreyli did a beautiful thing [in Crown Heights], but some thought it was more respectful to paint over the Rebbe than leave it up, which doesnt make sense, Moully said.

Moully certainly challenges the old way of thinking while embracing the outdoor art scene there. Raised on a commune in the Australian outback, he left his job in the rabbinate a few years ago to pursue painting full-time. Last month, he created a mural called #weallbelong outside the Jewish Childrens Museum in Crown Heights. The museum was chosen as the home for the painting, after it was rejected by another building, a legacy Lubavitch organization, whose leadership worried about backlash. One elderly Hasidic lay leader called his wash of bright colors a shock to the senses, Moully said. After numerous rounds of negotiations, the board voted against it, though Moully had tried appeasing them by tweaking the design through toning down the color and making it less outlandish. Eventually, instead of attempting to engage in a compromise, the board member said its easier to say no than yes to the idea.

They didnt see the value of positive change to risk the potential community pushback among the old-school, traditional Hasidic members who might find it offensive, Moully said. Today their buildings wall, which had so much potential for art, remains an ugly gray with years of dirt.

With inclusion as its theme, Moullys image had all types of Jews, featuring a cross section of the community, including two Jews of color. The rabbis he consulted didnt approve of both men and women painted on the same wall deemed immodest so Moully created shadow-like silhouettes, creating a portrait of both men and women.

Yitzchak Moully

Yitzchak Moullys We All Belong mural.

We all belong in the community as contributing members in spite of our different appearances, colors, male or female, said Moully. In order to create change you have to work with the establishment to make small steps with the current realities on the ground. Its about brotherly love,a closeness, not making people feel uncomfortable.

Moully aspires to create ten murals on Kingston Avenue using a contemporary spin of the Rebbes campaigns, such as a rabbi putting tefillin on passersby. Legally, whoever owns the wall can decide what goes up on it, so hes busy approaching wall owners with ideas and asking permission.

Solomon Souza

Solomon Souzas Bushwick mural.

It seems the resistance may be a generational issue. Theres always going to be that disagreement between the young and the old of Crown Heights, wrote one online commentator. Rabbi YosefBraun of the Crown Heights Beth Din told the Forward that its an issue of Hasidic feeling more than Jewish law. I see both sides of the argument; it depends on how you look at it, how respectfully its painted. Its not clear to me what the answer is with this.

My art is controversial because some people within the Jewish community say you shouldnt paint faces of people, especially of rabbis, that its not respectful, although Crown Heights is full of shops selling the images of rabbis, noted Souza. People were saying its not right to paint a picture of a Rebbe in an alleyway where people are going to relieve themselves there and do rubbish there.

Yet, today, Souzas paintings remain up and Moully has plans to continue, too.

I want to paint holy things, but the issue is that its unchartered territory, its new and the old guard is scared of whats new, Moully said. Two years ago [the Rebbe] was painted over straight away. Now Crown Heights has grown, the level of tolerance has gone up. Theres still grumblings, but theyre not painting over it. You can call it progress.

Sara Trappler Spielman is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn.

This story "In Crown Heights, Hasidic Graffiti Artists Are Pushing The Boundaries" was written by Sara Trappler Spielman.

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Hasidic Anti-Vaxxers Reject Rebbes Pro-Vaccine Rulings The …

Posted By on January 26, 2019

Minke used to get her kids vaccinated, though she never felt right about it. The thought of injecting her children with a foreign substance one that might cause them to run a fever or have an allergic reaction scared her.

But three years ago, when her youngest daughters pediatrician said it was time for a chickenpox shot, Minke balked. After all, kids get chickenpox all the time, she thought.

About 9% of Americans oppose vaccination, but Minke is unusual even among that vocal minority. She is an ultra-Orthodox Jew, part of a community known for adherence to the rulings of their rebbes rabbinic leaders. And many of those rebbes have insisted that Jewish law requires vaccination. But a stubborn, if small, segment of the ultra-Orthodox community is saying that, when it comes to vaccines, their rebbes decrees do not apply.

I believe that there is no Torah source to tell me exactly how to take care of my children, Minke, 31, said in an interview. Minke requested a pseudonym because she did not feel comfortable having her views publicly known.

It is very unusual for Hasidic Jews to go against the prevailing ultra-Orthodox interpretation of Jewish law, said Rabbi Yair Hoffman, a Hasidic educator and commentator who writes frequently about Jewish legal decisions.

Theyve [the anti-vaccine cohort] been convinced by people that the rabbis have made an error, and are really relying on a minority view instead of a majority view, Hoffman said.

Hoffman said he knows of only one other instance of Hasidic Jews going against the majority of rabbis legal opinions. There is a segment of women in the community who eat and drink on the four minor fast days in the Jewish calendar despite the fact that virtually all rabbis agree that it is required by Jewish law.

The American ultra-Orthodox community of about 300,000 people has seen multiple measles outbreaks over the years due to low vaccination rates.

Some major rabbis have said its okay not to vaccinate children before sending them to school, including three members of the top rabbinical council of Agudath Israel of America, the leading ultra-Orthodox umbrella organization. The three rabbis signed onto a letter that stated that any parent who done his research is allowed to go against the advice of the medical establishment. One of those rabbis called vaccines a hoax in a 2014 interview. Smaller yeshivas, or religious schools, are not as stringent about excluding unvaccinated kids as the larger ones, said Samuel Heilman, a professor of sociology at Queens College who has written extensively about the ultra-Orthodox community.

In some yeshivas in upstate New York, vaccination rates are as low as 60%, according to New York state health commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. New York states overall vaccination rate is 92.5%.

Yet most major ultra-Orthodox rabbis and institutions have insisted on vaccination. Two of the largest yeshivas in the world the Beth Medrash Gevoha in Lakewood, New Jersey, and the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem have both stated that their thousands of students and teachers are required to get vaccinated. Ultra-Orthodox authorities on Jewish law have argued that the Talmudic imperative of pikuach nefesh, or saving a life, stipulates that all should be vaccinated to prevent the wider community.

Heilman says the leading rabbis could do more: Frankly, the rabbis could put a stop to this overnight if they simply said, Anyone in whose family there is no vaccination cant go to yeshiva. Because these kids cant not go to yeshiva.

Minke said that, in her social circle, vaccine skepticism is growing. People feel unfairly targeted for vaccination by the city and state departments of health. They are taking their intuition that vaccines are dangerous, she says, and then learning on the internet about, for example, the anti-vaxxer belief that vaccines routinely cause autism and other conditions.

Minke, a member of the Vizhnitz branch of Hasidic Judaism, considers herself as a very strong conformer, who listens to her rebbe. But she insists that the decision of whether or not to vaccinate is different, and should be made on an individual basis.

Other ultra-Orthodox anti-vaxxers say that the rabbis have not been given both sides of the vaccine argument, or have been bullied into siding with the medical establishment by major stakeholders in the community. National and international health organizations have repeatedly determined that vaccines are safe, and that adverse reactions are rare.

All humans are fallible, even rabbis, Yael Tusk, a 35-year-old Chinese medicine practitioner in Jerusalem who identifies as Orthodox, wrote in an email. Is it realistic to expect that a halachic [legal] ruling that may be made in error cannot cause harm? I am not willing to take such a risk on my childrens health and lives.

Opposition to vaccines may be growing in the ultra-Orthodox world as a response to the communitys perception that the secular world is trying to weaken their social structures, Heilman and others said.

Usually people are alone, and they cant fight a system alone, said a Hasidic doctor of osteopathic medicine, who is board certified in Pennsylvania. The physician, who is opposed to vaccination, asked to be anonymous to protect his personal and professional reputation. In the community, people are together, and they can withstand enormous pressure from the system, when they feel the system is saying to do something that is not in their kids best interest.

At the same time, experts agree that the ultra-Orthodox worlds anti-vaccine crowd is a fraction of the community.

Youre never going to get one hundred percent uniformity on anything, said Ezra Friedlander, a Hasidic political consultant whose father is the rebbe of the Liska branch of Hasidic Judaism. Moses couldnt get that, and he split the sea.

Ari Feldman is a staff writer at the Forward. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter @aefeldman

This story "Hasidic Anti-Vaxxers Reject Rebbes Pro-Vaccine Rulings" was written by Ari Feldman.

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Martin Luther King and Zionism | The Jewish Press …

Posted By on January 23, 2019

{Originally posted to the FirstOne Through website}

Martin Luther King Jr.fought for the rights of the black minority in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. His passionate words inspired many people to move for equal rights forall Americans.

As the last MLK Day of the first Black US President is celebrated, and in the aftermath of this administrations abandonment of Israel, it is worth reviewing MLKs comments specifically about Israel, and those which underscore his philosophy about Israel.

Martin Luther King on Israel (Direct Quotes)

Here is a selection ofMLK quotes specifically about the Jewish State:

The whole world must see that Israel must exist, Israel has a right to exist, and is one of the great outposts of democracy in the world.

Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.

Israels right to exist as a state in security is incontestable.

When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism,

Below is a selection of 20 other famous quotes of MLK, applied to Israel.

Reestablishing the Jewish Homeland

I have a dream.

The famous line was taken from a speech given by MLK on August 28, 1963. That speech was a declaration that the promise of freedom that was given to blacks by President Abraham Lincoln 100 years earlier in 1863 was still not realized. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds, he continued.

In 2017, 100 years after the Balfour Declaration in 1917 recognized the right of Jews to reestablish their homeland in Palestine, President Obama said that the Jewish State could only be reestablished on a sliver of their homeland, and Jews living outside those bounds was illegal. Many Zionists have repeated the words of MLK to Obama today, that the tacit endorsement of United Nations Resolution 2334 was wrong; a bounced check marked insufficient funds.

Faith is taking the first step even when you dont see the whole staircase.

Theodore Herzl advanced modern Zionism when he wrote the book The Jewish State in 1896. He believed that If you will it, it is no dream; that Jews could actively participate in moving to Israel and reestablish Jewish sovereignty in the land. Jews were already a majority in Jerusalem since the 1860s, and had moved to Palestine in greater numbers than any other religion throughout the 1800s. But Herzl instilled the belief that sovereignty Jewish self-determination in their homeland was a possibility in modern times.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

While international law established the right of a Jewish homeland in Palestine in the San Remo Agreement of 1920 and the Palestine Mandate in 1922, the nations of the world did not recognize the independent Jewish State until 1948-9. Some people have argued that Israel was created BECAUSE of the Holocaust, that bleak starless midnight of racism and war. The truth is that the world recognized the right of Jews to reestablish their homeland decades earlier, before the Nazis even rose to power.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope

The endorsements of a Jewish homeland in 1920 and 1922 was met with riots and pogroms in Israel. Arab riots in the 1920s killed dozens of Jews. The mini-Arab war against the Jews in 1936-9 killed thousands, and made the British administrators institute a ceiling on Jewish immigration to Palestine on the eve of the Holocaust an action that allowed thousands of Jews to die in Europe. Wars and terrorism from Arab forces have continued to kill Jews in Israel. But the Jewish State never gives up hope of living in peace.

We may have all come on different ships, but were in the same boat now.

The Israeli people are a diverse people. Mizrachi Jews account for the majority, who came from Arab lands including Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt between 1948 and the 1960s. Many Jews left Argentina after the bombing of the Jewish Community Center in 1984, and Israel absorbed thousands of Jews from Ethiopia and Russia during the 1990s. While people think of the Ashkenazim of Europe being the dominant presence in the country, they are actually a minority.

Efforts at Peace and Coexistence

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

When Israel declared its independence in May 1948, it gave citizenship to everyone living in the land, Jews and non-Jews alike. This was in sharp contrast to the Jordanian Arabs who expelled all Jews from lands that they seized in the 1948-9 war in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. The Jordanians gave all of the Arabs in the region Jordanian citizenship and explicitly EXCLUDED JEWS from obtaining citizenship. At this time, the other Arab and Muslim countriesbegan to force 1 million Jews to flee their homes.

In 1967, after the Arab countries tried to destroy Israel again, Israel asked for peace, but the Arab world declared in Khartoum no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it.

Israeli statesman Shimon Peres made an observation similar to MLK about the persistent Arab terrorism in Israel when he said in June 2014 you cannot put fire and water in the same glass. Hamas is clearly not a partner for peace. Finding a way forward is hard but we must not lose hope. Israel continues to extend a hand of peace and coexistence to its Arab neighbors and hopes that one day, the dream ofpeace will be reciprocated.

It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.

Israel took significant steps towards peace with its neighbors, sacrificing territory that it took when Arab countries sought to destroy Israel. In 1982, Israel removed all Jews from the Sinai peninsula and handed the land to Egypt in exchange for a peace treaty. In 1996, as part of the Oslo Agreements, Israel gave control of many cities in Judea and Samaria/ the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority, in the hopes of establishing peace. The Israelis discussed giving back almost all of the Golan Heights to Syria in exchange for peace, as detailed in Dennis Rosss book, The Missing Peace. And in 2005, Israel withdrew all Israeli soldiers and civilians from Gaza in the hopes of achieving peace.

We have yet to see many Arabs sacrifice for peace willfully, such as admitting the rights of Jews to live throughout the region, facilitating their access totheir holiest site on the Jewish Temple Mount and recognizing the Jewish State itself.

Love and Kindness

Lifes most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?

Israel has been at the forefront of helping out countries of the world faced with natural disasters. Whether in Haiti or Turkey, Japan or Indonesia, Israelhelps countries that do not even recognize it. Consider that Israel even helped people injured in the civil war in Syria next door, even though the two countries are technically at war.

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

Israeli officials often call out the barbarity that exists around the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. The murderous regimes that extinguish freedoms make Israel a lonely island of democracy and liberal attitudes. But for its efforts of calling out evil, Israel just gets more worldcondemnation, as it is mocked for progressive attitudes with terms like pinkwashing. No matter. Israel will continue to lead by example and call out its neighbors.

Israel and Greatness

Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.

Jews may only a fraction of the global body, but they account for an enormous percentage of the Nobel Prizes for Chemistry, Medicine and Physics. Similarly, the Jewish State has more Nobel Prize winners than the African continent andentire Arabian peninsula combined.

The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.

Israel has been named the Start Up Nation because of the remarkable number of entrepreneurs that have created successful start up companies. Despite its small size, lack of natural resources and unfriendly neighbors, the country has managed to create break-through hardware and software companies with products that are incorporated into almost every successful technology today.

Israel and Arab Neighbors

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

At the moment of Israels declaration of statehood, it opened its arms toArabs both in its midst and those at its borders. In the very text of the declaration on May 14, 1948 it stated: WE APPEAL in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions. WE EXTEND our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East. It is an effort that Israel still continues to advance today.

The principle of self defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi.

While Israel attempts to achieve a peaceful coexistence with its neighbors, it will always have the security of its land and people as a primary concern. When rockets flew from Gaza, Israel responded by launching an operation to stop the attacks. When suicide bombers infiltrated the country from Arab towns in Judea and Samaria, the country built a security barrier.

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.

Israel has attempted to advance peace with Palestinian Arabs on the basis of peaceful coexistence. It gave full rights of citizenship to Arabs living in Israel in 1948, and has allowed Arabs living in the eastern part of Jerusalem which Israel reunited in 1967, the right to apply for citizenship. In contrast, the Arabs have made no attempt to advance peace, but have only focused on a complete separation from Israel. Some Palestinian Arabs that are viewed as moderates seek a state just in Gaza and the West Bank. Other Arabs seek to destroy Israel completely.

Peace will only come to the region when peace is a means and an ends, not just a potential byproduct of maneuvers and declarations.

Israel and the United Nations

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

The United Nations has made a name for itself in its rampant anti-Semitism. Efforts have ranged from Having a former Nazi, Kurt Waldheim,run the UN for years, to resolutions declaring that Zionism is racism.

In 2015 and 2016, the UN advanced and approved resolutions that removed any connection of Judaism from Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple Mount. The efforts are part of a long-standing Arab complaint that Israel is trying to Judaize its holiest city, despite Jews 3000-year history in the city.

MLK said it best, that nothing is more dangerous than conscientious stupidity.

Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.

Several European countries have tried to advance a peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli Conflict. However, in doing so, they have compounded the problem and made chances for peace more remote.

Removing Hamas from a list of terrorist entities enables terrorism and parties that oppose any peace with Israel. Labeling products from Judea and Samaria with distinct labels pushes away opportunities for coexistence. Condemning Jews living across from Armistice Lines that were specifically never designated as borders is illogical and harms negotiations. Advancing peace forums without the presence of Israelis makes the possibility of direct negotiations more remote.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood before the General Assembly at the United Nations in October 2015 to rebuke the countries of the world for theirutter silence, deafening silencein condemning Iran for its pledge to destroy Israel. President Obama called US Ambassador Samantha Power out of the room so she missedNetanyahus speech. Silence compounded: the refusal to speak and the refusal to hear.

Israel and the United States Under Obama

The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.

As noted above, Barack Obama pulled his people out of the UN General Assembly so they would not hear the Israeli Prime Ministers speech. It was not the only time he would snub Israel.

Obama made a point of reaching out to the Arab and Muslim world as soon as he began his presidency. He made his first public trip to Turkey where he pitched common ground. He traveled to Cairo, Egypt, where he made his new beginnings appeal.He would stop byIraq and Saudi Arabia. And skip Israel.

When Obama did make it to Israel four years later, he declined an invitation to speak to the Israeli Knesset, and instead opted to use that time to speak to college students, snubbing the only democracy in the Middle East.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

By early 2015, the contours of the Iran nuclear deal were taking shape, very much to the dislike of Israel, Saudi Arabia and other American allies. As the Iranian government made clear its interest in destroying Israel, Netanyahu sought to take aggressive steps to improve upon the deal. He accepted an invitation to address a joint session of Congress, but Obama had 58 Democratic loyalists inCongress boycott the speech.

Beyond snubbing Israel in Jerusalem and Washington DC, and standing by idly when the United Nations Security Council lambasted Israel, the Obama administration never had the courage to state that it supported Israel as it confronted dozens of terrorist attacks. Those sentiments were reserved for other countries. And for Palestinian Arabs.

The twentieth quote summarizes the life of Martin Luther King: Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. It is a mantra he lived as a civil rights leader fighting for a minority group to achieve common rights and freedoms.

It is a cause that the Jewish people and the Jewish State understand full well.

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Zionists synonyms, Zionists antonyms –

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com/news/2018/3/3/Facebook-closes-2-Palestinian-media-pages) silence Palestinian voices trying to expose Zionists as the bigots they are and to counter the bullying attacks and misrepresentations of Zionists so prevalent on social media.In context of the recent visit by the Indo-Israel delegation to Kashmir, all Muslims of Kashmir must know that the delegation is a deadly mix of Zionists and hypocrites.In the largest, most comprehensive biography of Jacob Schiff to date, Naomi Cohen argues that Schiff "envisioned an under-taking [sic] joining Zionists and non-Zionists, Orthodox and Reform, on a non-political platform--not to advance the progress of political Zionism but to foster Jewish unity.Referring to violation of many UN resolutions by the Zionists, Ale'habib said there is a lot of evidence concerning Zionists' aggressive policies, apartheid, and war crimes in the reports of the United Nations.Continue reading "It's Time for Zionists to Stop Celebrating the Balfour Declaration" at.When we describe the occupation as an apartheid regime or that the Zionist thugs have committed war crimes and genocide against our people, it is not because we want to twist the truth as the Zionists always have, but to reiterate what has been said by many Israeli Jews, including Ilan Pappe and other well respected figures.The All Parties Media Conference was held here at Karachi Press Club to protest against the arsonists who set Palestinian mosque and church on fire and unjustifiable ban on Hamas branding the legitimate resistance to Zionists aggressors as terrorists.You should know that Zionists control the US government and the media.In a separate interview aired on Al-Quds TV in March 2010, Mursi said: "The Zionists have no right to the land of Palestine.Their mar-ginalization had already led to the establishment of a separate women's organization in 1900, the Association of Jewish National women (INF--Judisch-Nationalen Frauenvereinigungen), which aimed to turn women into Zionists.The Zionists commit these terrible violations of human rights and internationals law to punish the Palestinians for their refusal to recognize the Zionist entity as a state," it said.In a new attack on Zionism, President Ahmadi-nejad has charged that Zionists have been running the world for 400 years or since about 1600.It has now been some 400 years that a horrendous Zionist clan has been ruling the major world affairs," Ahmadinejad said, asserting that the Zionists are "behind the scenes of the major power circles, in political, media, monetary, and banking organizations in the world.The Newspaper on Thursday indicated that Syria's enemies, particularly the Zionists, have failed to achieve their goals in this regard after more than nine months, and that is what forced them to change their style.We ask our lord, the most high to free the entire occupied land of Palestine and especially Masjid Al Aqsa, the first Qibla of the Muslims from the hands of the invading Zionists and to give freedom to the oppressed nation from the prolonged occupation at the hands of the ruthless invaders and make it a free and independent country so it can live like the rest of the free people.

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