Today is the last Friday of Ramadan as is marked across the world as the International Quds Day. Muslims and even non-Muslims take part in rallies to voice their support for the Palestinian people and cause.
International Quran News Agency has reached out to Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, a spokesman with the Neturei Karta International, to further discuss the issue around Palestine and the Israel occupation.
Here is the full text of the interview:
IQNA: Efforts to normalize ties between some Arab states and Israel have failed to decrease tensions in the occupied territories. What is the reason for this?
Rabbi Weiss: May G-d help me and guide me to answer well and correctly represent Judaism. It is one of the guidelines of Jewish belief that we don’t get involved or express opinions about politics between countries. We are grateful that these countries want to befriend Jews. The problem is that the Zionists pretend to be representing Judaism and Jews, but are not. The Jewish religion forbids to have their own sovereignty until the coming of the Messiah, likewise we are forbidden to steal from or oppress another people. We certainly should not offend the Muslim and Arab people whom we are required to show gratitude for the kindness and friendship that they have shown to the Jews for the past hundreds of years. The Palestinians continue to live under occupation. They simply want self-determination in their own land, which was stolen from them in 1948. They want their freedom back. All other solutions are just band-aids. They don’t address the problem. The Palestinians deepest wishes are not satisfied.
IQNA: What do you think is the main reason for the failure of the international community in resolving the Palestinian issue?
Rabbi Weiss: The international community has misunderstood the illness and therefore prescribed the wrong medicine. The problem has nothing to do with Judaism versus Islam. The problem is an unjust, selfish, flawed political ideology with the goal of taking over another people’s land. Therefore the solution is not to make peace between religions. There was never any conflict between religions. The solution is the end of the occupation.
Ultimately the core reason why all the international attempts at bringing peace does not succeed is because the State of Israel is in defiance of the will of the Almighty, with its mere existence and its oppression of the Palestinian people
IQNA: Some observers believe that the two-state solution will fail because of occasional tensions in the occupied territories. What is your take on this?
Rabbi Weiss: Again, the two-state solution is like cutting a heart in half. The Palestinians want freedom in an undivided Jerusalem and an undivided Palestine, which was originally theirs. These solutions are band-aids. So it’s natural that they won’t last.
And again, Jews are not allowed to have any state of their own, even if it were not to affect the Palestinians and certainly where it does. So G-d is making sure that it won’t be successful.
IQNA: What do you think is the best solution for the decades-long issue in Palestine?
Rabbi Weiss: The world has to come to the realization that the conquest of Palestine was a crime. Not that it is a struggle between two peoples, or two religions, over a land, and we have to reach a compromise between them. But rather, that Jews and Palestinians alike are victims of a selfish, flawed, materialistic movement. And the solution is that once we recognize that, we will find the best way to take that movement out of the picture, and then just as Jews and Palestinians lived in peace together for hundreds of years, they can continue that way. The religious differences were never a cause for divide. It’s only the political movement.
IQNA: How do you see the importance and effect of the Quds Day that is marked around the world by Muslims?
Rabbi Weiss: It’s very important because we have to always remember the source of the issue. We need to not only speak about the current crimes, but also the source of the problem going back to 1948 when the Zionists took over the land. Their victims were, and remain the Palestinians and the Jews. Quds Day helps us to refresh our memory.
May G-d help us and lead us to a free Palestine, and the time when all of us can serve Him with joy and peace.
Interview by Mohammad Ali Haqshenas