Petition to the United Nations 1949
Memorandum of the Neturei Karta to the Secretary General of the United Nations on the question of Jerusalem dated July 18, 1949.
In the name of the religious Jews of the old settlement of Jerusalem we have the honour to appeal to your honour concerning the above question: We, the religious Jews, who are the source of Judaism, who believe in our Father in heaven and keep His Divine commands, were the founders of the old settlement in the Holy Land. Our ancestors came to this country in the midst of great dangers and our families settled here under difficult conditions. Their longing to come and settle in the Holy land was inspired only by the desire to bring up their children and later generations in an atmosphere of truth and holiness, and to illuminate their path by our Law which was given us by G-d as an everlasting covenant between Judaism and the Holy Land--this Law, which gave us light in the darknesses of the exile and faith and hope in the midst of our sufferings, as it is written in Psalm 105, 43-5: "And He brought forth His people with joy and His chosen with gladness: and gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people; that they might observe His statutes, and keep His laws". In our longing and in that of our ancestors to come here, there was no political intention nor any other motive. Our intention was not to do harm to anyone. Our ancestors taught us to seek the welfare and the peace of the land in which we dwell and thus we lived in peace and good neighbourly relations with all the inhabitants of the Holy Land. When Palestine passed under the supervision of the League of Nations and Great Britain undertook the responsibility as the mandatory power, the vast majority of Jews in the country at the time were completely religious. In those days the zionists succeeded in bringing a stream of zionist immigrants to the Holy Land---men whose way of life excited anger and fear in the midst of the religious Jews settled here who feared that their sons would depart from the way of the Law under the influence of the zionist heretics, who clamed recognition as the representatives and leaders of Judaism throughout the whole world. Whatever may be its origin, political zionism today stands in complete contradiction to the Law of Judaism which was given by G-d. The zionists quickly transformed the devout religious schools into a nationalist system of education. They gathered under their wings the notables of the Jewish population and organized them on foundations foreign to the spirit of Judaism and directed towards the undermining of our religion.
The spiritual leaders of the religious Jews in the Holy Land then rose, they and all our sages throughout the whole world and all Jews whose faith was near to their hearts, and they struggled against the dominion of the zionists in the Holy Land. Our Rabbis and our Sages proclaimed that all those who do not observe our Holy Commandments have to portion and inheritance in Israel and are on no account to be considered representatives of the Jewish People. Our spiritual leaders, who are supported by religious Jewry throughout the world, lifted up their voices on high and turned to the Mandatory Power and to the League of Nations, as a result of which, after many discussions before the Mandates Commission, an ordinance was issued conferring on religious Jews the right to maintain their point of view so that they should be free from the obligation to join the community organized under the auspices of the zionists and represented on the zionists national council. However, this law deprived religious Jews of all official powers, which were handed over to the national council but it nevertheless preserved for religious Jews their religious freedom and conceded them the right to set up a free and separate Jewish community independent of the dominion and influence of the zionists so that they could preserve undisturbed their paths of life and ways of education.
Now that the Assembly of the United Nations has handed over the Holy Land to the rule of the zionists, it looks as if -- may G-d have mercy on his -- the destiny of the religious Jews who remain in the Holy Land will be cut off because the various zionist parties are fanatical in their views and are attempting go uproot the foundations of the faith and to make a fundamental change in the conception of the Jew. This step has laid waste our hopes and our peace of mind and is testing the faith which roused our ancestors to maintain the spirit and tradition of Judaism in the Holy Land.
In general, religious Jewry was opposed to the formation of Jewish state and especially a state placed under the dominion of the Zionists. Evidence to this effect was forwarded to the United Nations Commission during its sessions in Jerusalem by Chief Rabbi Duchinsky and by Rabbi Bengis who succeeded him as the head of religious Jewry in Jerusalem. A memorandum in this spirit was put forward but so far our efforts have had no effect.
Therefore, we now turn to your honour with this petition. We think that we are entitled to make this request of your hour for, to the best of our belief, we are still under your protection. We believe that in accordance with G-d's will, the United Nations is the heir to the League of Nations and has become responsible for our welfare. Since the Mandatory Power has given up its mandate for the Holy Land, this country and her inhabitants have been transferred to your protection. Therefore it is your duty to protect us, seeing that we, the religious Jews, are numbered among the inhabitants of the Holy Land and will not give up our right to seek your shelter and protection. We implore you in the name of humanity not to abandon us to that authority, the principles and plans which profane all that is holy in our eyes and the aim of which is to undermine our religious life. That is why we are appealing to you to rescue us from the dominion of the zionists in all the ways which are good in your eyes.
These are our requests to the United Nations:
1.The acceptance and execution of a decision according to which the whole of Jerusalem, the Holy City, will be put in the future under international protection and that it will continue to be a city in which religious Jews can live in freedom and independence.
2.A guarantee that in the future, we, the religious Jews, will be placed under the protection of the United Nations, and granted United Nations passports.
3.We ask that the United Nations should immediately appoint a responsible person or responsible persons from among its members whose duty it will be to protect the rights and interests of religious Jews in our Holy Land. Our heart is reliant and trusting that by virtue of your knowledge and great experience you will understand our anxious heart and that you will grasp that which we have not been able to express with greater clarity. The fact that we are forced to turn to you with this appeal is evidence in itself. We entreat you to do all in your power through the United Nations to relieve our distress and to help us to obtain the peace and prosperity which we seek for the service of our Father in heaven.
In respect and gratitude,
Rabbi Amram Blau
Rabbi Aaron Katzenellenbogen
Taken from U. N. Archives, document No. Com. Jer.W.30. Also printed in London International Affairs, July 1952.