What can I do to convince my fellow Muslims that not all Jews are Zionists?

Jan. 17, 2009

Dear Friends,

As a Muslim preacher, I am trying to do what I can to ensure that the anger generated by Israel's recent crimes is not channelled towards Jews, i.e. separating Judaism from Zionism.

Although I am just beginning, I have already met resistance and need you help me in my efforts to prevent a new wave of anti-Semitism, the brunt of which would be felt by peace-loving Jews:

1. Could you please provide the concise explanation (with references to publicly available religious texts) for why the State of Israel, as it currently stands, to be against the teachings of Judaism. The references are very important, so please be sure to include them.

2. Could you please then tell me how Israel and the US (and other countries, possibly) are full of Orthodox-seeming Jews who support the State of Israel?

I appreciate your assistance and pray for peace.

Kindest regards,

Fahed

Dear Fahed,

Thank you for your efforts to teach the Muslim world the distinction between Jews and Zionists. I hope this information will assist you.

1) The Talmud (Kesubos 111a) says that ever since the beginning of exile, Jews are forbidden to conquer the Holy Land, or to fight wars against the non-Jewish nations. They are also forbidden to take physical action towards their redemption.

The Talmud bases itself on a verse in the Song of Songs 2:7, I have caused you to swear, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and the hinds of the field, that you will not arouse or awaken the love before it is desired.

These Three Oaths are quoted consistently by all post-Talmudic Jewish legal authorities such as Maimonides, Rivash, Rashbash, Aruch Hashulchan, Rabbi Shmuel Salant, Peas Hashulchan. But you asked for publicly available sources and I dont think these books have ever been translated.

2) There truly are many Orthodox Jews who mistakenly support Zionism. I would say about 50% of them do. Why do they go against these explicit laws of Judaism? Many of them are ignorant and do not know the law. Or, more often, they are brainwashed by the incessant Zionist rhetoric of the Jewish newspapers, to believe that all Arabs and Muslims are murderers and the only way to protect Jews is to support the State of Israel. In this way, the Zionists build support for themselves, because every time they kill a lot of Palestinians, it causes a backlash of Jew-hatred in the Arab world, which in turn causes Jews to support the Zionists. It is a never-ending cycle.

The way to end this is to do what we are doing: show Jews that the Zionists are the ones who stirred up this whole fight to begin with, and that their actions have only brought trouble upon Jews; and to show Jews that Jews and Arabs have always and can still live side by side in peace.

I believe also that we must work to provide Israeli Jews other options as to where to live, so that those who are afraid to live under a Palestinian state will not feel pressured to support Zionism as their only alternative.