**EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW** – Rabbi Cohen speaks out against #Gazaunderattack

FROM THE ARCHIVES- Rabbi Cohen exposes Israel as being un-representative of Jewish beliefs and supports the idea of Jews and Muslims living under a Caliphate which will guarantee real prosperity for different faiths.

 

Interviewed by Majed Iqbal & Waseem Aslam

Rabbi Cohen, how do you feel the world community should look at the current Gaza issue?

The way I look at it may not be the way the world looks at it. My organisation states that the situation is unnecessary- The whole situation in Palestine is a terrible tragedy. The underlying cause of all the strife and all the tragedy in Palestine is the very existence of the Zionist state of Israel. Our philosophy of Orthodox Judaism

Zionism is a nationalistic philosophy that began over 100 years ago for setting up a state and a Jewish homeland for Jews. This goes against what Jews hold from a religious point of view.

From a Jewish point of view handed down from generation tile the present is that the Jews are in a state of exile which was decreed by god- We were taught that Jewish people would live in the land of Palestine but only subject to certain conditions which if not maintained then Jewish people would be sent into exile which is what happened as seen in the last 2000 years. We are not allowed to have a state of our own. We remain loyal citizens wherever we are. It is seen as a rebellion to come out of this exile.

Zionism which set itself up a state went against Jewish teachings. Even if meant that a state is formed in an empty land (unlike the occupation in Palestine) this would still not be allowed as it is seen as a rebellion to God.

Zionists set up state regardless of the indigenous population- a sectarian state. This was bound to cause a confrontation which led to violence which led to bloodshed and this has been the picture over the last 100 years leading right up to the present day and the present terrible and horrific situation in Gaza.

Zionism is an immoral and illegitimate idea- If it hadn’t been, there would not have been this terrible trail of bloodshed for so many years.

 

Internationally today, Israel gets support off various countries. Despite your stance which claims that Israel has no legitimacy as a state, America, Britain, Europe continue to support it- Why do you think this is the case?

This is one of the great puzzles of the 20th century- Zionism managed to get great deal of support. It wasn’t originally supported from Jewish people themselves but it did attract quite a lot of support in this country and the US. Particularly after the Second World War because the western nations felt in a way a sense of responsibility for the tragedies that Jews experienced and did not want to be called anti-Semitic based on their belief that Zionism and Judaism is the same.

However, our organization teaches that Zionism and Judaism are two opposite concepts- so their (western nations) conclusion is wrong.

 

Even some Arab governments support Israel and have cordial relationships with it today and protect it further by having treaties, military pacts which legitimizes them further. What would your message be to the Arab Governments?

When Israel came all the Arabs were against it as hey saw it as an injustice to the Palestinian people. The ordinary Arab today still carries the same opinion. But certain governments over the years have found it practical policy to co-operate with Israel for political reasons like not wanting to be in a permanent state of war. They are very often tied up strongly with the US and Europe and don’t want to upset their relationships with these countries. They are not helping their brothers in Palestine.

Our philosophy is that the concept of the state of Israel be dismantled peacefully and that would lead to peace. It could be how the Apartheid state came to an end through sanctions, without any bloodshed. Political sanctions and gradually they were forced for a number of reasons to come to an end and I believe this could be a way forward which could be applied to the way nations of the world could deal with the State of Israel.

If they (Arabs) want to help their brothers in Palestine then they have to first of all accept that the very concept of the state of Israel is wrong. I’m sure this could be done if there was a will.

 

Iraq was a country which was placed under sanctions by the UN as it believed they were stockpiling weapons of mass destruction followed by a regime change in 2003. Could this be done by the international community where they stand up to Zionism under a moral obligation as Israel possesses weapons which it could use against its neighbors?

Although I don’t see a direct link between Iraq and Israel, I do believe that sanctions will only work if the whole world joined in without exception that will make life so difficult that we could possible see a regime change in that area.

 

Recently in Britain there’s been a whole discussion about how there are certain voices that are extreme and some that are moderate, primarily talked about Muslims and their Shariah law- Do you as an organization get tarnished with any of these umbrellas as unrepresentative or extreme Jewish voices?

Our view is less harsh and if followed will bring reduction in violence as opposed to a view which encourages violence which the very state of the existence of Israel does. Sadly Zionism in the Jewish Community has had a success and many Jews have become impressed and affected by the nationalistic idea bought about by Zionism. You have orthodox Jews and unorthodox- sadly almost Jews are sadly un-orthodox and the vast majority of those are pro-Zionist who want to maintain their Jewish identity by adopting Zionism. This is no different to people you have in the Muslim world who maybe instinctively liberal whether right or wrong.

 

Historically, looking back at the way different communities have lived together in the Arab world which includes Muslims, Jews and Christians- it is often quoted as an era of peace and stability. In light of the current events, do you feel that we can learn anything from the past and possibly employ today?

Yes, as far as the relationship with Jew and Muslim or with the Muslim world is concerned- up to the era of Zionism, going back, Muslims and Jews lived peacefully for centuries, far more peacefully that Jews did lived in Europe where they suffered bigoted persecution and massacres. Historically, the Jews place of refuge was in Muslims lands which had thriving Jewish communities.

 

After everything that has happened over the last 60 years in Israel and Palestine would the Jewish people feel insecure living side by side by Muslims like in the past?

Theoretically there is no reason why Jews and Muslims cannot live together whether it is under Islamic Rule where Jews would live protected as they were in History, like a caliphate.

 

Tony Blair described an extremist as the one who questions the existence of Israel and calls for its dismantlement. Many Muslims are fearful of speaking out against Israel by being labeled as ant-Semite as extreme. What do you think about Tony Blair’s assessment?

Even the Critics in Israel are afraid to say that the whole idea of the State of Israel is flawed because they are afraid of being labeled Semite. The world needs to recognize that being anti-Zionist is not being anti-Semitic. The sooner the world accepts that things can be set right that the basis for the strife in the Middle East is Zionism and the state of Israel.

The Israeli foreign minister Livni, said that the world has to choose between Israel and terrorism. What rubbish. Israel is based on terrorism. They were the founders of terrorism under the British mandate. It’s amazing that this country forgets the historical truth. How can Tony Blair say it is extreme to question the right of the Zionist state to exist? He needs to go back to his History books and see how the Zionist State cam into being.

 

Plenty of solutions are being presented as to how to help the cause in Gaza. One solution is to speak to your Local MP where they will, more than likely, champion the cause for a two state solution. Is there any value in this activity?

From the Jewish religious point of view and from humanitarian point of view the two state solution is not a solution; because you may have reduced the problem but you haven’t really solved it. From the humanitarian point of view there is still gong to be a problem with the return of the right of the refugees and that land has been taken away which belongs to other people.

 

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Comments

  1. Great. We need more Rabbis’ speaking out against the oppression of Palestinians.

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