The Zionist Conspiracy
Friday, April 09, 2004
Rabbi Mayer Schiller, a chasidic rabbi who was featured in the documentary A Life Apart, is a high school rabbi at MTA - Yeshiva University's high school- and a popular and interesting speaker.
Schiller has expressed ideological opposition to Zionism (some of his articles can be read at the web site of Third Way, a radical right-wing nationalist group), which, though YU espouses religious Zionism, is neither surprising nor particularly troubling.
However, Schiller has also expressed praise for, and indicated participation in, Neturei Karta, a fanatical group whose leaders not only support Israel's replacement with a Palestinian state and have accepted money from Yasser Arafat, but have even eulogized Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. Indeed, at a memorial service for Yassin in Brooklyn, Neturei Karta leader Yisroel Dovid Weiss stated, in part:
May G-d help that our hope and dream come to fruition, speedily and peacefully, painlessly without any further bloodshed, that Arab and Jew can once again live side by side under Palestinian rule over the entire Holy Land.
We pray that tragedies should never again occur and offer our deeply felt condolences to Sheikh Yassin's family and to all our Palestinian brethren. We pray to G-d for the speedy and peaceful dismantlement of the State of Israel [and] its transformation into a Palestinian sovereignty...
Regarding Neturei Karta, Schiller wrote:
As one who has persoanl knowledge of NK activities I can testify that many NKites have, as I put it, stumbled into humanism. In other words, their work with pro peace and Palestinian groups has led them to see and embrace the humanity of all. This is not true of all of them but it is a trend and of some importance for the ACJ perspective.
Schiller was referring to the American Council for Judaism, a Reform anti-Zionist group.
As one person responded:
Rabbi Schiller seems to think that Neturei Karta's work with "pro-peace" groups has led them to "embrace the humanity of all". Neturei Karta is not "pro-peace" in the sense that your average reader would probably understand this term. One might understand from Rabbi Schiller that Neturei Karta promotes a peace deal between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Well, that's just not the case. Neturei Karta supports "peace" if it is achieved through the dis-establishment of Israel. If indeed Rabbi Schiller has "personal knowledge of NK activities", then he surely knows their ideology. Hence, the use of the term "pro-peace" and "humanism" is more than misleading. Peace includes also the rights of the Hebrew speaking community to self-determination.
Schiller is also identified, along with "Rabbi Beck" as a leader of Neturei Karta on this foreign site. Rabbi Beck was interviewed by Third Way, in which he completely rejected the right of "the Zionist state" to exist. Beck also signed a petition calling for implementation of the "right of return" of millions of Palestinians.
It seems to me that since he has praised Neturei Karta in the past, Rabbi Schiller should explain whether that praise covers all Neturei Karta stances, or if he feels that the group or some of its leaders are at times misguided (or worse). I have e-mailed Schiller asking him for his thoughts about Neturei Karta, but as of yet he has not responded. If he does, I will update this post.