Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, spokesman of Neturei Karta International, issued the following statement on the eve of the group’s meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
“It is always our pleasure to visit with President Ahmadinejad. This will be the third such meeting, in addition to our many visits to Iran in the past. We have each time emphasized to the Iranian leadership that, despite media hysteria and the statements of some misinformed Jews, we have found the Iranian people and their leaders to be friendly and respectful.
“Likewise, although we as Jews are not to be involved in politics, (According to Jewish law, Jewish people are required to be loyal citizens to the countries wherein they reside), We have found the Iranian President to be a deeply religious man, dedicated to a peaceful world, based on mutual respect, fairness and dialogue.
“Judaism seeks peace. Unfortunately, there are some Jews today, influenced by the barely century old, philosophy of Zionism, who feel that the proper Jewish response to enemies, be they real or fantasized, is aggression and calls for violence and unfortunately attempts to drag other nations down the path of war.
“It is sad that so few have actually attempted to speak to the Iranian President or seek the true opinion of Iranian Jewry who live in peace and practice their faith throughout that nation. We have met this man who has demonstrated time and again that he is sincerely interested in the well being of Iran’s Jewish community and has deep respect for world Jewry and their Torah faith, The Zionist attempt to socially isolate this man and his people is immoral and disastrous.
“Zionism is antithetical to Torah beliefs. It believes in creating our own sovereign entity which is expressly forbidden due to the Divine decree of exile. This ideology leads to aggression against nations and is incarnated in the State of ‘Israel.’ This State continually oppresses other people in the name of Judaism and the entire Jewish people. This movement has exacerbated anti Semitism throughout the world. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad understands this distinction between traditional Judaism and Zionist distortion.
“We view our approach to Iran as a model for all Jews and all mankind. The Torah is the Almighty’s blueprint of mercy and justice for all creation. We have followed this modal in our dealings with the Iranian President and found in him an individual dedicated to these same ideals. There is much to be gained by talking and listening and everything to be lost by raising the rhetoric in the direction of war. The grave tragedy of our era is the inordinate power garnered by Zionism, whose acceptance of force as the only means to reconcile conflicts, has influenced some to abandon Torah fundamentals. We hope and pray that they too will adopt the traditional Jewish approach of dialogue, respect and reconciliation.
“War is a horrible thing. The dark clouds of a future conflict are now on the horizon in the Middle East. Torah Jewry hopes and prays that this may yet be averted.”
In conclusion says rabbi Weiss, “Out of great respect to the Iranian Nation and their leadership we proudly welcome the Honorable President Ahmadinejad to New York, WELCOME!”