Chabad was viciously anti-Zionist until after the founding of the State of Israel. When Jews could have fled Europe and gone to Israel or America, Lubavitch rebbes opposed leaving Europe. The 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, a vicious anti-Zionist in his own right, told followers there would be no war and that it was safe to stay in Europe. He did this from Warsaw in the summer of 1939, less than four months before WW2 began with the bombing and invasion of Poland. He was rescued by the American government. What did he ask for as he was brought to safety from amidst the destruction and horror? To save more Jews? No. The man asked for the rescue of his silver collection and his rare book collection – Sherlock Holmes in Yiddish translation along side of "sefarim". Not a peep from the holy man's mouth about saving Jews.
Click on the continuation link to read his father's – the Rashab, the 5th Lubavitcher Rebbe' – infamous letter on anti-Zionism, written about 1900 and widely circulated:
Here is the text of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Rashab's Letter: [continuation link]
In answer to your questions concerning the Zionists and their group (which they propose to found) I will state, in short, the following:
1. Even if the Zionists were G-d fearing Torah true Jews, and even if we had reason to believe that their goal is feasible, we are nevertheless not permitted to join them in bringing our redemption with our own strength. We are not even permitted to force a premature redemption by showering the Almighty with insistent entreaties (As Rashi comments on the Gemara Kesuvos 111A discussing G-d's adjuring the Jewish people not to force the redemption), and certainly not by means of physical force and devices; We may not end our exile by main force: we will not thereby, achieve the spiritual redemption for which we are waiting. The Zionist notion contradicts our hope, and yearning that G-d himself will not bring about our Redemption .
The past redemptions which were wrought by human beings were therefore incomplete. The redemption through Moshe and Aharon after which further exiles followed, and the redemption through Chananyoh, Michoel, and Azaryoh, although they acted in accordance with the prophecy of Yirmeyohu and other prophets are cases in point.
To insure a permanent Redemption from our present exile, we must hope and wait for a deliverance by the Almighty Himself, and not through the hands of one of flesh and blood. Thus only will our redemption be complete.
2. All their plans are built upon fantasies. They will not materialize, for there will never be an agreement to them. And besides our natural characteristics are not suited for it. Their leaders are blinded and bribed by their wish for freedom and power, and the ignorant masses follow them blindly.
3. The main point: The leaders of this project are totally hostile to G-d and His Torah. Their desire and interest is to cast off the yoke of Torah and Mitzvos, substituting nationalism for Judaism. Recently one of their leaders circulated a statement publicly blaspheming Judaism and boldly stating that a Jew is not necessarily someone who observes the Torah and mitzvos, etc. They state that many mitzvos of the Torah are-may their mouth be shut--a disgrace to the Jewish people. They plan to instill these ideas in the young by controlling the school system. Their purpose is to inculcate them with negative attitudes toward G-d given Torah and mitzvos and substitute the banner of nationalism as their guiding force. One of their leaders "reformed" the Torah, omitting those verses, passages and laws that did not please him. He is ready print this "new Torah", and this is what will be taught in the Zionistic schools.
One of the activities of the protected group will be to help finance schools of the above-described type. Although the goals of the bank are said to be to rebuild and repair destroyed roads, and so on, as their program depicts, it, will in fact direct its forces primarily toward the youth and the culture and implant in the children and adolescents poisonous roots. Their emissaries, the Zionist preachers malign Hashem's Prophets including Moshe, the master of all Prophets at will.
Woe to us that we must witness these tragic events in our time.
The Zionists true desire is to sever the hearts of the Jewish people from the Torah and mitzvos, G-d forbid, and to debase in their eyes whatever is regarded as holy by our nation.
This is their leaders' goal, and "the body follows the head."
If the Zionist plan to take possession of the land will G-d forbid materialize, they will defile it and disgrace it with their abominations and misdeeds, causing our exile to be lengthened, chas vesholom.
After considering these points, dear brothers, do judge whether G-d desires their actions and whether these people will bring about the salvation of K'Lal Yisroel. No!
We will not accept their promises. Even if they have some good to offer, we must throw it back to their faces. We do not want their good. We accept only the good from Hashem that results from the fulfillment of Torah and mitzvos. The Torah promises, "If you shall guard my statues I will give rain in its season and material abundance."
It is this good we want. And that is our only cherished hope. Those who aid the Zionists will in the future be held accountable, for they support those who cause the community to sin.
Therefore, anyone who belongs to Hashem's camp shall not join the evildoers, but on the contrary, he must oppose them as much as he is able to do. Until it shall be G-d's will to redeem us, we must accept the yoke of exile upon ourselves, since the exile expiates our sins. We must strengthen ourselves to withstand every new wave by fulfilling Torah and mitzvos, as G-d requires of us, hoping that Hashem will soon bring our redemption and send Moshiach. If he tarries let us wait for him; his arrival is dependent upon our teshuvoh (repentance), May G-d have pity upon us and speed our Redemption.
As to the Zionists' argument that Torah-true Jews should become leaders of their movement, I will answer as follows:
1. How can a G-d fearing Jew stand at the head of a movement that contradicts the fundamentals of our belief in the Redemption?
2. Torah Jews may not participate in this movement because Zionists will not accept the option of the G-d fearing Jews in the realms of religion and education. Rather, they will continue to follow their own course, and thereafter claim that the G-d fearing Jews, as part of the movement, ratify their views and decisions. Once G-d fearing Jews join the Zionists, many sincere simple Jews will begin to believe that the Zionists' deeds are approved by the G-d fearing Jews. Even if these G-d fearing Jews later break with the Zionist party and denounce it (provided their protests will be published in the Zionistic press), the effects of their protest will be far weaker than if they have never joined the Zionists in the first place.
3. No matter what the Zionists claim, in truth they are not interested in G-d fearing Jews joining them, since they do not intend to change their chosen course (of totaling abandoning Torah and mitzvos, making nationalism their entire Judaism). When Rabbonim at the Warsaw assemblies demanded the establishment of an exclusive council of Rabbonim, the Zionists would not agree. Their journalists ridiculed and blasphemed the Rabbonim, mocking them for having dated suggest such an idea. This clearly shows that the Zionists do not wish Torah Jews to interfere with their evil plans; may G-d foil their council and elevate the position of K'lal Yisroel.
Furthermore, let us evaluate their argument that they strive and make others strive for the benefit their people, while G-d fearing Jews sit idly by. What have they done "for the benefit of our people?
"I will only mention in passing the great, good deed accomplished by the Zionists in the last three years to benefit their Jewish brothers: Their closing of the shores of the Holy Land to Jews and the ban of property sales unless they are made by Jews who hold Turkish citizenship. Since the beginning of the establishment of the Chovovei Zion they managed to close the shores of the Holy Land to Jews of Russia and Rumania, and they prevented Jews from all countries from buying property and houses, (except from the Turkish). Jews suffered because of this and how they lost money through it. With the founding of the Zionist movement, entry was refused to all Jews, and acquisition was forbidden even to the old-established Jews in the land. This created a barrier between the Jews and the land that had never existed before and humiliated the Jews in the eyes of the non-Jewish inhabitants."
These worthy goals necessitated huge expenditures which were funded by the collection of half shekel coins and by selling shares. They crave our trust in them and their promises. Yet their personal actions on behalf of their Jewish brethren, other than fund raising, is of little movement.
But let us see whether the Chovevai Zion group, founded ten years ago in Odessa, did anything for the benefit of our Jewish brothers.
One of their accomplishments was founding the settlement Kastina. I have been informed by a reliable source who is well acquainted with its inhabitants that there are only a few families who do not have adequate dwellings. Their daily wage for farm labor is a frank and a half, (i.e. a ridiculously small amount, mere pocket money) and they are bitterly poor. Any profit that might be reaped goes to the party. A few families have been placed in "Petach Tikvah". This is the extent of their benevolence. Any Rav or ordinary Jew does more for the poverty-stricken in his town, extending financial aid and endeavoring to make them independent. (These settlers in Eretz Yisroel) need constant support. Even the settlers who were set up with farm land and all the necessary implements by Baron Hirsch, and for whom he spent more than 10,000 Rubles per person, need constant support, although these settlements were founded twenty years ago. Only individual settlers are self-sufficient, and this also only by the Baron's generosity).
The Rabbonim and individual Jews who support the poor in their town do so without publicity, so that, in fact, the public may not be informed of their good deeds. In reality even in the less generous towns, many more paupers are supported than are helped by the Chovevai Zion.
On the contrary, we must demand that they do much more, considering the great commotion they create and considering that they collect more than 40,000 Rubles annually.
No measurable gains for our brothers can be disclosed--their actions have been confined to oral and written plans, all blown out of proportion to reality. They pounce upon any hint of opposition like lions on the rampage, hoping to silence him with invective.
Their speeches cannot create new realities, and they do not blind the eyes of the intelligent people. We are aware that there they do not produce actual results. Do they benefit K'lal Yisroel with their above-mentioned relativity small contribution? Yet they boast that they themselves do and cause others to do deeds for the good of their fellow Jews. How are they not ashamed to speak in this manner, accusing others of lack of good deeds, although in truth the accused do far more than they do, each one in his own city and place. Among us, people take care of the needs of the community and improve the financial lot of their fellow Jew without arousing any public attention.
May Hashem elevate the position of our brothers B'nai Yisroel and speed our redemption soon in our days.
Your true friend who desires and waits for G-d's salvation,
Sholem Dov Ber