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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Eda Haredith slams Neturei Karta

The Eda Haredith, the leading ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionist organization in Israel, slammed Neturei Karta last night for its participation in Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinadinnerjacket's Holocaust denial conference in Tehran this week.
The ultra-Orthodox, zealously anti-Zionist Eda Haredit, a Jerusalem-based amalgamate of various hassidic courts and haredi groups, including Neturei Karta, attacked their own peers - those blatantly Jewish-looking participants in the Iranian Holocaust denial conference - for vilifying haredi Jewry in general and Neturei Karta in particular.

"That tiny group of weirdos is liable to incite hatred against haredim," warned the editor of Ha'edah, the mouthpiece of the Eda Haredit, in an editorial that will appear Thursday evening.

"Those people's distorted anti-Zionist zealotry, which is sanctified in their eyes above and beyond the opinion of our Torah sages, brought them to that conference," argued Shmuel Popenheim, editor of Ha'edah and author of the editorial that claimed to reflect the opinions of the Eda Haredit rabbinic leadership.

"Regardless of what they said at that conference, the very fact that they participated gave Ahmadinejad the justification to say: 'Look, the haredim feel the same way we do about the Holocaust.'"

Popenheim said the Eda Haredit, which has traditionally been chaired by the head of the Satmar hassidic sect, the ideological parent of Neturei Karta, has so far refrained from issuing an official cherem (excommunication) against the participants in the Holocaust denial conference and those who support them.

"But it is clear to all that their main purpose is not to fight Zionism; rather they are interested in sullying the Eda Haredit's name," said Popenheim, who estimated that there were no more than 10 extremists in Israel who supported participating in the Holocaust conference and about 25 worldwide.
The way the article reads, the people who attended the 'conference' are a break-off from Neturei Karta and not Neturei Karta itself. The implication is that even the 'official' Neturei Karta does not condone their actions.
Rabbi Israel Hirsch, a member of this fringe group who lives in Jerusalem's Mea She'arim neighborhood, defended participating in the Holocaust conference.

"The Zionists put so much emphasis on the Holocaust because they use it as a justification for the establishment of the State of Israel," said Hirsch. "Our message is that even if there was a Holocaust it does not permit us to subjugate another people. Israel must be returned to the Palestinians; only then will anti-Semitism end."

Hirsch said Zionism was to blame for the Holocaust.

"The call by the Zionists in Palestine and the Jews in the US to boycott Nazi Germany during the war is what pushed Hitler over the top. That is what made him call for the Final Solution," he explained.
What makes a big lie believeable is that it starts with an element of truth. I've highlighted for you what I believe to be the element of truth here. For those Zionists who have no connection to Judaism other than the State of Israel, for those who have abandoned Jewish traditions, the Holocaust does in fact provide justification for the establishment of the State. Anyone who has seen the Zionistic nature of the way Holocaust Memorial Day is treated here can understand that. But the rest of it is a lie. The Torah gives Jews right to the land of Israel, there are no 'Palestinians,' and no Arabs are 'subjugated' here. As to 'Zionism' being to blame for the Holocaust, that's also a lie, although - as anyone who has read Ben Hecht's Perfidy (which at one time had to be sold in secret here) knows, there were individual Jewish Agency functionaries who attempted to cut unsavory deals with the Nazis, and the manner in which visas to come to Israel were allocated during the Holocaust discriminated against religious Jews and the elderly. I hope I'm not telling you all anything you don't know already, but if I am, I can try to expand on it. Not today :-)
For Hirsch, it is a sin for Jews to attempt to take their fate into their own hands. Rather, Jews are relegated to a passive role until God decides to bring the final redemption. Zionism is a rebellion against God's plan because it is an attempt to provide an earthly redemption.
This is a reference to a discussion in the Talmud (Kthuboth 110-111) regarding whether it is permitted to leave Bavel - Iraq - to return to Israel. Most of the Jewish world rejects the interpretation that Hirsh is following (Satmar accepts it). But even if you accept the interpretation that Hirsh follows, it does not justify the actions he and his comrades have taken and are continuing to take against the State of Israel. Satmar would not justify them either.
Asked what he would do if forced to choose between joining the Arabs in a war against Israeli Zionists and defending Zionist Jews, Hirsch replied that he would join the Arabs.

"All Jewish Zionists, whether they call themselves religious or secular, are apostates who have cut themselves off from the Jewish people," he said.

Popenheim said that he, too, was virulently opposed to Zionism and agreed in principle with Hirsch that Zionism was equivalent to apostasy and rebellion against God. But he said that there was no justification for joining forces with Arabs or Iranians against Jews.

"If I saw an Arab terrorist trying to kill a Zionist Jew, I would shoot the Arab," said Popenheim.
For anyone who is interested in what makes the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) world tick, this article provides a window. But you should also keep in mind that the Eda Haredith is the most hostile to the State of Israel among the mainstream Haredi groups.


At 11:14 AM, Blogger M. Simon said...

They should move to Gaza if they hate Israel. It is not far.

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Actually, I think the ones that went to Iran live in New York and not in Israel. Hirsch is their mouthpiece here.


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