Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Neturei Karta hold pro-Palestinian rallies 

Satmar Hasidim from the extreme faction of the Neturei Karta sect held an anti-Israel protest at New York City's Times Square on Sunday, together with hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists.

During the demonstration, the Hasidim ripped Israeli flags and raised signs slamming the Israeli government, the IDF operation in Gaza and the "Zionist entity."

The New York rally joins many other demonstrations held in by pro-Palestinian activists in the past few days in central cities worldwide, including Paris, London and Sydney, some of which were attended by extreme Orthodox men who spoke out against Israel's right to defend itself.

The haredi Kikar Hashabat website reports that several Palestinian channels rushed to broadcast the images of the Jewish Orthodox reinforcement. The Palestinian "Jerusalem Network" aired a video allegedly taken at the New York protest, in which members of the extreme haredi faction are seen tearing the Israeli flag while chanting, "Free Palestine."

Another anti-Israel demonstration was held over the weekend in Toronto, Canada. The protest was particularly infuriating in light of the fact that a pro-Israel rally was held on the other of the street and that one of the keynote speakers was Rabbi David Feldman who said, "We all stand in solidarity with the suffering people of Palestine.

"We need to remember that this story didn't start yesterday or the day before," he added. "This is a long chain of tragedies going on already for decades. This is a terrible disaster, it is a Nakba, it is a catastrophe for Palestine, but not only for Palestine. This should be considered a catastrophe for all of us and for humanity."

To the crowd's applause, the rabbi went on to say that "a human being should not be able to remain silent by seeing what's going on in Palestine already for decades and we don't see the end of the tunnel.

"I'm here as an Orthodox religious Jewish person and I say that for myself and for many communities like myself, this is embarrassing because this is being done supposedly in our name, in the name of all Jews, and sadly in the name of the Holy Torah. This is not Judaism.

"Jewish people worldwide stand up because they don't want to see other people suffer again. This is painful, this is embarrassing."

Rabbi Shmuel Pappenheim, a spokesperson for the extreme ultra-Orthodox Eda Haredit faction in Jerusalem, slammed Neturei Karta on Monday, clarifying that they had nothing to do with the Satmar Hasidim and Eda Haredit members in Jerusalem.
According to Pappenheim, "The actions of Neturei Karta members contradict the method of the Satmar rabbi. It is prohibited, at a time when the Jewish people sitting in Zion are suffering, to do such things and to defy our soldiers and people in danger."

The rabbi added that the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta faction in New York concentrated today around a yeshiva led by Rabbi Moshe Ber Beck, a former Vizhnitz Hasid who split from the Hasidic dynasty about 40 years ago.

One of the prominent spokespersons of this group includes Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weis, who met in the past with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Muslim leaders.

According to Pappenheim, additional Neturei Karta groups live in Canada and London. "They have been ejected from Israel, so they go abroad and make a lot of noise," he said.

Rabbi Pappenheim further argued that the late founder of the Satmar Hasidic dynasty, Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, had slammed Neturei Karta at the time, claiming that the phrase "Let there be no hope for informers" was directed at them.

"We have nothing to do with them and we condemn them," he added.


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