Monday, February 01, 2016

Assaf Golan - Expel the Satmar Rebbe

Michael Pitkowsky, someone whom I read on Twitter, who runs the blog Menachem Mendel, posted a link on Twitter to this intriguing story published on the website of Maariv (in Hebrew), which I've just translated. It's about the visit of the Satmar Rebbe to Israel today. He is a fierce anti-Zionist, leader of the anti-Zionist Satmar Hasidim, and Assaf Golan argues that he should be deported from Israel as soon as he arrives.

Assaf Golan
January 31, 2016

Expel the Satmar Rebbe

Tomorrow one of Israel’s biggest enemies will land – leader of a Jewish community who sees in Israel the work of the Devil. It would be appropriate for this man not to visit a place that he hates so much.

The Satmar Rebbe, Rav Zalman Lev Teitelbaum, arrives tomorrow in Israel for a quick visit to his Hasidim. From his point of view, the central reason for his arrival is his nephew’s wedding. On the face of it this is another visit by a Jewish personality from the world, not someone who it’s necessary to deal with outside of the Haredi media.

But this is a real error. This Haredi leader controls one of the bodies most opposed to Israel in the United States. As part of his visit he will contribute much money to anti-Zionist groups who will fight against the conscription of Haredim to the army. Hasidim who are close to the Satmar sect ([Satmar] Hasidism has supposedly denounced them, but it is responsible for their worldview) have visited Iran not a few times and participated in demonstrations of antisemitic groups in the US against Israel.

In other words, the Rebbe is a Jewish leader who is outside of the Israeli consensus. He sees the state as a work of Satan and sees all of us as apostates who have been damned to Gehinnom, who do not deserve to live. Even worse than this, Satmar Hasidism views the Israeli fate altogether as punishment for the revolt that Zionism carried out against the nations of the world – including all the terrorist attacks and wars with Arab nations and terrorist organizations. Some of them even argue that the Holocaust occurred because of Zionism and the will of the Jewish people to seek for itself a place under the sun.

These facts, which have been forgotten by most of the public in the state of Israel, are backed up by public rituals of the burning of Israeli flags, performed in great crowds by split-offs from this type of Hasidism. Aside from this, these Hasidism perform many similar ceremonies that it is difficult to write about.

The extreme anti-Israeliness of a figure who is so important in the Jewish public in the United States is not something that the state of Israel can pass over as business as usual. It cannot be – from the point of view of world publicity – that one of the biggest enemies of Israel will arrive at Ben-Gurion airport, the entrance gate to the state of Israel. It cannot be that the authorities in Israel will permit him to continue on his visit without any investigation, without arrest, and without expelling him from Israel after a pronouncement that he is persona non grata.

The state of Israel was not prepared to admit Professor Noam Chomsky, a Jew who is one of the greatest critics of Israel and who also supports our enemies. Chomsky is a private individual, who does not lead a huge Hasidic community or bring large sums of money.

It is indeed true that Jews are compassionate ones, children of compassionate ones. It is clear that if Satmar Hasidim were to encounter trouble, the state of Israel would rush to its help. But there is a difference between helping a brother in trouble and making it possible for someone to enter who leads a continuous campaign against Israel. The Rebbe paid 100,000 shekels to every yeshiva whose students did not vote in elections; he prevented the Jewish community in Yemen from emigrating to Israel and he preferred that they should remain there, in danger, or go to the United States. 110 members of the Yemenite Jewish community were persuaded and moved to the US instead of Israel.

In the light of all this, it is very appropriate to expel this man to the United States. It is also appropriate that for everyone to whom the history and the future of the Jewish people is important, whether on the right or the left, should go out against the visit and demonstrate against this big enemy of the state of Israel, who comes to Israel and uses his Hasidim who live here against us.

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