Monday, January 08, 2007

"A Jewish veneer for the annihilation of Jews"

They're a fringe, it's true--but a fringe that detractors of Israel have made much of.

I'm speaking of the ultra-orthodox religious Jews who are anti-Zionist. That's their prerogative, of course; eveyone's entitled to his/her opinion, yada yada yada.

But some of them go further then that; in fact, it turns out that six of the delegates to the mid-December 2006 Iranian Holocaust denial conference were such Jews. Collaborating with an Iran bent on the destruction of Israel and Jews is quite a stretch.

And, amidst the hatefest that the conference represented, you can be sure that those Jews were not ignored by the press. In fact, they were highlighted in many instances. Granted, it's a sort of "man bites dog" story, inherently both fascinating and shocking--but still.

For example, several British papers had articles on the conference that featured only one photo illustrating the event. What visuals did they see fit to show? You guessed it; only the anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews (see this, for example).

It's hard to know quite what to say about this one. I'll start by simply quoting it:

[Austrian rabbi Moshe Friedman] noted, "We should focus on the reality that the behind-the-curtain individuals and financial providers as well as perpetrators of some of the World War II crimes had been Zionists themselves." Now another Holocaust has taken place, this time involving Palestinians and Arabs -- something unprecedented in history, he added.

The Austrian Rabbi also thanked Iran as the best venue for the conference on the Holocaust because it used to remain neutral during the World War II and was not involved in the event.

Friedman described Iran as a model country in dealing with and tolerating religious minorities.

I recall reading that the motivation for people such as Friedman is the idea that Israel's establishment should only happen when the Messiah came, not through political maneuvering or the UN. So they regarded Israel as illegitimate from the very first.

And here's a letter explaining this group, and likening them to the Judenrat in the Nazi era:

...the Muslims who thirst for Jewish blood are using the Neturei Karta [the orthodox anti-Zionist group] as the Nazis once used the Judenrat (a Nazi-organized system of "Jew Councils" staffed by local Jews and established for the purpose of liaising between the Nazis and the ghettoized Jewish population pending their deportation to the death camps) -- namely, to provide a Jewish veneer for the annihilation of Jews.

A perfect way to put it: a Jewish veneer for the annihilation of Jews.

Here's a discussion of the horrific dilemma that was faced by those tapped to become part of the Judenrat; the situation was not always a simple one of collaboration or self-centeredness. And the ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionists by no means represent an exact parallel.

These modern day ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionists are part of an ancient tradition, however, that of the "useful Jew" (somewhat akin to the "useful idiot"). It's true that, under threat of death (as in the World War II Judenrat), the normal human desire to save one's own skin operates in all groups. But what's Friedman's excuse?

[[NOTE: I was reminded of this phenomenon when I read Siggy's post of the day, in which he likened the so-called "religious progressives" and their complicity with anti-Semitism to the Judenrat of World War II. He also discusses some of the moral complexities of the Judenrats' dilemma.]

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