|A new low - comparing the IDF to Auschwitz!|
Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach’s disgusting tactics in opposition to Charedim serving in Israel’s defense forces is pretty well established. As indicated a few days ago here, his tactics consist of a reprehensible series of protests that are nothing less than one big Chilul HaShem after another.
But Peleg, (Rabbi Auerbach’s party) is not the only one using disgusting tactics. The Meah Shearim/Neturei Karta crowd that believes in dismantling the State of Israel and handing it over to the Palestinians pretty much feels the same way about the Israeli army. Recall their own disgusting tactics in that regard. They have called Charedi army units whorehouses! They have distributed posters with ugly caricatures of religious Jews in uniform to look like a members of the Nazi SS. They have hung Charedi soldiers in effigy. They have even attacked them physically when they wandered into their midst.
I have always considered Satmar to be of the same mind. They have expressed their own contempt of - and disgust for Israel’s army. And yet Satmar’s defenders have always claimed that even tough they are opposed to the State and opposed to army service by Charedim they would never stoop to that kind of low.
Well, now they have. In one of the most deplorable posters I have ever seen, they compare the IDF to Auschwitz! I kid you not. (See above) This was not in Israel. It was in Monsey. And lest anyone think these posters are being printed and distributed by some extremist faction of Satmar, think again. They urge people to attend Satmar’s large Shul in Monsey to raise money to fund their opposition. They are comparing Rabbi Michel Dov Weissmandel’s crusade to save Jews from in Auschwtiz during the Holocaust to their own crusade to save Jews serving in the IDF.
If there is anyone in a leadership position in Satmar that has spoken out against this outrageous tactic, I have yet to see it. My guess is that they all support it. They all agree with Rabbi Auerbach’s tactics despite the disruption and pain it causes to others.
What about the Chilul HaShem of it all? I am 100% convinced that they think it is a Kiddush HaShem. Which should really be no surprise since Satmar's founder, referred to Rav Avraham Yitzchok HaKohen Kook, one of the Gedolei HaDor of his time, as an Ish Tzar V’Oyev. A phrase used in Megilas Esther about Haman – the Hitler of his time!
It should also not be lost on anyone that there are mainstream Charedi rabbis that have attended Satmar rallies supporting R’ Auerbach in his mission to reject even registering for the draft even though getting a Torah Umnaso exemption is just a formality. That is the government policy for the IDF and is accepted by the mainstream Charedi leadership in Israel.
I have to question why the mainstream Charedi leadership in Amercia, has not come out with a condemnation of – not just these tactics - but of Satmar itself! How can they condemn a relatively small group of leftists formerly known as Open Orthodoxy and ignore the huge numbers of people in Satmar that do or support these kinds of things? It might be easier to just condemn the tactics. But that does not go far enough. Saying that it is extremist faction among Satmar that is responsible for it lets them off the hook. They are not to blame.
Really? I think they are very much to blame. When a poster like this come out urging attendance at their largest Shul in Monsey for fundraising purpsoes, I don’t think you can talk anymore about the extremists among them. I think you have to be talking about their mainstream.
I realize that American Charedi leadership does not want to alienate such a large group of religious Jews – perhaps the largest and fastest growing demographic in all of Orthodoxy. Especially since one or more of their own leadership has supported their past tactics.
But I don’t think you sacrifice an ideal on the alter of false unity. Just because they look Frum and act Frum in so may ways, does not make their behavior here any less reprehensible. Satmar has crossed yet another line. They need to summon the courage to speak out against mainstream Satmar as group. Ignoring them as the source and blaming renegade extremists -while one or more of their own attends their anti IDF- anti Israel rallies is in effect allowing this kind of Chilul HaShem to continue under their banner!
It is more than high time that the mainstream Charedi leadership completely breaks with Satmar just as it has with Liberal (Open) Orthodoxy. The sins may be different. But the Chilul HaShem Satmar continues to make with tactics like these makes it imperative that they take a hard stand. The time to do that is now.