April 25, 2007

Rabbis of the Tellyban

As the mouthpiece of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, the Stamford Hill-based Jewish Tribune maintained a conspicuous and undignified silence throughout the Neturei Karta affair. It's rumoured that none of its writers are allowed to own a TV so perhaps they genuinely never saw those Chassidim kissing Mr Ahmadinejad in Teheran.

More likely, the screed's rabbinical censors ordered them to ignore it.

But last weekend -more than a year after I first exposed the scandal of Union funding to these kapos - the Tribune finally found its voice.

But instead of finally condemning the mullah-huggers, they attacked me.

Appended below is my response which, doubtless, the Tribune's censors will similarly order its hapless editorial staff to ignore.

" Sir: In ‘A Tale of Two News Stories’ Ben Yitzchok asks why I have not condemned the treachery of Teddy Kollek as forcefully as I have espoused condemnation of the Neturei Karta.

The equivalence he seeks to draw reveals his basic misunderstanding of my position, which has never been political. Of course I utterly condemn Kollek’s sickening betrayal of Irgun fighters 60 years ago. It was a well kept secret that must have haunted him for decades.

In stark contrast the ‘Rabbis’ of Neturei Karta make no secret of their treachery. They have embraced and kissed Ahmadinejad in the full glare of the world’s media and gone on to abuse the cherished memory of millions of Holocaust victims.

Whilst Kollek is gone and likely facing din ve’cheshbon somewhere exceptionally hot, there is little doubt the NK must even now be planning their next Chillul Hashem Berabim. That is what needs to be roundly condemned by your paper. And it needs to be done in plain language rather than as a by-product of scoring cheap political points."

I often think what might have happened if the Tribune and its rabbis had done the right thing a year ago. Had they uniformly condemned the activities of the Neturei Karta and cut them off from financial and other resources of the community, we might all have been spared the awful exhibition in Teheran. Instead they made it official policy to pretend the problem didn't exist.

Someone needs to buy these rabbis a TV.
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