Natorei Karta in Tehran

The subjects of Zionism , Messianism and the Holocaust have always fascinated me since my days as a student in the Lubavitch Seminary stretching back several decades. As many of you probably know, nearly all of the Hassidic rabbis (including Chabad) condemned Zionism because only the Messiah could bring back the Jews to their homeland. Some even went so far as to claim that God punished the Jewish people by initiating a Holocaust to punish the Jews for following the “godless ideology of Zionism.”

Despite their disdain toward Zionism as a movement, groups like Chabad and Gerrer participate in the Israeli army and are committed to keeping Israel safe from her foes. Hassidic sects are not so easily type-casted. After WWII, the Rebbe of Satmar (St. Mary, Hungry), Yoel Titlebaum (1888-1979), felt convinced that the Holocaust occurred because the Jews adopted Zionism instead of the Messiah.

By insisting on a secular redemption, Israel became “prey” to their Nazi tormentors.” Titlebaum’s reasoning is simple and clear. If Jews suffer, it is because of their sinful ways and attitudes. To this day, the Satmar Hassidic community has remained opposed to the State of Israel, but not even the Satmar Hassidic community would ever think of joining President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad’s conference to debunk the Holocaust.

Despite their ideological affinities to the Natorei Karta (“Guardians of the City”), the Satmar condemned the Natorei Karta for joining this infamous meeting in Tehran. In fact, the Satmar Rebbe issued a ban of “harem” on the Jewish delegates who attended the Teheran conference and accused them of “acts of insanity,” of “walking hand in hand with the Arabs and giving the certificate of approval to those who spill Jewish blood.” This is quite an amazing indictment.

Why did Rabbi Yisrael Hirsch, the head of the Natorei Karta, participate? He wanted to “further our campaign to reduce the world’s hatred for the Jews, which exists because of the crimes of the Zionists.” Hirsch’s antics are not unusual when you consider the Natorei Karta’s history. His ailing father, Moshe, even got to be “minister of Jewish affairs” in Yasser Arafat’s cabinet. Moshe also had close ties with Ayatollah Khomeini back in 1979.

More seriously, by participating with Ahmadinejad, R. Yisrael Hirsch has lent a “Jewish hand” to Holocaust denial. He is helping to do Hitler’s work. The politics of their anti-Zionism philosophy has a hidden history. When the IDF confiscated Yasser Arafat’s documents in a 2002 raid, they found records of payments totaling $55,000 from the Palestinian Authority to Moshe Hirsch, minister of Jewish affairs. Follow the money trail . . . .

When some of the Israeli reporters asked whether Iran was paying for their participation, the sect’s leaders denied ever receiving monies. However, when they were once asked as to how they support themselves, he replied “Contributions.” Hmmm. . . it’s probably a familybusiness (JPost, Jan. 23rd, 2007). Hirsch claimed that his group’s participation won their hosts’ respect for being authentic religious leaders. “The Arabs are convinced,” he says. “They know that we are the ones who represent true Judaism.”

As one Israeli writer observed: “The Iranians know what a valuable asset they are,””There are a lot of idiots in the world, and Ahmadinejad can use Natorei Karta when he denies the Holocaust to say, ‘You see? Even the Jews admit it.’ And in the end, a lot of people will believe him.”

Rabbi Hirsch did not realize living under the Iranian regime of Ahmadinejad, the Israeli dictator would force them to become Muslims under the threat of death. If Rabbi Hirsch could peer into Ahmadinejad’s reptilian brain, he would hear him say to himself, “My, my . . these Natorei Karta Hassidic Jews would make great Muslims.”

And now you know—the rest of the story.

Rabbi Dr. Michael Samuel