Tony Greenstein | 03 March 2013 | Post Views:

Rabbi Manis Friedman Agrees with Pastor Hagee – It wasn’t Hitler but the Victims Who Were Responsible for their Deaths

The poisonous Rabbi Manis Friedman of Lubavitch/Chabad

It is fair to say that the Orthodox Hasidic sect, Lubavitch, the antics of whose rabbis this blog has regularly covered, [see e.g. ‘Big Questions – Gerald Scarfe’s Cartoon and ‘anti-Semitism’] are embarrassed by the latest words of wisdom of Rabbi Manis Friedman. According to Friedman Not a single Jewish child died because of the Nazis … they died in their relationship with God’ It’s not that Chabad’s leaders disagree with him, quite the contrary. It’s simply that there are some things that are best left unsaid. It is an article of faith for many if not most Orthodox Zionist sects and Lubavitch is the most Zionist of all, that it was the sins of the Jews themselves that was responsible for the holocaust.

Michal Kaminski, the rightwing Polish leader, speaks at the European Conservatives and Reformists Group event at the Tory party conference in Manchester. Photograph: Martin Argles
The idea that even Jewish children were responsible for their own murder is something that even the most rabid anti-Semites would shrink from saying. Not however Chabad Rabbi Manis Friedman, who has previously justified the murder of non-Jewish children [see ‘Chabad rabbi: Jews should kill Arab men, women and children during war and the sexual abuse of children in general.

Witness the hypocritical denunciations of the anti-Semitic jazzman, Gilad Atzmon, by the Zionists for what he said in his article Saying No to the Hunters of Goliath 

The real Zionist attitude to the Jews of the Holocaust

‘the Jewish state and the sons of Israel are at least as unpopular in the Middle East as their grandparents were in Europe just six decades ago. Seemingly, it is the personification of WW2 and the Holocaust that blinded the Israelis and their supporters from internalising the real meaning of the conditions and the events that led towards their destruction in the first place.’ 

Atzmon meant to draw a straight line between the racism of the Israeli state today and the reason for anti-Semitism in Europe in order to find some ‘explanation’ or justification for the holocaust.

That Atzmon’s comments were anti-Semitic is undoubted. But it would be fair to say that they are minor and trivial in comparison with the deep racism and anti-Semitism of Rabbi Manis Friedman and the other Zionist rabbis, inside and outside Lubavitch. [see Why are John Mearsheimer and Richard Falk Endorsing a Blatantly Anti-Semitic Book?]

John Hagee

Indeed the nearest comparison to Rabbi Manis Friedman’s comments that I can think of are the comments of Pastor John Hagee of Christians United for Israel:

‘”Theodore Herzl is the father of Zionism. He was a Jew who at the turn of the 19th century said, this land is our land, God wants us to live there. So he went to the Jews of Europe and said ‘I want you to come and join me in the land of Israel.’ So few went that Hertzel went into depression. Those who came founded Israel; those who did not went through the hell of the holocaust.

“Then god sent a hunter. A hunter is someone with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter. And the Bible says — Jeremiah writing — ‘They shall hunt them from every mountain and from every hill and from the holes of the rocks,’ meaning there’s no place to hide. And that might be offensive to some people but don’t let your heart be offended. I didn’t write it, Jeremiah wrote it. It was the truth and it is the truth. How did it happen? Because God allowed it to happen. Why did it happen? Because God said my top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel.”

It’s ironic that both Atzmon and Hagee use the metaphor of the Hunter.  The clear message is that Hitler was fulfilling god’s desires to force the Jews to Israel – a key part of the whole Christian evangelical belief that the second coming of Jesus can only occur when the Jews return to the Holy Land. It is difficult to think of a more anti-Semitic diatribe. 

In another sermon, Hagee blamed American economic problems on the fact that the  Federal Reserve System is controlled by “a group of Class A stockholders, including the Rothschilds.” In the same series, Hagee further asserted that the Rothschilds, who are Jewish, were part of a wide-ranging conspiracy of “international power brokers based in Europe’ .  As is normally the case a good anti-Semite is also a good Zionist.  On page 149 of his book Jerusalem Countdown, in a chapter entitled ‘Who Is a Jew?’, Hagee writes:

“It was Esau‘s descendants who produced the half-breed Jews of history who have persecuted and murdered the Jews beyond human comprehension … Adolf Hitler was a distant descendant of Esau.”[45] 

However this did not stop leading Zionists from defending him, Israel firsters, for whom any amount of anti-Semitism can be excused so long as the purveyor is a Zionist.  Indeed they rushed to defend Hagee. See ‘Jewish allies of the Rev. John Hagee rushed to his defense yesterday to say the Texas evangelist is not anti-Semitic despite Sen. John McCain campaign’s repudiation Thursday of the evangelist’s endorsement’ and Jews defend Hagee’s words.

In much the same way, the capitalists of the Jewish Leadership Council in this country supported the anti-Semitic Polish MEP Michal Kaminski against charges of anti-Semitism.  Hagee had defended the actions of Poles in murdering hundreds of Jews in Jedwabne in 1941. 

As the Jewish Chronicle reported ‘the decision by Vivian Wineman, president of the Board of Deputies, to send a letter to David Cameron seeking reassurances about the Tories’ new allies, has caused a rift with the Jewish Leadership Council. One JLC member described colleagues as “livid” at the timing of the letter. Another said he was “incandescent”.

The Guardian reported how Dean Godson, a research director at the Tory Policy Exchange thinktank, bitterly attacked Wineman, President of the Board of Deputies and Labour peer Greville Janner (who criticised the Tories’ links with Robert Zile of Latvia, another MEP, who has regularly attended commemorations of the Waffen-SS).  Is Michal Kaminski fit to lead the Tories in Europe?

And according to Los Angeles talk show  host Dennis Prager, “John Hagee is one of the Jewish people’s best friends,” “Identifying John Hagee with anti-Semitism would be like identifying Raoul Wallenberg, the great Swede who saved thousands of Jews in the Holocaust, with anti-Semitism.”

Even more remarkable is the Letter of Support from Leading figures in Netanya Academic College – May 27, 2008 for Hagee:

Dear Pastor Hagee,

We saw the different publications vilifying your character, and we all felt the need to object and protest thus expressing personally our recognition and esteem to your enterprise, your doing and to your unconditional love to the People of Israel and to the State of Israel.

We all feel that these publications remind us the darkest times of our nation, when rivals from inside and out tried to besmirch the Holy Scriptures, our public systems and the leadership of the Jewish nation. These publications were in the focus of terrible slanders that ended in many disasters for our People.

We see in you a man of truth and a true friend, whose doings and sayings always come from a loving heart and out of true faith. We see you as the appropriate and desirable leader to your flock in these difficult times, and we stand by you.  

Orthodox Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg, of Congregation Rodfei Sholom in San Antonio, appeared at an afternoon press conference yesterday to say Mr. Hagee’s “words were twisted and used to attack him for being anti-Semitic.”

Likewise David Saperstein in the Washington Post Hagee’s Jewish Endorsers Nonetheless, it had become common to find Jewish leaders joining in Pastor Hagee’s “Salute to Israel” events around the country and paying public tribute and homage to the pastor for his efforts.’  See John Hagee
What is the basis of this racism? It is the idea that Jews, or anyone else, as individuals count for nothing. What matters is the achievement of a state, a racial state, because no one can pretend that Jews worldwide form a nation except Zionist lunatics and neo-Nazis (it is a fundamental part of the international Jewish conspiracy theory that the Nazis were wedded too that Jewry, wherever it lived, constituted an organic body, a conspiracy. Hence the Nuremburg Laws made it clear that there were no Germans of the Jewish faith but Jews living as aliens in Germany. Something else that the Zionists agree with too.

Hence it is common amongst the religious orthodox, such as Mr Avraham Greenbaum, former Deputy Director-General of the religious University of Bar-Ilan in Tel Aviv, to make a comparison between ‘assimilation’ i.e. Jews marrying non-Jews or simply integrating into the host community and Hitler’s extermination of Europe’s Jews. After all both were ‘lost’ to Judaism, except for the minor fact that those who were assimilated did so freely and without persecution, whereas those who died in the holocaust were anything but free.

But a racist movement such as Zionism, whose racism today is of course expressed vs the Palestinians, began its journey as a movement which assimilated to itself the anti-Semitic perspective.

Tony Greenstein

Survivors Outraged Over Holocaust Remarks Made By Chabad’s Rabbi Manis Friedman

“Who in fact died and who remained alive had nothing to do with the Nazis,” Rabbi Manis Friedman stated in a speech delivered in Melbourne in the 1980s. “Not a single Jewish child died because of the Nazis … they died in their relationship with God.…Bad things did not happen to our grandparents … No evil befell them.”

Timna Jacks • Australian Jewish News

HOLOCAUST survivors have expressed their outrage that the US rabbi who apologised last week for likening sexual abuse to diarrhoea, has failed to say sorry for claiming the Shoah was part of a Divine plan and that the Nazis weren’t to blame.

Who in fact died and who remained alive had nothing to do with the Nazis,” Rabbi Manis Friedman stated in a speech delivered in Melbourne in the 1980s. “Not a single Jewish child died because of the Nazis … they died in their relationship with God.”

Rabbi Friedman’s address – a transcript of which was obtained this week by The AJN from the Jewish Holocaust Centre’s (JHC) archives – was part of a 90-minute lecture delivered before community members at a Toorak home during a trip sponsored by the Yeshivah Centre’s Women of Valour Committee in Melbourne.

“Bad things did not happen to our grandparents … No evil befell them,” Rabbi Friedman said.

The rabbi was at the centre of a controversy two weeks ago, for a clip on YouTube, in which he said victims of sexual abuse learn “an important lesson” from the crime and that they’re “not that damaged”.

The issue stirred the memories of Shoah survivors and educators, who contacted The AJN to discuss the rabbi’s track record. Survivor and JHC guide Moshe Fiszman, still enraged by Rabbi Friedman’s remarks about the Holocaust, said the comments were “immoral“.

For someone who witnessed all that hell, who went through as many camps as I went through … to read and hear that is just … I don’t know. I cannot explain to you how I feel, there is no way,” the 91-year-old said.

At the time, survivors lodged complaints against the rabbi with Chabad authorities and Rabbi Friedman has not been invited back to Melbourne.

Holocaust survivor and guide at the JHC Abe Goldberg said Rabbi Friedman’s implication that the Holocaust was part of a Divine plan is “blasphemy“.

There is no question that Hitler was the one responsible for it.”

Referring to Rabbi Friedman’s official apology for comments he made about sexual abuse, Goldberg said: “Suddenly he is apologising? He never apologised before. Why does he only apologise now?”

Rabbi Friedman has failed to respond to requests for a comment on his remarks about the Holocaust.

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Tony Greenstein

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