Oct 4, 2010
Chassidim Protest For Israel

Crown Heights residents attended rallies supporting Israel in Manhattan and in Brooklyn Heights. Speakers were rabbis Aaron Raskin of Brooklyn Heights, Yaakov Weinberg of Kansas City and Kuti Rapp of Crown Heights.

By Raanan Isseroff

“åàñôúé àú ëì äâåééí àì éøåùìéí ìîìçîä åðìëãä äòéø äðä éåí áà ìä' åçåì÷ ùììê á÷øáê”
(Haftora For First Day of Succos - Zechariah 14:1)

A special day for Hashem will come. (Metzudat David); A beloved day for Hashem will come. (Rashi); All the loot that has been taken from Yisrael over the years will be returned to them, and be divided among the people. (Metzudat David); Gog and Magog will capture Jerusalem and begin to divide up the spoils. (Malbim); This is how the loot will be returned: first, the nations will decide to make war on Jerusalem. (Metzudat David)

Erev Hoshannah Rabbah, Tuesday September 14, 2010. A day of protest for Israel. First in Manhattan where Chassidc protesters rallied with American Friends for a Safe Israel (AFSI) to bring the Rebbe’s message of "Peaceful Alternative to Peace."

Then later in Brooklyn Heights Chabadniks went to help beleaguered Jewish residents there to stand up to Arab protesters screaming anti-Semitic slogans and insults and harassing customers going in and out of a store selling Israeli products.

The day started “Peacefully” in Manhattan with Crown Heights residents bringing a message of protest to the Israeli Consulate of the irresponsible foreign policy decision making of Israel’s government leading to a deadly version of “peace” giving away Golan, Jerusalem, Shomron and Yehuda. They hoped to bring home the point that anything but “peace” has been achieved since the Oslo agreement was signed in 1993 or even before that with the giving away of Sinai in 1979 with more promises of “peace” .

In keeping with the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s directive: “Live with the times” (of the Parsha) so the first day of Succos Haftora was from Zachariah (14:1) “There will come a day for G-d, when I will divide your treasure (that the non-Jews over the centuries have stolen) amongst you. I will gather all the non-Jews to Yerushalayim to war and to lay siege to the city…”

Well, the giving away of Yerushalayim theme was certainly on people’s minds knowing that Mr. Netanyahu is back in the US fawning after American President to give away Jerusalem, Golan, Yehuda and Shomron. With a certainty therefore we know the rest of the nevua “I will return all of your treasure stolen by the nations of the world from centuries of looting” must come true as well!

Chabad follows the Rebbe’s well known opinion that the current plan or any plan to agree to building controls or gifts of land or to even discuss the possibility will only bring more terror as it always does. As the Rebbe tells us: “Talks lead them to think there is what to give away”. (As we write this, I am informed that PM Natanyahu just agreed to another building freeze)

Last week, it was reported in Haaretz that Syrian peace talks were about to resume. Debkafile reports that Mr. Netanyahu has given to the American negotiator, Mr. Mitchell a map of a plan for Israel to withdraw from Golan.

"Following the two-day Israeli-Palestinian face-to-face supervised by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, US Middle East envoy George Mitchell prepared for a major US diplomatic breakthrough during his visit to Damascus Thursday: The possible revival of Syrian-Israeli peace talks. He carries with him for Syrian president Bashar Assad a detailed map drawn up by Binyamin Netanyahu to represent Israel's proposed withdrawal from much of the Golan.” (See map bellow).

A similar map has been on the CIA fact book site since before 2004 giving rise to the thought that perhaps this was Israel’s intention all along? As the CIA map says in fine print on its map of Syria which shows Golan as part of Syria: “Golan Heights (Israeli Occupied)” .

President Assad has historically hated Israel and continually calls for Israel’s destruction. Syria was a haven for NAZI fugitives escaping prosecution after World War II . These fugitives have not only trained the Syrian army which is styled after the Germans, but to hate Jews in the NAZI fashion as well .

Knowing this, what good can an Israeli withdrawal from Golan do for Israel? The Israeli government seems to imagine that peace can come from placing a sword into the hand of a sworn enemy. Experts feel that if returned to Syrian hands, this vitally needed military stronghold would only become another launching pad for missiles aimed at Israel.

In light of this steadily worsening situation, the Rabbonim of Crown Heights, Rabbi Avrohom Osdoba and Rabbi Yaacov Schwei gave their directive for Crown Heights residents to protest.

Tuesday’s rally was organized by the "Crown Heights Committee for Shleimus HaAretz" along with AFSI, SOS- Israel, "The World Committee To Save The People and the Land of Israel”, Chabad4Israel and Chabad Women for Shleimus HaAretz.

Chabadniks, friends of Lubavitch, friends of Eretz Yisrael and even a number of non-Jews joined together over 200 strong to let Israel know what the Lubavitcher Rebbe thinks of this terrible plan. "Not One Inch," chanted protesters planted across the street from the Israeli Consulate in New York City. Afterwards Arutz Sheva printed the story and the Rebbe’s message streamed across the world via the internet appearing even on Christian ministry sites.

Speaking were Rabbi Aaron Raskin from Chabad of Brooklyn Heights, Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg of Chabad of Kansas City, Rabbi Yekutiel Rapp of SOS – Israel and Helen Friedman – Director of AFSI.

It was a spirited rally with speakers calling for unity amongst leading Rabbonim to begin advocacy and say something before it is too late. On the table are Jerusalem, Shomron, Yehuda and Golan Heights. It was hard to decide which is more important; each being such a vital piece in ensuring Israel’s future safety and more importantly as the Lubavitcher Rebbe emphasizes over and over again this is a matter of security for over 5 million Jews! With these areas gone, the country is vulnerable to attack.

In fact, if one thinks about the Rebbe’s discussion about the warning in Shulchan Oruch (hilchos Shabbos ch. 329) where it discusses that in the event of an attack on a Jewish border town of a non-Jewish country on Shabbos, that men women and children must go out to fight; So one realizes that the Rebbe was not referring only to the giveaway of Jewish land as dangerous, but rather it is the talks themselves about such land giveaways which are “The Border Town” (so to speak) that open up the whole country to terrible danger! Just to sit down for talks opens the door for land being given away.

Protest Part II – The Protest Moves To Brooklyn Heights

At the rally, Rabbi Raskin who has a successful congregation (Congregation B'Nai Avraham) and a pre-school in the Brooklyn Heights section of Brooklyn asked members and friends to please come after the rally to protest Arab picketers who had planted themselves in front of a cosmetics store selling products from Israel.

What happened next was a spinoff of what is coming out of the continuing negotiations for peace and is a clear example of their detrimental effect on world Jewry and how they cause terror and anti-Semitism.

Leaving the rally a small number of the protesters arrived in Brooklyn Heights to help Rabbi Raskin to battle a strange new form of Anti-Semitism that has developed thanks to Israel’s giving away land.

An anti-Semitic organization calling for the worldwide boycott of Israeli goods met at 501 Montague Street in Brooklyn on Tuesday at 5:30pm to protest in front of a Brooklyn store selling Israeli products.

They stood there “legally” waving PLO and American flags while hooting and heckling customers of “Rickie’s”. Rickie’s became the target for the second time this year. Earlier in July, the same scene repeated itself.

As if a modern day pogrom was taking place, Police stood idly by as protesters screaming and chanted anti-Jewish remarks. It was not clear if the protesters had a permit.

Rabbi Raskin had warning of the event and had emailed and informed his congregation and surrounding congregations of the threat this group poses to Jews. This group calling itself “BDS” has a pattern of targeting stores not in Jewish neighborhoods around the world to create press about the Arab terror state cause. Here, the press was not present, but Rabbi Raskin was.

It was the end of the work day and few congregants attended. Together with about 10 bochurim and outraged passerby, the small group danced, sang and heckled back at the obnoxious anti-Semitic Arabs and their friends providing a small measure of comfort for the beleaguered residents of the neighborhood who withstood their rude attack earlier this year in July. It was hard to tell if it was a victory or at least a firm stand.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was significantly not in attendance. On the ADL’s website it gives a history of this organization’s anti Semitic history of calling for global boycotts of Israel.

“Campuses nationwide have seen an increasing amount of boycott and divestment activity targeting Israel. Through petitions, resolutions and other efforts to promote boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel, students and faculty have attempted to steer university and public support away from Israeli and Israel-affiliated institutions.

For the most part, these efforts have been unsuccessful in their demands for divestment efforts or large-scale boycotts. Many, though, have garnered significant support and media attention, in some cases emboldening students and faculty elsewhere to launch new initiatives.

In addition, Israeli Apartheid Week , an annual weeklong series of events that is held on many colleges campuses in the U.S., consistently features events that focus on boycott and divestment efforts against Israel. ”

ADL claims that “for the most part, these efforts have been unsuccessful”. Which is basically admitting that they really have been successful! The website stopped short of giving the sickness its rightful name: “Talks for peace in exchange for the giveaway of Israeli land cause terror”.

For all of the ADL’s useful information about this new form of Anti-Semitism, the ADL website did not provide any solution or even a reason for this new form of rabid Jew-baiting that the BDS promotes and for good reason: ADL itself supports Israel’s efforts to give away land!

As the ADL website discusses about its director Mr. Abe Foxman: “Mr. Foxman is a great supporter of the State of Israel and the Middle East peace process. ”

The BDS scare tactics are aimed at putting world pressure on Israel to give away more land. For their part, the Jewish community has been quiet in dealing with the problem. In their effort to avoid giving BDS any press attention, there is also a distinct lack of effort on the part of the Jewish community to attack the source of the problem and its arguments. This silence inadvertently lends support the argument that Israel is wrong and must give away land.

The main reason for silence however, is not only Israel’s reluctance to attack the problem, but the nature of the BDS anti-Semitic argument itself. BDS argues that Israel is somehow wrong in being attacked and defending itself, taking over these lands in the process. A position basically touted by Israel itself as a necessary part of the PR jargon needed to facilitate the land for peace farce. As Israel continues its PR campaign to promote peace talks, so then this only encourages more of such activity.

Terrorists harass, kill and maim Jews, the Israeli government gives them land as a reward and they come back for more-
Why not?

Today, the harassment has become more sophisticated. Organizations like BDS find support from each inch of land given away as clear proof of Israel’s “crimes”.

On the other hand, Jews are told in every organ of the Israeli media by every Israeli government official that Peace must include the giving away of Israel’s precious land, even the land under its own capital building!

Well, after making such an argument for peace, so of course Israel finds itself in a corner where it must now defend itself against the very arguments she herself created to make Israelis feel good about diplomacy to give away Jewish land.

The Rebbe’s answer is surprisingly simple: STOP all talks that involve giving away land. Take back all the land given away and Terror will stop too. (This will stop organizations advocating Israeli boycotts as well)

The protesters arrived promptly at 5:30pm. The store owner, who was not present telephoned instructions not to stop either rally group. The focus of the Arab picketers was an Israeli product called: “Ahava” manufactured by Dead Sea products. Rabbi Raskin's approach was what is called a “Buy-Cott”.

A Buy-cott means you get the neighborhood to buy everything in the store while the Arab Terror promoters are picketing outside.

First on the scene was an Arab man with a camera who ensured that the Jews wouldn’t get uppity. Behind the camera were a police car and one or two policemen. The Jewish protesters soon learned why.

An elderly Jewish man, looking to be reminiscent of the “Alter Communist” era came over to the Jewish looking people calling them: “Occupiers of Palestinian Land”. The bochurim did not sit still and argued back! There was nothing to argue about as the man was clearly not there to be reasonable but rather to spew out his anti-Jewish dialogue while the camera recorded the “helpless Jews” suffering anti-Semitic & anti-Israeli insults. Of course the camera did not record the police car behind the man not doing anything and holding the Jews hostage to suffer this rude mans disgusting debasing of Jews living in Eretz Yisrael, the Jewish religion and himself as well. For his part he claimed to be a Jew born in Israel.

This was the first round, the shock attack. A Jew himself debasing Jews and the land of Israel. Luckily we had some protest signs with the “www.True-Peace.org” authored logon: “Read The Bible: The Land of Israel Belongs To The Jews”.

After Mr. Alter Communist came more anti-Semites and more Jews who like this man were misguided. One woman, Mary even told me that Israel had started the war in 1948! In talking to her, I found that her father was a Holocaust survivor from Poland. We had a nice chat that hopefully shed light on her warped version of history. She claimed that she had read a history book from an Israeli author on the subject. I recommended other sources of study.

The Arab picketers inadvertently served another purpose. That of reminding Jews that they are Jewish and that today is the holiday of Succos!

What happened is this: The more noise they made with their bull horn, the more people came to see what is going on. This in turn caused the Jews who passed by and a number of gentiles to ask: “Why are they here? And why are you here?” Many thought that Rabbi Raskin and company were the protesters! We had to explain that we were only here to protest the protesters…

At this point we would tell them that these people are boycotting Israeli products. They would get outraged and davka go into Rickie's and buy something! Then as they came out they would wave their product and we would cheer while the Amalekim would boo and scream. One woman told the cashier: “Give me whatever those people are protesting against!”

It felt like NAZI Germany and this was the 1930’s. I wondered why the city of Brooklyn would give these people a forum to promote hatred.

Of course the bochurim stopped trying to reason with these descendents of Amalek and instead focused on dancing and singing, jeering back and making sure that all the Jews who came out of the store plus passers-by had all shaken the Lulav and Esrog!

As we learn in Chassidus that this is a revelation of the true purpose of “leUmat Zeh” (the opposite of good), to mobilize a Jew to feel ones G-dly purpose in this world as a Torah and Mitzvah Yid.

A Jew walking by was forced to make a choice in his mind: “Will I be quiet about my being a Jew or will I say something.” Chabadniks being there helped to polarize their Judaism.

This would give them the strength to think: “Here are young men, women and children standing up and openly being Jewish and not sitting still. How can I?” With this they would join our little group which ended up being about 30 to 40 people when it thank-G-d finally ended with the ushering in of Hoshannah Rabbah.

As Rabbi Raskin later remarked: “The Rebbe was and is Right. Even one person protesting can change everything. The Rebbe once told my grandfather Rabbi JJ Hecht, "In America it's all PR."

People wishing to donate for activities that promote the Rebbe's Inyonim of Shleimus HaAretz are encouraged to send donations to: Chabad4Israel, 858 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11213. For enquiries into upcoming activities or to schedule a speaker call: (718) 213-2956 or email: shalom@chabad4israel.org

Most Read Most Comments

Map of what Natanyahu plans to give away * courtesy of DEBKAfile
Map of what Natanyahu plans to give away * courtesy of DEBKAfile

Opinions and Comments
moshiach now
(10/4/2010 6:59:08 PM)
yaakov weinberg
who is this yaakov weinberg from kansas city?!
(10/4/2010 7:08:09 PM)
True Chassidim
Thanks for being on the front lines! what true shluchim! moshiach now!
(10/4/2010 7:26:42 PM)
kansas city
there is no yakov wineberg in kansas city!!!
(10/4/2010 8:00:03 PM)
Why Chabad Lubavitch?
If i am not mistaken, this should not be b'shem Lubavitch!
Those signs "A project of Chabad Lubavitch don't belong.
(10/4/2010 9:38:19 PM)
Chabad in Israel needs to protest more
Chabad in Israel needs to approach Netanyahu and tell him that they will see that he and his party will be defeated if he has "peace" talks with America or Arabs.
(10/4/2010 10:29:16 PM)
Rabbi Schneerson of blessed memory (a Rabbi of some influence in Chabad)did not approve of going to demonstrations .It puts Chabads primary goal of outreach at risk .And turns left leaning Jews away from Chabad
(10/5/2010 12:08:18 AM)
#7 since when did eretz yisroel and safety of jewish blood and flesh become a fundraising liability
shame on your opinion and your brain!

eretz yisroel is not politics its a integral part of the jewish torah message and a conduction or a obstruction of jewish continuity spiritually and militarily

if you want money become a lawyer
if you want fans open up a chabad news website or become a singer

and dont say the rebbe didnt approve of demonstrations at all
besides influencing russian political astuteness or understanding to religious convention and freedom is one thing

fighting against surrender and jewish body endangerment is totally another especially when judaism in its modern application is begrudgingly in one way or another held accountable by the course of perspective and application that the leadership in israel seeks to purport

4th when the rebbe told the poilisher that he didnt wear a streimel bc he was attracting then left-wing radical extreme anti-jewish shomer hatzair'nikim

that was soo he could make himself available to be heard but once he was he fought in every instance and unstintingly unyeilding without letup or a decrease in any amount of pressure to clarify support and challenge any sort of bodily surrender to torahs torahs values and by extentions torah and its adherents safety

chabad is big enough and is mainstream enough that it can market its own values to those in the dark who are dwindling and may it be soon losing their grip

if you have katnus emunah thats fine we all fine tune our own ambiguities but our compass must remain grounded

learn more chassidus and a sicha or 2

leadership is everything
may there soon be true jewish leadership here and in eretz yisroel soo that instead of pandering and coddling to dangerous insanity there will be a hope and a beacon for a shoring of direction towards g-ds the rebbes will and the future to moshiach

blessings in all your endeavors for good and a good year
thank you very much for reading
(10/5/2010 2:40:40 AM)
Number 5 and number 7, You are both absolutely correct!
This is not the way our Rebbe zy"o taught us?!
(10/5/2010 8:13:10 AM)
Way to go!
People have told me they get SO inspired seeing Chabad stand up for Eretz Yisrael. Many times we are only a few Chabadniks? But people get excited and knowing that we are there gives them strength to go on.

Everybody knows the mesirus nefesh that Chabad has to stand up for what is right and to not leave our fellow Jews in the lurch.

Every time I go to rallies people tell me: "Where is Chabad?" Because they know how much the Rebbe stood up for the Jews in the Holy Land and never let up emphasizing that we should not be silent and in fact we should protest!

There is a mistaken idea that we should not protest.
The root of this confusion is what the Rebbe said to Meir Kahane who was protesting against Russia.

Here though, not only in the famous letter to Tzach the 15th of Elul 5753 (1993) telling Tzach to davka protest and to do it in the name of Chabad!

Also Shabbos Parshas Mishpatim in 5738 (1978): The Rebbes says like this: (referring to the meeting of rabbonim in Marienbad, Czeoslovakia in 1937, called the "Great Assembly" (attendees included: The Gerrer Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Zemba HYD (chief Rabbi of Wasaw), the Alexander Rebbe, the Sadigora Rebbe and many other torah giants)),

"...The ruling issued by the Great Assembly states that it is forbidden to surrender even the tiniest particle of Eretz Yisrael. It is astonishing that people don't publicize and advertise this ruling in the greatest possible way. The fact that there are those who wish to hide the ramifications of this ruling by inventing contrived interpretations of it will be to no avail..." "...Since we have to contend with such people, (referring to Jewish Politicians) it is a sign that our only concern must be to protest against their actions which are not in according to Torah. They are in conflict with the Torah and the ruling of Shulchan Oruch (Jewish Law) (See: Chp 329 Hilchos Shabbos) This law states that one must take up arms ON Shabbos and not allow the enemy to approach a border town. This law applies outside of Eretz Yisrael, because the issue at hand has nothing to do with who the land belongs to, or the concept of not antagonizing the non-Jewish nations. The one and only reason for this law is the danger to the lives of large numbers of Jews, G-d Forbid."
(10/5/2010 1:26:10 PM)
Since When Is Chabad for Making Money Off Of Others Suffering?
I totally agree that Shlichus is so important.
But I must take issue with the absurd thought that Shilchus means ignoring Jews in danger and silently leaving them to rot.

If anything, this is part of our Shlichus!
Just as we stood up for Jewish life in Russia, in Eretz Yisrael, this is not only Jewish religious life and so many Chabad houses, but a clear danger to Jewish life!

When is it that we consider our comforts (Our "Kol tuv Olam HaZeh" so to speak) and "what will people think" over a clear danger to Jews losing lives and property?

Am I learning a different Chassidus than everyone else?
(10/5/2010 1:35:02 PM)
Israeli flags?!
The Israeli flags at a supposedly Chabad sponsored event make me very uncomfortable. Though I'm not a Chabadnik, but a friend and admirer Chabad,it is my understanding that the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l was no Tziyoni, that he spoke against Zionism, that he insisted on referring to the land as eretz-Yisroel, not medinat-Yisroel, and that he said the Zionist phrase "reishis tzmichas ge'ulaseinu" pushes away the true geulah. His firm opposition against giving away land came from the Torah, having nothing to do with the Zionist nationalism reflected by the Israeli flag!
(10/5/2010 3:06:26 PM)
Yaakov Weinberg??
There is definately no Yaakov Weinberg in Kansas CIty
(10/5/2010 3:33:59 PM)
go tayyy we love you
(10/5/2010 3:40:07 PM)
If people bring flags, we don't have to like it, but at least they are coming to the rally out of love of Israel. It doesn't mean we agree with the State wholeheartedly; if we did there'd be no reason for a rally.

Author: I think you meant "crystalize" not polarize.
(10/5/2010 7:57:42 PM)
There is no proof for the claim that the Rebbe is against public protests for shleimus ha'aretz. Though the Rebbe was against protests for Russian Jewry, the two are very different.
(10/6/2010 2:06:27 AM)
From Ta
Thank you Kinderlach!!
(10/6/2010 7:45:05 PM)
Yehoishophot Oliver
Kol hakavod to Raanan Isseroff and his colleagues for organizing and publicizing this event!!
(10/7/2010 2:48:29 AM)
Kol HaKavod to everyone who helped us organize this Protest!
To all the untold myriads of Noch Shleppers who came and helped and organized... THANK YOU!
Rally Staff
(10/7/2010 5:54:24 PM)
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