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Friday, May 6, 2016

Yisroel Dovid Weiss at UC Irvine: A Follow Up

Image result for yisroel dovid weiss
Yisroel Dovid Weiss
(He was wearing those same tags Wednesday night at UCI.)

Yesterday, I posted a report with video of Neturei Karta Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss's speaking appearance Wednesday at UC Irvine. In addition to that report, I feel some follow up commentary is warranted.

Rabbis Weiss is a member of what I consider a lunatic fringe of Judaism, indeed, one that is not even recognized by the mainstream religion. They believe that according to the Torah, Jews are mandated not to return en masse to Israel until the coming of the Messiah. Indeed, Weiss made the claim Wednesday night that Zionism is contrary to Judaism and against Jewish ideals. What Weiss failed to tell his audience, but was partially brought our by a questioner during the break was that according to this belief, when the Messiah returns, a new temple will be built upon the Dome of the Rock, there will be no boundary (border) to the Land, and those non-Jews who fail to go along with the program will be sent into exile, ideas that Neturei Karta subscribes to. Perhaps, Weiss's Muslim Student Union members were unaware of that-or still are.

In addition, Weiss and his ilk carry their opposition to Israel  to the extreme by aligning themselves actively with those who would destroy Israel and kill every last Jew remaining (including Iran). In short, Neturei Karta does not represent Jews to any appreciable degree, Jewish Voice for Peace notwithstanding.

But here is my main point: I am not going to name names here, but in the days prior to Wednesday's appearance, a leading Jewish advocacy group sent emails to several local rabbis (approximately 15) in Orange County asking them to come to UCI Wednesday, participate in the q and a, and inform the audience that Weiss and Neturei Karta are a fringe group that is not recognized by mainstream Judaism and hardly speaks for the Jewish people. I know this because I was an information addressee to the email. Only one of those rabbis showed up, the rabbi for Chabad at UCI. One other rabbi, who I personally know and who I consider a true warrior on our side, was already committed elsewhere and could not appear. So one rabbi came and challenged Weiss. In addition, two other Jews and myself were there to challenge Weiss.

That's it. Four people including one non-Jew, myself. (There was another Orthodox Jewish man in the audience, but he remained silent.) Aside from the rabbis, where was the much-heralded Jewish Federation of Orange County? Just where I knew they would be-at home. Where was OC Hillel? Just where I knew they would be-at home. Their philosophy is what it has always been-stand down. Anteaters for Israel? Unfortunately, AFI now consists of a mere handful-and I mean handful-of students, none of whom I understand are even Jewish.

As for the rabbis, if this is all the local Jewish religious leadership can muster when a radical Israel-hater like Yisroel Dovid Weiss comes to UCI and claims to speak for Jews, our side has a serious problem. But I have already known that for several years.

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