Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Moment of Infamy

I get why the Ultra Orthodox in general and naturei karta in particular are anti-Zionist, because they believe that God will bring the Messiah and the return of the Jewish people to Israel in his own time and He cannot be hastened. Moreover, to their minds, a secular Jewish nation in Israel is only going to delay the coming of the Messiah.

However, what I don't understand is, theologically speaking, how does Naturei Karta justify Holocaust denialism.

Or, is it only that, like Ahmadinejad, they don't believe the Holocaust should have led to the development of Israel and that Jews (except them, of course) should have stayed in exile in Europe?

Or, do they want Ahmadinejad to destroy the secular state of Israel in order to bring the apocalypse and the Jewish messiah?

In short, does anyone know what their halakhic "reasoning" is specifically for Holocaust denial, which is aberrant in an altogether different way than treating with the enemies of secular Israel, such as Arafat?

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At 12:30 AM, Anonymous Ben bayis said...

It's unlikely that they are Holocaust deniers, since they believe that the Holocaust was a punishment for the sin of Zionism. They can't have it both ways.

More likely that they believe that the Zionists collaborated with Hitler, which is one of the conference's themes, according to Anne Applebaum writing in Slate.

At 7:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Satmar Rebbe, Yoel Teitelbaum, and some of his followers were saved from Auschwitz by the Zionist leader Rudolf Kastner. My grandfather sat on the commitee that drew up the lists of those to be offered a place on the train that Kastner organized and pressed for Teitelbaum's inclusion. Kastner was criticized (by the Zionist right among others) and was accused of "collaborating" with the Nazis, especially because he did not tell the Jews that they were going to be murdered. But Teiltelbaum had his own intelligence sources, and knew and said that the Germans were planning to kill all the Jews.

That has never prevented this sect's leaders from blaming Zionism for the Holocaust, or from giving all the credit to the KB"H for Teitelbaum's escape. Their argument is both political and theological. The political argument says, roughly, that Zionism is a provocative assertiveness that is bound to bring a hostile reaction against the Jews. The theological argument is based on the well-known idea - which has a strong basis historically in religious Jewish thought and recently received support from none other than Jimmy Carter - that Jewish disasters are G-d's punishments. In this instance, Zionism is an affront to G-d's plan for the arrival of Messiah, hence G-d's wrath.

It doesn't help that they are mostly ignorant of history and secular learning, as these are not subjects studied by them. Only Torah is worthy knowledge in their eyes.


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