Sunday, November 25, 2007

Should we go to Iran?

The latest news from Iran (no, I don't mean the nuclear reactor, or the hanging of homosexuals or the 'honour killings' of women who are raped) is that Moshe Aryeh Freidman has gone back for another visit. In case you don't remember, he was part of a group of Neturei Karta (who have since been expelled from that organisation) who went to Iran for a conference denying the holocaust. He has been more outspoken than any of the others (all of whom have since 'apologised' - whatever that means), and has spoken on Iran TV, and a university lecture tour denying the holocaust. (More specifically, he admits there was a holocaust, but based on his 'research' says that 'only' 1,000,000 Jews were killed, not 6,000,000!)

his wife has left him

Moshe Aryeh Friedman, a senior Neturei Karta member, who passionately kissed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will now be forced to look for a woman who will agree to kiss him, as his wife has decided to leave him following his participation in the Holocaust denial conference which took place in Tehran about a month ago.

He got kicked out of a hotel in New York in which he and his family were staying (presumably that is before she left him)

Moshe Aryeh Friedman, a member of the Natorei Karta, who attended the Holocaust denial conference in Teheran last month, was asked to leave a hotel in Brooklyn over the weekend, where he was staying with his wife and four children. It was the latest in a string of protests against the anti-Zionist sect.

and his kids were expelled from school

The children of an Austrian rabbi who attended an Iranian conference that questioned the Holocaust have been expelled from their school and told no other Jewish school in Austria will take them, their father said Tuesday.

Moishe Arye Friedman said he has begun legal proceedings against the school. He said his four school-age children were told to leave Monday.

Friedman showed a letter with school letterhead that explained that one of the reasons for the expulsions was his "outrageous behavior" in attending the Holocaust conference last month .

and beaten up

Before coming to Iran, Rabbi Friedman’s children were attacked by Zionist elements in Austria and Britain in retaliation for the fact that the rabbi had attended the Tehran Holocaust Conference in December 2006.

His children required hospitalization after the attacks.

I must add that given the lies he has told publicly it is entirely possible that all of these 'facts' are fabricated. He claims that it was all the work of the Mossad (paranoia?), so perhaps it is all in his mind. But all in all, not a guy you would want to spend time with (what does Ahmadinejad see in him?)

Anyway, his most recent trip (and discussion with a few people) left me thinking about one issue. According to Ynet news:

According to Ynet, Moshe Friedman has once again been caught on camera embracing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Friedman and a few other cronies received world-wide fame last year, when they attended the holocaust denial conference. This time, holocaust-denier-Friedman is currently in Tehran where he is scheduled to appear on Iranian TV “to unequivocally clarify the different between Zionism and Judaism.”

Friedman reportedly met up with his long time pal this past Motzei Shabbos - dressed in his Shabbos attire - and Friedman delivered a message of peace for Jews and Muslims.

Ahmadinejad said he shared Friedman vision about a day “when Jerusalem is free from Zionism, and Muslims and Jews will pray together.”

I'm not quite sure how he managed to fly from Austria to Iran and arrive on a Motzei Shabbat (and from the looks of the photo it is daylight as well). I suspect that he put his Shabbos clothes on specially to greet Ahmadinejad. My question is, given that he is absolutely wrong on everything else he has and is doing, is he right to wear Shabbos clothes and Streimel for his kissing invitation to the Supreme Ruler?

The Talmud in Brachos (9b) says:

For R. Yochanan said: A man should always be eager to run to see the kings of Israel. And not only to see the kings of Israel, but also to see the kings of the Gentiles, so that, if he is found worthy, he may be able to distinguish between the kings of Israel and the kings of the Gentiles.

I'm not exactly sure who qualifies as a 'King' and who doesn't, but it seems to me that Ahmadinejadis one of the most powerful people in the world. He certainly has the authority to sentence people to death, and as we speak is attempting to destroy another country (Israel).

Perhaps we should all put on our Shabbos clothes and go to see Ahmadinejad, to fulfil the statement of the Talmud (just not grovel, or deny the holocaust, or support the Iranian stance vis a vis Israel)

What do you think?

(also posted on

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