Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Against Ahmadinejad: A Rally in Pictures


Over at Jewcy.com, Eli Valley has posted some incredible pictures (including the one above) of the UN rally against Ahmadinejad.

5 comments:

Michael Sidlofsky said...

A most interesting photo essay. It's good that he included photos of the Neturei Karta (or whichever anti-Zionist haredis those are), if only to remind us that Israel's enemies come from within the Jewish community as well as without.

Monica said...

Yeah, good point, Michael. But I have to say -- aren't those images of the haredis startling? I kept going back to them for some reason.

Michael Sidlofsky said...

Not so startling to me. True, there have always been haredim who have opposed a Jewish state not founded directly by God and his Messiah. (As in Potok's breakthrough novel The Chosen.) But--and if I'm wrong about this, someone please correct me--it seems to me that they mostly kept this opposition within the Jewish, and particularly the Orthodox, community. Perhaps the increasingly vocal anti-Israel sentiment within parts of the non-Jewish community (hardline Muslims, professors and journalists on the far left, among others) has emboldened such haredim to make their views more widely known? In much the same way that certain secular far-left Jews, like Normal Finkelstein, seem at pains to show the world that "we're not like those other Jews; we're good Jews because we oppose Jewish hegemony in Palestine."

(Note: So that I'm not misunderstood, I'm not talking here about Jews, liberal/left or otherwise, who criticize particular Israeli policies while supporting the existence of Israel as a Jewish state. Thus, I don't consider Michael Lerner and Arthur Waskow anti-Zionist, critical and vocal though they are about Israel's Palestinian and foreign policies, because both have made it clear that they support both a Jewish state and an independent Palestinian state, as do I.)

Adam Shprintzen said...

Just a point of historical clarification to Michael's point...there really were not any organized Haredi populations in the United States during the leadup to Israeli statehood. Haredi populations began coming to the US around the 1950s as communities, in response to displacement from WWIIm but as such still were small, isolated and powerless. Those communities just wouldn't have been nearly as visible to society at large while they were still living isolated lives throughout Eastern Europe or as fractured, small communities in the US. Only within the last 30 years or so have the Haredi in the US built large, fairly empowered (politically at least) tracts of communities in certain pockets of the states.

michael sidlofsky said...

Adam,

What you say is true insofar as American haredi organizations are concerned. With regard to the international scene, however, recall that Agudath Israel was, prior to 1948, a well-organized and very public anti-Zionist voice throughout Eastern Europe and the U.K. Indeed, between the wars it successfully ran candidates for the Polish and Latvian parliaments. Of course, its numbers and influence in the U.S. paled in comparison for the demographic reason you mentioned.