Meah She’arim, Jerusalem 24 August 2017
Thousands of ultra-Orthodox, anti-Zionist Jews from throughout the Holy Land converged on Meah She’arim last night to welcome home the “prisoner of Zion” – the staunch anti-Zionist activist Rabbi Binyomin Friedman, who was just released from eight-months incarceration in prison.
Over the past several months, anti-Zionist Jews have been subjected to a campaign of harassment by the Israeli police for their refusal to serve in the army and their support of others who refuse. Jewish law forbids serving in the army of a Jewish state, because during this era of exile, Jews are forbidden to have any sovereignty or wage wars against any nation. Non-violent protesters have been consistently attacked, beaten and imprisoned for simply exercising their freedom of speech.
Rabbi Friedman was arrested in January and sentenced to an unheard-of-length of prison time for peacefully protesting against the arrest by the Zionist military authorities, and their attempted draft of a religious Jewish girl. Eight months of incarceration (and under the most difficult conditions) for the sin of blocking the road in protest! It is obvious to all that the authorities real motive is to silence the voice of protest against the Zionist regime and its actions.
Following in the footsteps of Rabbi Amram Blau, a leading anti-Zionist rabbi for many years, as well as many of his followers throughout the years since the establishment – explicitly against Torah-law – of the Zionist state of Israel, Rabbi Friedman refused to cooperate with the police or the court, merely telling the judge that he does not recognize their judicial system or consider himself bound to their laws; laws enacted by a heretical state – illegal by the eternal laws of the Torah.
During his incarceration there have been numerous protests held on his behalf; thousands of letters have been sent to him in prison – from esteemed rabbis, laymen, and schoolchildren alike – from throughout the Jewish world.
The event got underway in the early evening, as local residents – joined by busloads of others from throughout the land – converged on Shomrei Emunim Street (auspiciously named for one of the leaders of the anti-Zionist camp of the previous generation). Rabbi Friedman was triumphantly lifted onto a float, and – with torches and music – the procession got underway. With the throngs of supporters growing by the minute, they reached the main intersection Kikar Hashabbes, where a regal dais had been erected, graced with the most well-known and prestigious rabbis and lay-leaders of ultra-Orthodox Jewry.
In addition to praise of Rabbi Friedman and his heroic sacrifice, the speakers brought out Orthodox Jewry’s opposition to the recently-enacted draft of religious Jews, and the Zionist regime’s brutal repression of Torah-true protesters. “It only goes to show,” was the theme that resonated from all who addressed the multitude, “that their real intention is the suppression of our holy way of life, dictated to us by the Holy One Himself, and elucidated in his Torah! They will not be successful – we will never surrender our religious beliefs!”