The Orthodox Jewish community plans to hold a public demonstration this Wednesday, February 3, 2021, at 3 PM, outside the Israeli Consulate in Manhattan (Second Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets) to protest the Israeli government’s ongoing oppression of the Orthodox Jewish community in the Holy Land. Protesters will then march to the United Nations headquarters, on the steps of the Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, 47th Street at the corner of 2nd Ave.
“During the coronavirus pandemic, the Israeli government does not allow people to pray in groups, even in the street with proper social distancing and protection, or as lone individuals inside synagogues. In enforcing social distancing regulations, the government disproportionately targets the Orthodox community, while in secular cities like Tel Aviv they are lax and allow buses to operate while packed with passengers,” explained Rabbi Hershel Klar, the organizer of the rally.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic the Zionist regime has acted with frightful cruelty and brutality toward the ultra-Orthodox community. They are showing openly the until-now-somewhat-concealed hate they have for religious Jews. Strict lockdowns are enforced in religious neighborhoods; religious gatherings of any sort are banned; Torah study is prohibited, both for young and old; brutal collective punishment is meted out.
“In the secular neighborhoods gentle warnings are given, and masks are handed out with a smile; in the religious neighborhoods men, women, and children are violently beaten up, and are arrested for the most minute infringement of the regulations. Stun grenades are thrown directly at people, and “Skunk” water (a putrid, vile-smelling, enduring concoction) is violently sprayed into houses and synagogues, and directly on people – in contraindication of their own regulations. When it comes to the ultra-Orthodox, anything is permitted.
“On March 30, 2020, in one of the frequent police raids in Beis Shemesh, Rabbi Binyomin Friedman was arrested for his attendance at an ad hoc prayer group outdoors. Someone spat on the ground at the feet of a policewoman; she later testified in court that Rabbi Friedman spat on her; the judge refused to acknowledge a video proving otherwise.
“The Israelis’ vicious treatment of a rabbi, and in general their ongoing oppression of the authentic religious community, shows that they are not a Jewish state as they claim to be. Their goal is, and has always been, to uproot Torah observance. Their very sovereignty is forbidden by the Torah, which teaches that Jews may not have their own state. They claim to act in the name of Jewry and fight against their neighbors, which itself is against the Jewish religion, and thereby cause anti-Semitism in the Middle East and throughout the world. And now the world can see that they not only cause anti-Semitism – they themselves persecute Jews.
“Their state is not a help or benefit to Jews; it is nothing but a movement that seeks to transform Judaism from a religion into a nationalism, destroying the old Jewish people in the process. Their state has existed for 72 years and they are frustrated that we, the original Jewish people, still continue to exist and thrive. They see us as an obstacle to their goals.
“The world must know: they are not a Jewish state! They don’t represent the Jewish people!” concluded Rabbi Klar.
Protesters plan to stand in front of the Israeli consulate and condemn the state for its persecution of the Jewish faith, and the harassment of the religious community.
Afterwards, they plan to ask the UN and the global community to speak out for their community’s rights. The traditional Jewish community in the Holy Land never recognized the state, and under international law as a minority group living under an oppressive regime, they have the right to freedom of religion and expression.
For further information please contact Rabbi Hershl Klar, 718 644-8532