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Suspicious fire guts US anti-Zionist synagogue
The Associated Press
5 April 2007
A fire deemed suspicious destroyed a New York suburban synagogue of an anti-Zionist Jewish group heavily criticized for attending a conference last year where participants debated whether the Holocaust occurred.
No one was injured in Sunday night's fire in the town of Monsey. A senior Neturei Karta rabbi and his family, who lived on the top floor of the three-story structure, were not home.
"It may in the future be found to be accidental, but at this time we're treating it as a suspicious fire and we're investigating it as such," said Sgt. Daniel Hyman of the Ramapo Police Department, which provides services to Monsey, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) north of New York City.
The Neturei Karta has been the target of threats in the recent past because of their involvement in the anti-Zionism movement. The group has been widely criticized by other Jewish groups.
Members of an Orthodox Jewish community view the
burnt-out ruins of the Bais Yehudi synagogue in Monsey, N.Y
"Anybody who would like to reveal to the world their opposition to this political, national movement of Zionism is attacked," said Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss of the Neturei Karta.
"A call of a fire in the kitchen area of the three-story structure came in to authorities at about 8:12 P.M. Sunday," Monsey Fire Chief Douglas Perry said.
He said that when firefighters arrived, one side of the house was engulfed in flames and power lines had come down. "It was too dangerous for any entry," he said, and the fire had to be fought from the outside.
"It's totaled," Perry said. "I would deem it dangerous to even go inside."
Weiss said that the group suspects arson because of previous threats.
"There's no question that the issue is to stifle the opposition to Zionism," he said.
A law enforcement officer walks past the burnt-out
ruins of the Bais Yehudi synagogue in Monsey, N.Y
In December, about five members of the group traveled to Tehran for a two-day conference convened to debate whether the Holocaust occurred. Some were photographed meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called the Holocaust a myth and has criticized the existence of Israel. Other Jewish groups were outraged.
Following the group's return from Iran, a large protest made up mostly of other Jews opposing their anti-Zionist views was held outside the Monsey synagogue. Neturei Karta refuses to recognize the existence or authority of Israel on the grounds that a sovereign Jewish state is contrary to Jewish law.
"The group does not dispute that the Holocaust occurred," Weiss said.
Anti-Zionist Synagogue Attacked in London
The night following a Neturei Karta demonstration in Trafalgar Square protesting a pro-Zionist rally in the city of London, England, Zionists desecrated an Anti-Zionist Synagogue in North London. The Rabbi's home was also vandalized...the outside walls were painted. During the protest Zionists physically attacked an Anti-Zionist Rabbi as he was delivering a speech.
"Jews blamed for attack on synagogue"
Hackney Gazette May 9, 2002
Zionists Vandalize Monsey, NY Synagogue
On July 18, 2002 an Anti-Zionist Synagogue in Monsey, NY was desecrated by vandals in an attempt to intimidate the synagogue leaders of Neturei Karta.
The outer wall of Yeshiva Beis Yahud and two cars were found painted with graffiti on Ticha B'Av, during which Jews fast and commemorate the destruction of the first temple in Jerusalem.
Blue spray-painted Stars of David were found on two cars. One was a van owned Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, a Neturei Karta spokes-man who lives behind the synagogue. Rabbi Pinchas Feldman's car also was spray-painted.
A Star of David and the Hebrew words from Psalm 137:5-6 by King David of Israel (English translation of the Psalm: "If I forget you Jerusalem, May I forget my right hand. May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, If I ever don't think of you, If I don't raise up Jerusalem above my highest joy.") were on a side wall.
Similar incidents have occurred in the past following Neturei Karta demonstrations.
In response to the attack, Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Freimann was quoted as saying:
"We are targeted because we expose the conduct of the Zionist establishment against the Torah. We always hold peaceful demonstrations."
Quoted from Rabbi Chaim Sofer: "They are trying to harass us and stop us from our activism to dismantle Israel and Zionism, which has caused so much bloodshed and anti-Semitism against the Jewish people."
London Synagogue attacked by zionists
An Anti-Zionist Synagogue in North London was vandalized the evening of March 18, 2003 following an altercation with 100 zionists on Dunsmore Road earlier in the day during a planned burning of the Israeli flag in protest of the zionist state.
Zionists damaged the Synagogue door and desecrated the exterior of the building.
Stamford Hill Synagogue attacked by Jews
AN orthodox Jewish synagogue in Stamford Hill has been attacked and vandalised - not by anti-semetic thugs, but by fellow Jews who regard its leaders' outspoken condemnation of Israel as a betrayal.
Rising tensions over the forced evictions by Israeli troops last month of Jewish settlers from occupied Palestinian territory as part of the Middle East peace process has sparked a backlash among Stamford Hill's orthodox Jewish community.
Windows at the synagogue in Alkham Road were smashed after bottles were hurled at them last Thursday evening and the front of the building was covered with red spray paint.
The synagogue belongs to Neturei Karta, an ultra-orthodox sect opposed to the Zionist political movement that established the state of Israel as a national homeland for Jews.
The sect claims that the concept of a sovereign Jewish state is contrary to the teachings of the torah (Jewish law) and has led to the bloodshed in the Middle East.
In recent years it has staged the public burning of the Israeli flag on street corners in Stamford Hill.
Anti-Zionist Rabbi Beaten by Jews in Poland
The Associated Press
WARSAW, Poland ó An anti-Zionist rabbi who attended a conference in Iran that questioned the Holocaust said Wednesday he was beaten while in Poland by Jews furious at him for his actions.
Moishe Arye Friedman, who lives in Vienna, Austria, was attacked last Friday in Lezajsk, a small town in southeastern Poland. His attackers included Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, a member of the Israeli humanitarian group ZAKA, and two others, Friedman said in a telephone interview.
Meshi-Zahav, an orthodox Israeli Jew, confirmed to The Associated Press in a brief telephone interview from Jerusalem that he had been among Friedman's attackers.
Meshi-Zahav told Israel's Maariv newspaper that he and his friends had just paid an emotionally distressing visit to the Nazi death camp Auschwitz and were incensed to see Friedman.
"With every blow I felt like I was speaking in the name of the Jewish people," the paper quoted him as saying.
Friedman belongs to a handful of anti-Zionist rabbis who grabbed headlines in December when they joined a conference in Tehran hosted by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that sought to cast doubt on the Nazi Holocaust during World War II.
Friedman was among Jewish participants who hugged Ahmadinejad, who has described the Holocaust as a "myth" and called for the Israeli state to be "wiped off the map."
His attack came during annual commemorations for an 18th century Hassidic rabbi buried in Lezajsk, which were attended by both Friedman and Meshi-Zahav.
"I was attacked with such brutality," said Friedman, 35, who said he was kicked and punched. He said he was badly bruised and still recovering at his home in Vienna.
Friedman said that his attacker yelled out "he's the one from the pictures of Ahmadinejad!" before beating him.
Meshi-Zahav told Maariv newspaper he had heard Friedman was at the event and went with a friend to find him.
"We gave him a good beating, the kind we haven't given out for a long time," Maariv quoted Meshi-Zahav as saying, adding that others in the crowd joined in the attack shouting "go to Ahmadinejad" before Friedman was aided by local policemen.
Police confirmed responding to the incident but did not report any arrests.
Meshi-Zahav is one of the founders of ZAKA Rescue and Recovery, an Israeli volunteer group that provides paramedic help to accident and disaster victims but is best known for the gruesome work of gathering up body fragments at the scenes of many suicide bombings so they can be buried in accordance with Jewish law.
Friedman is associated with, but not a member of Neturei Karta, a small, fiercely anti-Zionist sect that opposes the drive to establish the state of Israel, believing only the Messiah could do that.
Friedman's children were expelled from a Jewish school in Vienna because he attended the Tehran conference. He said Wednesday that an Austrian court had ruled that they be allowed to return to the school.
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