Monday, December 1, 2008

Aryeh Leib Teitelbaum, killed by Jihadis in Mumbai for being a Jew, was anti-Zionist

(Hat tip: ENGAGE)

from Z-Word: Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism in Mumbai

We hear a lot these days, from assorted boycotters and human rights campaigners, that there is no connection between anti-Zionism and antisemitism, that the two positions have as little to do with each other as supporting Manchester United has with a passion for philately.

It’s a pity the news didn’t reach the Mumbai terrorists before they murdered Aryeh Leib Teitelbaum. Had they known that he was neither a Zionist nor an Israeli, they would surely have asked him to step to one side as they conducted their slaughter. Or perhaps they did know, but Teitelbaum failed to clarify his political views fast enough to save his life. I mean, what’s an honest jihadi to do? In the heat of the moment mistakes get made.

Maybe the anti-Zionist human rights campaigners could get together to draw up a quick reference card for jihadis - to be carried with them when they set out on an operation - that would help them to rapidly distinguish those Jews who deserve to live from those who don’t.

from Ynet: Satmar family: No State involvement in son's funeral:

Hasid killed in Mumbai attacks recognized as terror victim by Israel, but his family begs government not to send representatives to funeral, cover his coffin with national flag, saying he belonged to anti-Zionist haredi stream.

The State has decided to recognize the Israelis murdered in the Mumbai terror attacks as victims of terrorism and pay for their funerals, but not all are happy with this decision. The family of slain Hasid Aryeh Leib Teitelbaum has informed the government that it would like the State not to intervene with his funeral.

According to a family member, "Holding a Zionist funeral for Teitelbaum, who was a Satmar Hasid, would desecrate the dead man's honor." The family demanded not to have a government representative at the funeral and that the casket, which will be flown into Israel today, would not be covered with the Israeli flag.

They also asked that Teitelbaum's body would be released immediately upon the plane's arrival, so that they would be able to hold an intimate funeral for him as soon as possible.

Shmuel Pfenheim of the Haredi Community anti-Zionist stream told Ynet: "I'm sending a message from the family. We don't want the State to meddle in our grief. Suddenly Israel has an interest to show the world that it is also a victim of global jihad, so it decides to throw a big ceremony with a coffin wrapped in a flag. We object to this. It pains us and offends our values."

'Not an envoy of the State'

Pfenheim, who attended the same yeshiva as Teitelbaum, added: "He wasn't killed as an envoy of the State or as a Zionist person. He simply went there as a kashrut supervisor on behalf of an American kashrut system. He himself was an American citizen, and although he was a resident in Israel he wasn't an Israeli national.

"The mere fact that he was living here, in a closed congregation, doesn't give the country permission to exploit his death.

Despite their protest, sources in the Haredi Community stressed that they did not plan to create havoc over the matter. "We are not like Neturei Karta. We conduct our struggles peacefully, and are simply begging the minister in charge and the police – the man has suffered enough. He's been there for almost a week. Let us bury him according to the family's will."
Aryeh Leib Teitelbaum was a member of the family of the Satmar rebbe (read here).

UPDATE: Teitelbaum had deep roots within Satmar chassidus as a patrilineal descendant of an earlier Satmar Rebbe and the son-in-law of the Rebbe of Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok, a branch of Satmar. Teitelbaum was the son of the Volover Rov of Boro Park, Rabbi Nachum Ephraim Teitelbaum, who is Av Beis Din (chief judge of a religious court), and who heads a U.S. kashrus organization.. (Read more here and here and here and here.)

If any readers know more about the Teitelbaum family, let me know and I'll post it. By the way, to my knowledge, Teitelbaum is the second scion of a chassidic dynasty to die at the hand of Islamist terrorists. The first was Ari Halberstam, whose family leads the Bobover chassids (read here). Ari was shot to death by an Islamist terrorist at the age of 16 (read here). He was killed on the Brooklyn Bridge while travelling home from a speech by the Lubavitcher Rebbe in lower Manhattan. There has been speculation that the terrorist (whose name is Rashid Baz) had intended to assassinate the Rebbe, but, failing to get an opportunity to do so, chose a target of opportunity while driving home to Brooklyn: a van filled with yeshiva bochers.

Ari Halberstam


Unknown said...

The fact that the family forbade Israel from meddling in his funeral perhaps it has a different view than what you're proposing.
Perhaps they knew more than what you want us to perceive in these lines.
Perhaps they know who the real terrorist were and they didn't want to look at their faces on that moment of sadness and sorrow.

Adam Holland said...


Contrary to what you write, there is no doubt "who the real terrorists were". That you don't see that is very sad.

By the way, I'm certain that the Teitelbaum family, no matter their views on Zionism per se, would agree.


adamhollandblog [AT] gmail [DOT] com