Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart
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Sunday, 10 November 2013

Of Glass Houses and Stones

Rav Yaakov Mencken of Cross Currents is, as we all know, not the most sophisticated writer on the block.  He seems quite easy to outrage and is always read with a biased screed against his perceived enemies.  His latest piece, once again attacking the Women of the Wall and giving them attention they don't deserve, raises an interesting point on his thinking.
In short, he notes the emerging awareness that Women of the Wall is connected to leftists groups, some of whom are anti-Israel.  I certainly agree with him that these kinds of things should be noted.  If the WoW's are taking aid and succour from groups that would like to see the Wall on the Arab side of the barbed wire fence then people should be made aware of this.  After all, I doubt most people who are sympathetic to the WoW's would agree with losign the Wall to Judaism entirely.
But take a step back and wonder.  Rav Mencken is, no doubt, an upstanding UltraOrthodox Jew.  He wears the outfit, speaks the Yeshivish and likely sways beautifully when davening.  I'm also willing to bet that he loves hanging out with UltraOrthodox Jews of all types, including Chasidim. Including Satmar Chasidim.
Now let's remind ourself of the official position of the Satmar Chasidim when it comes to Israel.  They are, to put it gently, rapidly anti-Israel.  They have no problem with so-called Palestinian maps that show a 23rd Arab state run by unrepentant Jew-killing terrorits instead of Israel.  They have no problem calling for the end of Israel and reminding people that "real Orthodox Jews" (i.e. them) are anti-Zionists.  Does Rav Mencken have the same problem with them as he does with the anti-Israel groups that the WoW's hang around with?
In short, with whom would he rather associate?  Zionist Riverdale or Israel-hating Williamsburg?  And if it's the latter, who is he to criticize the WoW's?

11 comments:

RH said...

Your logic is mind-boggling, to say the least. In your equally unsophisticated writing you basically argue that because Rav Menken is "charedi," and Satmar are "charedi," that Rav Menken shares Satmar's views, and thus is anti-Israel. So who is he to bash WoW leadership for holding equally anti-Isarel views? Even writing those sentences hurt my brain, but let's dig deeper.

Firstly, remember that Satmar does not hold services trying to change the status quo at religious sites in Israel while singing Hatikvah; trying to woo American and Dati Leumi Jews with talk of Zionism. They wear their anti-Zionism on their sleeves. So even if Rav Menken WERE Satmar, or his best buddy were, he could STILL condemn WoW's leadership for their two-faced nature.

However, Rav Menken is not Satmar. Just because someone looks Charedi they are bound to every single view charedi people hold? According to that logic he would both serve in the army and beat up soldiers, he would be a chasid, litvak, and sefardi, all at once.

The shallowness and bigotry of this article are astounding. Thank you for showing how bias and narrow-minded WoW supporters are.

Anonymous said...

Without detracting from the content, this post needs to be proofread ("rapidly" instead of "rabidly", various spelling errors).

Israel Oz said...

Um RH, try reading the post again. That's not what he said at all. He was merely pointing out the bald-faced hypocrisy of Menken's lambasting the WoW for being "anti-Israel" (which is false btw) and giving his Chareidi Satmir buddies a free ride on the issue. That's it. I hope you can grasp such a simple concept with all of your "sophistication".

RH said...

Israel Oz,

How is it hypocritical for someone to point out that the leadership of WoW holds leadership positions in actively anti-Israel organizations without simultaneously mentioning every other anti-Israel group?

His comments were directed at WoW leadership, who claim to be Zionists and pro-Israel, yet use their group(s) to undermine Israel's legitimacy. He was not addressing anti-Israel groups in general, but rather WoW's underhanded manipulation of American and Israeli Zionists to further their decidedly un-Zionistic agenda.

Like I said before, if Satmar were holding rallies with paratroopers, waiving Israeli flags while singing Hatikvah, and attempting to foist change on Israelis and religious Jews under the banner of Zionism, yet simultaneously carrying on their Anti-Zionist agenda, then I would agree that Rav Menken would be hypocritical not to point that out.

However, that is clearly not the case. Satmar does as Satmar does, and does not try to sugarcoat it. WoW, however, have been deceiving their fans into physically and monetarily supporting their cause not knowing the ulterior motives behind many of WoW's leadership.

Now, I have no idea if Rav Menken supports, follows, agrees with, is friends with, etc. Satmar whatsoever. But for the sake of argument lets say he is a supporter/follower (if he is not, then your whole argument is null). Even though, theoretically, a person supports Satmar, they can still point out that another group who claims to be pro-Israel is not, and is using Zionism to fool their followers. There is no hipocracy there.

Israel Oz said...

RH, a lot of vacuous words. Nice try. My argument still holds. And yes Menken, defends all sorts of horrid behaving Chareidim and the article about the WoW was not true. In fact it was pulled from the site when they editors realized it was misleading. So go bark up another tree.

RH said...

Well, enough "uh huh" "nuh uh." I am just commenting to set the record straight: WoW confirmed the info in the article, but threatened legal action to have it removed. You can see comment #7 by the author here:

http://matzav.com/exposed-women-of-the-wall-linked-to-rabidly-anti-israel-groups

WoW said it was slander, but did admit that the information was true... so it may be unpalatable, but it is true.

Anonymous said...

1. WOW did not confirm the accusations, they denied the accusations that they are anti-Israel. WOW has never said there weren't women who were left-wing, however there is a difference between being left-wing and being anti-Israel. There is also a difference between being Haredi and being anti-Israel. Many on the right are anti-Israel and it is right wing groups that don't support Israel. That doesn't mean that everyone on either side is anti-Israel. Unless only centrist are pro-Israel. I am right wing on some issues, left wing on some issues, centrist on other issues. What the heck would that make me in terms of pro/anti-Israel?
2. Comment 7 is ranting. Articles are not usually pulled from newspapers if they aren't true.
3. People generally do respond to slander/libel with legal action. Often the accusation is the other way "Well if it wasn't true then they'd sue". Can't have it both ways.
4.There is no cover up. The board is listed on their website. The organization is a legal amuta.
5. Belonging to an organization in which others hold certain points of view does not mean that everyone in that organization holds those points of view. ie; all men might be mortal, but not all mortals are men.

SJ said...

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Atheodox Jew said...

Garnel, a good point.

What's more, WoW is only guilty by association. Their sole organizational aim is religious/gender equality at the Kotel. That's it. Satmar on the other hand is *itself* explicitly anti-Israel as a matter of policy.

R. Mencken should stick with traditional/religious arguments against WoW. I personally don't agree with those either, but I can at least respect where they're coming from.

JRKmommy said...

Hoffman is not the only member of WoW, and I don't see any indication that WoW as an organization supports any of Hoffman's other causes.

If Rav Mencken is to be fair, he could look at some of the other women who have been prominent members of WoW. Co-founder Phyllis Chesler, for example, has been an outspoken critic of Islamic extremism, including its manifestations in honor killings and anti-semitism.

jrs said...

<<< WoW is only guilty by association. Their sole organizational aim is religious/gender equality at the Kotel. That's it. >>>

Just saying that doesn’t make it so, in the face of ample evidence of some of the WoWers' unsavory associations. Nor did Garnel, anywhere in his article, imply that he shares that positive view of the WoW.

In his article, GI referred to:
<<<... the emerging awareness that Women of the Wall is connected to leftists groups, some of whom are anti-Israel. I certainly agree with him that these kinds of things should be noted. If the WoW's are taking aid and succour from groups that would like to see the Wall on the Arab side of the barbed wire fence then people should be made aware of this. After all, I doubt most people who are sympathetic to the WoW's would agree with losing the Wall to Judaism entirely. >>>

And it’s not a matter of guilt by association; it guilt by virtue of being guilty.
If some of the leading figures of WoW are anti-Zionist---(or hard-left, or post-zionist, or whatever term you choose for people who invariably blame Israel for the lack of peace)---then the fact that they may also agitate for women’s rights does not cancel that out.