I don’t know why it’s so hard for a Chabad rabbi these days to speak his mind when he wants to call for genocide against Arabs. Geesh, doesn’t the right-wing movement believe in letting rabbis speak their mind on life and death issues facing Israel and the Jewish people??
It seems that when Rabbi Manis Friedman told Moment Magazine that the only good Arab was a dead one, Chabad didn’t take too kindly to this once blogs like this one and Failed Messiah began taking him to task. They got on the horn with their Jewish journalist stenographer, Ben Harris over at JTA, who dutifully delivered a contrite version of what Rabbi Friedman “meant to say:”
A prominent Chabad rabbi is seeking to clarify remarks in which he renounced “Western morality” and seemed to call on Israel to massacre Palestinian civilians…
Friedman…said that his published comments were “misleading” and were meant to address not how Jews should treat their neighbors but how they should act in a time of war.
“I attempted to briefly address some of the ethical issues related to forcing the military to withhold fire from certain people and places, at the unbearable cost of widespread bloodshed (on both sides!) — when one’s own family and nation is mercilessly targeted from those very people and places!” Friedman wrote in a clarification issued through a Chabad spokesperson. “I apologize for any misunderstanding the words printed in my name created.”
What’s really rich about this is that Friedman attempts to argue that advocating genocide constitutes “addressing an ethical issue.” And it really does make a difference, doesn’t it, whether you advocate blowing up the Temple Mount and killing Arab men, women and children only during a war or when there are no hostilities with Arabs.
I do so love the idea that by killing Palestinians in droves we’re actually reducing the “unbearable bloodshed (on both sides!).” If Lewis Carroll had ever seen a Chabad rabbi in his days at Oxford, he’d have added Rabbi Friedman as a beloved character in Alice in Wonderland. His torturing of the language (not to mention Torah) would fit in perfectly.
This idea, by the way, that Chabad is trying to peddle that this guy doesn’t represent the other fine upstanding members of the Chabad community is a load of rubbish. Let them try to explain the popularity of Rabbi Dov Wolpe in Israel. This is a Chabadnik and extremist settler rabbi who offers to pay IDF soldiers to mutiny in the Territories, among other choice views he holds.