UPDATE: A reader points out to me that it may be possible that the Star Tribune didn’t actually interview Friedman for its story, but rather construed from his statement of clarification that he was claiming Moment’s editors asked him a different question than the one published in the original article. If the newspaper did misconstrue Friedman, then it would mean Friedman was not lying, but rather he was someone who foolishly and inexplicably decided to answer a question he wasn’t asked. I suppose on the scale of things it’s marginally better to be a fool than a liar.
Thou shalt not bear false witness.
I always thought that rabbis should be moral exemplars for their congregants and fellow Jews. But it’s possible that Chabad rabbis receive different training on this subject. Rabbi Manis Friedman and his Chabad colleagues are backpedaling as fast as their feet can carry them from his odious statement in Moment Magazine which advocates Arab genocide.
I posted yesterday about a “clarification” issued yesterday by the infinitely empathetic JTA in which Friedman said he’d been misunderstood and really intended his statement as a response to how Israel should treat Arabs during a time of war (as if genocide during a time of war was somehow more acceptable than during a time of peace).
But Hussam Ayloush points me to a new story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune in which Friedman makes a statement which I’m virtually certain is a flat out lie. And if it isn’t he should easily be able to prove it:
The headline over the [Moment] statements says: “How should Jews treat their Arab neighbors?” Friedman insisted that the question presented to him was: “How should we act, in a time of war, when our neighbors attack us, using their women, children and religious holy places as shields?“
So to any Friedman supporters out there reading this, I’d ask in all honesty can you believe him? And if you do, will you write to him and ask him to produce the original statement that was submitted to him by the editors. I’d be more than willing to withdraw my claim of mendacity if Friedman can produce evidence to support his claim. Until then, he’s a bald-faced liar and a moral exemplar of everything that Chabad is, and that rabbis shouldn’t be.
One of the good rabbi’s apologists publishes in a comment here his full, meretricious statement about this incident. It only serves to prove further that he’s being entirely insincere. You’ll notice that he now says he believes that a “neighbor of the Jewish people” (for all you keeping score at home, that’s a Palestinian, but Friedman simply cannot utter the name) is created in the image of God and should be treated with respect. What’s curious about this is that he could’ve written that for Moment and didn’t. Instead he spewed the hateful bile he did. Why should anyone accept his clarification now as sincere given that it comes only after he’s been seared by criticism?