25 December 2006

Want some joy?

It was a poor attempt at a bad pun. Anyhow, Joy Wolfe describes here some interesting goings-on in Manchester, UK, and I must confess that schadenfreude, being a long and imported word, is not totally alien to me.

If anyone had told me it would take the actions of a Natorei Karta self-proclaimed rabbi to get the ultra-Orthodox anti-Israel community and the Zionists to stand side by side at a demonstration I would have probably laughed in their face. But that is exactly what has been happening in a formerly quiet street in Manchester in the past week.

Ahron Cohen was previously familiar as he stood alongside Palestine Solidarity demonstrators around the world to show his hatred of the State of Israel.

While those of us who support Israel have not liked the message his personage sent out to the wider world, we have not questioned his right to freedom of speech and action, and the fact that tiny Natorei Karta and the much larger Satmar, among other sects, deny the right of Israel to exist is well known.

However once Ahron Cohen decided to attend the Holocaust denial conference in Teheran and was pictured shaking hands with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the man who has publicly declared he wants to see the elimination of the Jewish state, that was one step too far.

The Manchester community from the haredi to the secular has made it very clear this man is a disgrace, and brings disrepute to us all.
Yep. Too far for Satmar boys is too far indeed. But the fun is only starting:
Throwing thousands of eggs at the house, letting down car tires, and scrawling an obscenity on his car are not things many of us approve of or wish to see, and there has been a concerted effort, now the point of what we feel about this obnoxious man has been very clearly made, to limit the demonstrations and to control the more unacceptable manifestations of people's feelings.
Aw, heck, why begrudge people some innocent fun, when there is such a rare occasion for Satmar folks to do something together with the rest of the Jooz? I think this rare expression of unity should be counted as a credit, albeit a small one, to the "rabbi" Cohen. But wait, there is still better stuff to come.
There has been call for excommunication; his fees to the burial society have been returned to make it clear there will be no future resting place for him among Manchester Jews. Holocaust survivors have expressed their horror and pain. Shops are refusing to serve him and all the synagogue's and shtiebels where he used to worship have closed their doors to him.
Methinks that if there is an urgent need for a burial of the said rabbi, the Elders could come up with a suitable location. No worries, rabbi, just get to it. And if the rabbi cannot get kosher sustenance from the Jewish shops, it is only in line with the burial issue. Unless he wishes to switch to pork and other treif, then we could be of assistance too (Elders use to keep a tentacle in every pie, you know).

Ach, it was one good and deeply satisfying dose of schadenfreude... But there is one point we, the Elders, would like to clarify (for Ms Wolfe as well) in this passage:
One important thing is not to mix the issue of Ahron Cohen's basic right not to recognize Israel with his totally misguided view that he can express that view by standing alongside Holocaust deniers and giving them succor.
This statement was a bit OTT (over the top for computer illiterate) in its Political Correctness, Ms Wolfe. I am not at all sure that denying the "basic right" not to recognize Israel to Hamas, we should not deny same to Ahron Cohen. And to Satmar and other similar groups. Granted, from where I stand, "rabbi" Cohen looks like a revolting sleaze, but the creeps from Satmar, while a bit less sleazy, are revolting enough as well. And they deserve this "basic right" you mention no more than any other Israel-haters in the world.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com