On Tuesday, a group of rabbis and Jewish community leaders gathered at the Isaiah Wall in NYC (opposite the UN) to protest the fact that Iran has not been expelled from the United Nations. They were charged with obstructing governmental administration, told to appear in court May 15, and released four hours later. (For video of the arrest, click here.) They released a statement calling for rabbis and community leaders to “galvanize people of good will to march on Washington” in condemnation of Iran.
Among them, the rabbis had affiliations to all of Judaism’s “big three” movements: Orthodox, Conservative and Reform; the first ones to arrive at Central Booking waited until all 22 had arrived before they began to daven. But not everyone was feeling the love: members of the Neturei Karta, the anti-Zionist Jewish group that met with Ahmadinejad during a Holocaust-denial conference a few months ago, were protesting nearby.
According to the Jewish Week, the group’s leader, Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, said “We are deeply thankful to the Ayatollah Ali Khameni and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the respect they give to the Jewish Iranian community. We know that they’re not anti-Semites,” he said, adding that Ahmadinejad doesn’t hate Jews, he hates Israel, and wants “[to destroy] the state through dialogue.”
Lovely. Look for another post from me soon (likely over at the JTA blog Good for the Jews, precise link to come) about such rallies and the nature of activism.