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Antisemite Keith Woods Uses Out-of-Context Quote By Rabbi to Claim Judaism Mandates Targeting Civilians

With the recent Rafah incident being investigated by the IDF, Jew-haters are trying to claim we deliberately tried to murder civilians, a blood libel to be sure.

Jew-hater Keith Woods – a favorite source of Nasser Mashni – has drawn attention to a statement Chabad Rabbi Mannis Friedman once allegedly wrote, to support this claim:

The images coming out of Rafah are horrifying. Children decapitated by 2,000 pound bombs dropped on refugee camps and “safe zones” civilians were directed to. It’s not war, it’s a massacre, but sadly not surprising to see this from the Jewish state.

Back in September, when Elon Musk was called before a digital Sanhedrin to speak with Jewish community leaders, one of the speakers was the very influential Rabbi Mannis Friedman.

In answer to a question “How Should Jews Treat Their Arab Neighbors?”, Friedman once wrote the following in a Jewish publication: “I don’t believe in western morality, i.e. don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during holiday seasons, don’t bomb cemeteries, don’t shoot until they shoot first because it is immoral. … The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle).”

The world is seeing the Jewish way to wage war, and it’s horrified.

Rabbi Friedman actually did write this back in 2009, but he immediately clarified his remarks:

I would like to clarify the answer published in my name in last month’s issue of Moment Magazine.

First of all, the opinions published in my name are solely my own, and do not represent the official policy of any Jewish movement or organization.

Additionally, my answer, as written, is misleading.

It is obvious, I thought, that any neighbor of the Jewish people should be treated, as the Torah commands us, with respect and compassion. Fundamental to the Jewish faith is the concept that every human being was created in the image of G-d, and our sages instruct us to support the non-Jewish poor along with the poor of our own brethren.

The sub-question I chose to address instead is: how should we act in time of war, when our neighbors attack us, using their women, children and religious holy places as shields. 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.

Furthermore, some of the words I used in my brief comment were irresponsible, and I look forward to further clarifying them in a future issue.

I apologize for any misunderstanding my words created.

—Rabbi Manis Friedman

A link to this clarification appears directly below Rabbi Friedman’s response to the question, which means Keith Woods definitely saw it, but decided to leave that part out – for obvious reasons.

Furthermore, Rabbi Friedman’s initial response was criticized by other Orthodox Rabbis, including those within his own Chabad movement:

Subsequent to the clarification, Chabad issued a statement that it “vehemently” disagreed with the notion “that Judaism allows for the wanton destruction of civilian life, even when at war.”

Rabbi Avi Shafran, the director of public affairs for the fervently Orthodox group Agudath Israel, called Friedman’s comments “shocking and wrongheaded.”

“Divine commandments in the Torah that were intended for a particular time and place, as all the ‘war commandments’ were, are not properly applied to any other situations — and throughout history never have been,” Shafran said. “Torah speaks to contemporary situations only through the judgments of the greatest religious leaders of the day.”

In other words, quoting Rabbi Friedman’s response as is to somehow represent the definitive Jewish view on how Jews should treat their Arab neighbors, and to suggest that the tragedy that occurred in Rafah is a manifestation of this view, is highly dishonest.

Not that we could expect anything less from a vile Jew-hater.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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