Chabad Hassidism is anti-Zionist

The Lubavitcher Rebbe defined Israel as ‘bitter exile and double-fold darkness.’ Senior Chabad members describe the Rebbe as one of the great fighters against Zionism. Hiddush head Rabbi Regev calls on the government ‘to stop the campaign of debasement before the anti-Zionist Hassidic sect and order and end to funding and all contact between the state and Chabad.’

Chassidic dancing at Chabad car in Jerusalem. 08/03/2010. Photo: Avir Sultan Flash90Chassidic dancing at Chabad car in Jerusalem. 08/03/2010. Photo: Avir Sultan Flash90

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended a conference last Thursday of Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries to the former Soviet Union, where he announced: “You are on the mountaintop and the People of Israel stands at the bottom of the mountain and salutes you, and I am the first to salute you.” Netanyahu participated in the conference of Chabad emissaries and Jewish community leaders in the former Soviet states, which was held at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds.

The Knesset on Monday held an event to salute Chabad. Among the initiators of the event at the Knesset was the World Likud chairman, MK Danny Danon, who called it “a great privilege.” Danon said at the conference that, “we are all emissaries of Chabad.” Two weeks ago Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar attended a gathering in Caesarea of directors of Chabad institutions, where he declared that, “Chabad is the link that connects and binds the people.”

A document that the organization Hiddush – For Freedom of Religion and Equality sent to Knesset members exposes at length the anti-Zionist nature of Lubavitch Hassidism. Senior members of Chabad describe the Lubavitcher Rebbe as one of the great combatants against Zionism. They define Zionism as idolatry and worship of stars and constellations, and there are also those who have written about the need to degrade Zionism, as one spits at a church.

The head of Hiddush – Freedom of Religion for Israel calls on the government “to stop the campaign of debasement before the anti-Zionist Chabad Hassidic sect and to order the severing of all contact between the state’s institutions, the Israel Defense Forces, and the education system and Chabad-Lubavitch, and to suspend state funding for Chabad activity.” According to Regev, “Chabad is entitled to its belief and views. But the honor of the state and the honor of Zionism dictate that whoever demeans its ceremonies and treats Zionism as rebellion, idolatry, and bitter exile, shall not enjoy state funding and shall not be invited to its forums.”

According to Regev, “it is absurd to watch Chabad rabbis who hold an anti- Zionist and anti-democratic viewpoint being appointed chief rabbis of cities, and, with funding from taxpayers, spreading their poisonous credo. It is also important to know that Chabad-Lubavitch is one of the main fighters

stop the campaign of debasement

against IDF conversions and opening of the conversion gates to new immigrants. We are talking about a battle over Israel’s soul as a sovereign, Jewish, and democratic country.”

The Hiddush document details statements by the Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson himself, who, among other things, termed the establishment of the state a “crime” and “bitter exile, double-fold darkness.” It also cites statements by prominent Chabad rabbis about the sect’s positions and the Rebbe’s orders, which guide Chabad in its actions. The rabbi of Kiryat Motzkin, David Meir Drukman, writes that the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s opinion was “absolute opposition to the Zionist idea.” Rabbi Sholom Dovber Wolpo says that, “the Rebbe was opposed to all the celebrations of Independence Day.” The rabbi of the Chabad community in Neve Yaakov, Tuvia Blau, says that the Lubavitcher Rebbe was “the greatest of battlers against Zionism.” A series of articles on Chabad websites contain, among others, the following examples of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s position regarding Zionism:

  • Rabbi Schneerson refused to use the words “state of Israel.”
  • The Lubavitcher Rebbe erased Independence Day from a calendar he received. Chabad’s calendars ordinarily leave out Independence Day and the Memorial Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers.
  • The Rebbe ordered at least two columnists to publish articles and books against Zionism and the state of Israel.

Ahead of last Independence Day, 11 senior rabbis from Chabad issued a ban forbidding one of their own members, Shimon Rosenberg, from lighting a torch at the official Independence Day ceremony claiming that, “this action is contrary to the opinion of Chabad rabbis.” In the end Rosenberg obtained permission to participate so as to prevent a public scandal, but declared that he was lighting the torch "for the glory of the state of Land of Israel," so as not to speak the traditional words, “For the glory of the State of Israel.” The opening salvo in the camapaign against the torch lighting was an article by Rabbi David Meir Drukman, in which he brands the torch lighting “lighting foreign fire.” He terms the Independence Day celebtrations “a shameful absurdity.” About the possibility that the torch would be lit in Chabad’s name, he writes that, “there is no greater insult than this.”

The anti-Zionist statements by Chabbad can be regularly heard or read outside the context of the torch-lighting ceremony as well. Chabad spokesman Menachem Brod said during a panel discussion at Hemed yeshiva in 2008 that, “the state of Israel was conceived and born in iniquity.” Rabbi Tuvia Blau wrote that, “we forget that the state of Israel is an exile like all exiles….” He has also written about the duty and mitzva of “degrading the Zionist idolotry.”

Take Action!