The Baal Shem Tov & Anti-Zionism - A Conversation With Dreitzen Shpitzen
A Simple Jew asks:
Is there halachic basis for anti-Zionists to believe that Hashem allows them to actively support people who kill Jews?
While one might argue whether or not the Baal Shem Tov would be anti-Zionist if he was living today, do you think the Baal Shem Tov would meet and encourage promoters of suicide bombing and burn Israeli flags?
Dreitzen Shpitzen answers:
It is my deep conviction that anybody who posses even a basic understanding of chassidus and its inner view of current events understands how Zionism and Judaism are radically opposed. On the topic I recommend "Toras Aleph" letters from the Choproner Rov z"'l they are all introductions to chassidus written to his students and many deal with the issue of Zionism and the inner Torah, there also are some strong mahamorim and letters from the Rebbe Rasha"b and a fantastic sefer called "aes nissayon" by Y. Y. Domb from London (I think that there exist an English translation but I'm not sure).
Now, about rallying with the PLO or the like. It is the conviction of Netury Karta leaders that because in people's minds Jews and the State of Israel are one and the same, many Jews are in danger, and that it is crucial to let the world know that Jews and Zionists are not (necessarily) related. In order to do so, some burn Israeli flags join Palestinian rallies,and so on. It is their believe that by doing so they save Jewish lives.
If they are right or at least have a point, I don't know. I'm personally uncomfortable with it, and since The Satmar Rov z"l was against it, I stand where I stand. On that note, I also would like to express my discomfort with the way Israeli soldiers and officials treat Palestinians. Is it all we've learned from two thousand years of golus, to turn overnight from oppressesed into oppressors?
As for the Baal Shem Tov's position, we know that he fought the Frankisten with tooth and nails, and as I said before I believe that he would have opposed Zionism. For the rest, your guess is my guess.
A Simple Jew responds:
I appreciate your willingness to engage in a conversation on this touchy subject. Although I am aware that indeed there were some great tzaddikim who vehemently opposed Zionism, there were other tzaddikim who did not maintain this position. Furthermore, I am unaware of any psak halachah that is universally accepted on this issue.
I think there is a huge difference between burning an Israeli flag and supporting groups that kill Jews. While I am far from an expert in the halachos of who is a moser, it would appear to me that a person who actively engages in helping a non-Jew who is planning to kill Jews would be coming very close to this status. Let me be clear, I think that it is totally legitimate for someone to be an anti-Zionist, however I think the person is walking on halachic thin ice when his anti-Zionism leads him to support groups that kill Jews.
Anti-Zionists routinely say they are for the "peaceful" dismantling of the State of Israel. However, looking at the words and actions of Hamas and Hizballah, it appears that their method of attaining their goals is far from peaceful.
Dreitzen Shpitzen responds:
First of all a universal psak halachah is a rare breed, forget a universal psak hashkafah. However historically the majority of Jewish orthodoxy opposed the Zionist idea.
I also feel that a distinction should be made between burning the flag of a state that has caused the death of so many Jews as predicted by the tsadikim who opposed its foundation, and supporting groups that kill Jews.
As for mesirah it is a totally different geder, above all remember that those people believe that by doing so they prevent the killing of more Jews. That has nothing to with the proposition of giving the state of Israel to the U.N., a proposition that sounds to me "unrealistic" to say the very least.
A Simple Jew responds:
It appears that we are making progress in this discussion in that you too disagree with the fact that some anti-Zionists support groups that murder Jews. Now, lets take this one step further - you differentiate between these groups and those who protest the State of Israel by burning Israeli flags. If one desires that the State of Israel be peacefully dismantled, it seems that some anti-Zionists are sending another message by burning the flag, since an outside observer would interpret the act of burning the flag as an act of anger and violence. Ironically, the anti-Zionist is conveying the opposite message than what he intends to, since it appears he wants to burn the State of Israel.
If a person wants true peace in Israel, perhaps he should just daven that Hashem sends us Moshiach. I think this is something Zionists, non-Zionists, and anti-Zionists can all agree on.