Update: Mizrachi Condemns and Leichter Defends – Chabad Rabbis Telsner and C.Z. Groner Join Anti-Zionists in Protest
From the editor:
We apologise for the small size of the picture and reproduce the information here:
“Communal Tefillah Gathering: Melbourne Rabonim join the call of Gedolei Yisroel in Eretz Yisroel, America and Europe who have declared that we in Chutz la’aretz must show solidarity with our embattled brethren in Eretz Yisroel regarding the proposed new law threatening imprisonment of Yeshiva students who refuse as a matter of religious principle to be conscripted into the military”
Seven Melbourne rabbis have signed this poster While three are non- or anti-Zionist Haredim, two are at the apex of the Chabad rabbinate in Australia, Rabbis Zvi Telsner and Chaim Zvi Groner.
Their participation in this protest calls into question Chabad’s (and its supporters’) insistence in the pages of the AJN that Chabad rabbis are philosophically in tune with the majority of Australian Jews (80% of whom are Zionist) and are therefore perfectly suited to lead Zionist, Modern Orthodox congregations.
Rabbi James Kennard identified this philosophical gulf a couple of weeks ago in the AJN and was roundly castigated by for his assertions by Chabad members and supporters.
From Ian Waller SC, President of Mizrachi:
STATEMENT CONCERNING THE COMMUNAL PRAYER RALLY
This afternoon a “Communal Tefillah Gathering” has been arranged in protest against a law passed yesterday by the Knesset that will end the blanket exemption of the Haredi community from national service.
A poster signed by leading Rabbis from the Adass, Yeshivah, Beth HaTalmud and Heichal HaTorah communities calls upon men, women and children to participate in this public gathering.
The Mizrachi Organisation deeply regrets that such a public rally has been called.
It is a matter of great concern that members of the Melbourne Jewish community have decided to publicly protest against a law of the State of Israel, especially one that recognises that it is the duty of all able-bodied adults to share the responsibility of protecting and defending the State of Israel and all of its inhabitants.
Legitimate dissent and debate should not be stifled. However, a public rally in Melbourne, which by its nature has been designed to attract the attention of the general community and the media, portrays those who organise and support it not merely as critics but as opponents of the State of Israel.
Ian Waller SC
Response from Jacob (Ya’acov) Leichter of Atzeres Tefillah: