“Recently, certain self-appointed Jewish leaders have gotten up and insulted the President in the worst way, their words have been broadcast on the radio and television and all the media, why should Jews come out in public with statements like these?” the Rabbi said in remarks at the New York State Armory in Crown Heights, according to a release from the Central Rabbinical Organization. “It’s forbidden by the Torah to do so, it provokes the nations to hate us, and it brings danger upon Jews not only here but all over the globe, who knows what the effects of this irresponsible behavior could be? Therefore it is our obligation to make known that religious Jewry is completely opposed to these self-appointed leaders, we pray every day for our country and we bless its leaders with success in all their efforts to bring peace to the world.”
The gathering is held annually to celebrate the founding of the Satmar Grand Rabbi.
In the release, Rabbi Shmiel Weider, a Satmar activist who attended the gathering, explained that part of the context of the rabbi’s remarks was due to the victory of Bob Turner over David Weprin in a heavily Jewish area of Brooklyn and Queens, a victory that was spurred on by Jewish leaders like Ed Koch.
“The rabbi was reacting to recent events such as the special election in New York’s 9th district – a heavily Orthodox Jewish and Democratic-voting area – in which Republican Bob Turner won, Pro-Israel politicians wish to claim that the vote showed Jewish displeasure with President Obama’s Mideast policies,” he said. “And when GOP presidential candidates make increasingly strong pro-Israel statements, and some Orthodox Jewish activists applaud them, saying this is the only way they can win Orthodox votes, it gives the world the wrong impression of Orthodox Jews.”
The remarks come as the battle over the Jewish vote has heated up in anticipation of 2012.
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