(VIDEO IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)
In the midst of Tisha B’Av, a demonstration was held against the State of Israel in a Satmar camp (affiliated with Satmar Williamsburg) in Upstate New York. The camp administration devoted the afternoon hours of the Tisha B’Av fast for the “demonstration”, clearly giving the children an exciting and fun-filled activity on a day that is mourned by Klal Yisroel as the saddest day of the year.
Thousands of boys from the Satmar camps in the Catskills gathered at the main campus in Napanoch NY, with smiling youngsters carrying homemade signs bearing messages such as “Israeli army is not for Jews.” Rows upon rows of chairs were set up on the camp grounds, where a large stage was adorned with banners in English and Hebrew bashing the Israeli government including “Zionism = Brutality” and “Forced draft into the immoral Israel Army is nothing but an attempt to uproot our Judaism.”
The veteran director of the camp, Rabbi David Rosenberg, opened the event, explaining to the children that the first Satmar Rebbe ZATZAL said that every generation is obligated to continue the fight against Amalek. Rabbi Rosenberg had harsh words for those in the Charedi world who attempt to silence the protests, quoting the Satmar Rebbe (of Williamsburg) Shlita’s long held belief that bribery had swayed by many into a coalition with the Israeli government and away from the path of truth.
Several campers addressed the crowd, explaining why the draft was destructive to yeshiva students. 12 year old Moshe Glantz, a grandson of the Satmar Rebbe of WIlliamsburg, had harsh words for the Israeli government and its Charedi supporters while Moshe Lefkowitz, son of respected Satmar askan Beri Lefkowitz, spoke passionately in English for the benefit of the members of the media who attended the protest. Lefkowitz explained how the State of Israel was created for the sole purpose of transforming Charedim into “simple heretics”.
“They are now slowly enforcing chas v’shalom to close all yeshivos, to stop our brothers in the holy land from learning Torah because this is the only reason why they created the shameful State of Israel,” observed Lefkowitz.
Campers cheered throughout Lefkowitz’s address and once the speeches had concluded the boys marched throughout the camp chanting “Israeli government, shame on you.”
In a statement given to YWN by a Satmar representative, it said that the New York State Police was in attendance. It is unknown why Police resources were needed at a private event held on private property – with no counter-protest.
Meanwhile, another Satmar summer camp affiliated with the Satmar Williamsburg Kehillah held a similar protest last week. That camp is located in Monsey NY. Thousands of children marched and chanted anti-Israel slogans, and carried anti-Israel posters and banners. At least one child spoke in English decrying the Israeli Government.
Last year (Summer 2016), YWN ran an article about other camp “activities” at the Satmar camps. One activity involved the campers all given eggs and when a mock vehicle with the “Prime Minister of Israel” drove through the crowd, the children pelted the vehicle – covering it in eggs. Photos of their activity were published in a Satmar-affiliated newspaper.
SATMAR CAMP PROTEST:
VIDEO FROM SUMMER 2016:
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)