Antwerp Jews Disassociate from Zionist Activities

Jan. 20. 2009

After some Belgian Zionist leaders held a demonstration in Antwerps Albert Park, to demonstrate solidarity with the Zionist State and with the IDF's operations in Gaza, the Orthodox Jewish community of Antwerp felt the need to protest. The rabbis of four major Chassidic communities in Antwerp Bobov, Satmar, Pshevorsk and Khal Chassidim, representing more that 600 Jewish families signed a statement indicating their disassociation from the Zionists and desire to live at peace with all nations.

The Zionist state has of course provoked the Arabs for many years, and after their most recent operation in Gaza, the anti-Jewish backlash was not long in coming in all parts of the world, and especially in Europe. By contrast, this declaration left a very positive impression on the gentiles of the city and their communities.

The declaration, originally published in Flemish, read as follows:

The Orthodox Jewish Communities have no connection with the politics of the Middle East. For many generations we have been loyal Belgian citizens. The Belgian kingdom stands beside us, and is well known for its kindness
and tolerance. We emulate the ways of our parents and our grandparents, living in perfect peace with other citizens, regardless of their culture, religion or race.

We maintain good relations with our neighbors who come from Arab lands, as is well known to anyone who knows our community.

Our deepest wishes are to continue, with the help of G-d, to live in this peaceful manner, with an atmosphere of mutual tolerance. Living this way is, for our community, a command of G-d. It is the proper way according to Torah, and that is what we want.

Signed:

Chassidim of Bobov
Chassidim of Pshevorsk
Chassidim of Satmar
Khal Chassidim

  • Click here to read the original declaration in Flemish.