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Moshe Aryeh Friedman (Hebrew: משה אריה פרידמאן‎; born in 1972 in Brooklyn, NY, USA) currently living in Antwerp, Belgium is an anti-Zionist political activist.

He is best known for his participation in the International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust held in 2006 in Tehran, Iran.

While the media has referred to him as a Rabbi, [1][2] there is no proof that he is indeed a rabbi, as Jewish leaders, including Rabbi Yona Metzger, the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel.[3] Officials of the Jewish Community of Austria say that he has not proven that he has completed the rabbinical studies required to earn the title.[4]

International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust

On December 11, 2006, Friedman participated in the International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust a two-day symposium held in Tehran and sponsored by Iran's Foreign Ministry Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) for the purpose of subjecting the Holocaust to scholarly review. Friedman spoke at a forum hosted by the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to discuss the Holocaust, where Friedman kissed Ahmadinejad.[5][6] Following the conference in Tehran, Friedman delayed his return to Austria reportedly due to his fears that he could be prosecuted by Austrian authorities for Holocaust denial.

On March 11, 2007, while on a visit to Poland, Israeli Jews assaulted Friedman as they were angered at his participation in the Tehran conference.[7]

Renunciation of anti-Zionism

On January 25, 2009, Friedman renounced his anti-Zionist activities on Zev Brenner's radio program, stating "I'm ready to renounce the title for me as the anti-Zionist chief rabbi." He further commented that "there is no such thing as Jews against Zionists." [8] During the interview, he called claims that there are hundreds of thousands of anti-Zionist Jews "complete nonsense." When asked if there are, in reality, only a handful of anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews, Friedman said, "yes, that's absolutely the case."[8]

“There are two elements of my change in position: One, the way Jews saw it, and they were deeply offended [at the Ahmadinejad debacle], and two, how far it could help Jews,” he explains. “I should have been sensitive to my Jewish brothers, and should have been in contact with Jews before I was in contact with non-Jews. I do regret attending. I do regret the way it was received. I should have taken [Jewish] feelings into consideration. I’m sure that now what I’m doing will help relieve the situation.” [8]

References

  1. Fathi, Nazila. "Israel Fading, Iran's Leader Tells Deniers Of Holocaust", The New York Times, December 13, 2006. Accessed February 27, 2008.
  2. Tait, Robert. "Holocaust deniers gather in Iran for 'scientific' conference", The Guardian, December 12, 2006. Accessed February 27, 2008. "Moshe Ayre Friedman, an Austrian rabbi, argued that the figure of six million Jewish dead had come from a prophecy by Theodore Herzl, founder of modern Zionism, long before the second world war. He said recent research suggested the true figure was about one million."
  3. Boycott Jews who attended Iran conference, top rabbi urges, CBC, December 14, 2006. "Metzger said. 'To deny the most sensitive issue in Jewish history, and to co-operate with the Hitler of our day? One of those men introduced himself as the chief rabbi of Austria — and he's not even a rabbi.'"
  4. "Vienna Jewish community bars rabbi who attended Iran Holocaust conference", European Jewish Press, January 17, 2007. Accessed February 22, 2008. "The community also denied his status as a rabbi and executed a "Herem" or excommunication on him. While often called by the title of rabbi in the media, Friedman has never received 'smicha' or rabbinical ordination. His status as a rabbi has been challenged by Israel’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi Yona Metzger."
  5. Uni, Assaf. "Neturei Karta delegate to Iranian Holocaust conference: I pray for Israel's destruction 'in peaceful ways'", Haaretz, January 24, 2007. Accessed February 27, 2008. "'I had more than one meeting with his excellency, President Ahmadinejad,' Friedman said. 'The president first recognized me at the conference in Tehran and he was especially friendly. There may be only one picture in which we are photographed kissing, but in fact we kissed 20 or 30 times.'... According to Friedman, the second reason for his trip was to present an international peace plan, by which Israel would cease to exist, Jews of Polish and Eastern European origin (and their whole families) would return to their place of birth, and Jewish of Iraqi origin would return to Iraq 'the moment a functioning democracy is established there.'"
  6. Birkner, Gabrielle. "A Cold Reception for Jew who Embraced Iran", New York Sun, January 16, 2007. Accessed July 17, 2007. "Having become a pariah in Vienna's Jewish community, the Orthodox man photographed kissing the president of Iran is living in Brooklyn — and his presence is causing an uproar among the borough's fervently Orthodox Jews.... Mr. Friedman, who has lived in Vienna for about a decade, grew up in the Brooklyn neighborhood as part of the Satmar community, a non-Zionist chasidic Jewish group. Satmar leaders have condemned the Jewish men who traveled to Iran.
  7. "Israeli admits beating rabbi for attending Holocaust conference in Iran", International Herald Tribune, March 14, 2007. Accessed July 18, 2007. "Moishe Arye Friedman, who lives in Vienna, Austria, was attacked last Friday in Lezajsk, a small town in southeastern Poland."
  8. This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Moshe Friedman, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Moshe Friedman, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Author(s): TheRedPenOfDoom Search for "Moshe Friedman" on Google
View Wikipedia's deletion log of "Moshe Friedman"
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