Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

16 Iyar 5761 - May 9, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Organization To Combat Antisemitism in Israel
by Betzalel Kahn

An Information and Help Center for Victims of Antisemitism has been set up in the wake of an increase in antisemitic acts in Israel. These acts are perpetrated by non-Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union who arrived in Israel either under the Law of Return or through use of counterfeit documents.

HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv signed a letter for assistance to the new organization, which has merited the blessings and support of HaRav Yitzchok Zilber and his son, HaRav Ben Tsion. In his letter of support, HaRav Eliashiv says: "Activists of the Information and Help Center For Victims of Antisemitism are performing a remarkable service. Although it is difficult to believe, there is both physical and verbal antisemitism here in Eretz Hakodesh, and it is a great mitzvah to battle it and, in general, to oppose bringing non-Jews here. It is a great mitzvah to help them, and may all those involved in assisting this effort be blessed."

The letter is also signed by HaRav Ben Tsion Zilber, HaRav Nochum Eisenstein, HaRav Shlomo Neiman, and HaRav Yoel Schwartz.

For a long time, many new Jewish immigrants from the C.I.S have been complaining about antisemitic acts. The Damayich NPO for the Promotion of the Absorption of Immigrants has established an Information and Help Center for Victims of Antisemitism. Its first meeting was held a few months ago in Tel Aviv, and a number of measures were undertaken to combat the swelling tide of antisemitism in Israel.

Center activists, headed by Reb Zalman Gilchensky, have determined that they are not dealing with isolated acts but rather, acts that constitute a trend calling for an urgent need to solve the problems of local victims of antisemitism. These victims receive no help from official government bodies.

R' Gilchensky complained to the police a number of times, and even to Attorney General Eliakim Rubinstein, about the antisemitic behavior of certain elements, including pro-Nazi remarks. However no measures were taken to correct the situation, and no charges have been pressed.

In light of this serious situation, Gilchensky proposed the opening of a help and guidance center for immigrants, with branches in areas with a high concentration of immigrants (perhaps abroad, too). At the centers, immigrants will be taught how to cope with and defend themselves against antisemitism. The center will also offer legal and psychological counsel, and will formulate suitable prevention and enforcement systems, similar to those in some European countries.


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