Religion Magazine

Rav Feldman Retracts His Retraction on WZO Vote

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
I am not following the WZO voting situation closely, as it mostly does not interest me. As an Israeli I cannot vote anyway, and even if I could, I doubt I would bother spending the money to do so. To me, paying to vote seems like a scam of sorts - just a fundraiser for them to make money off people without actually giving anybody significant influence.
There were rumors that Rav Ahron Feldman had backed down from his opposition to the campaign of getting frum people to vote in the World Zionist Organization elections. Supposedly, Rav Pesach Lerner had convinced Rav Shmuel Kaminetzky to back his campaign and Rav Kaminetzky had gotten the shtampel from Rav Chaim Kanievsky that this is the right thing to do in order to "save kodshey yisrael".
It turns out that Rav Feldman has retracted his retraction. In a letter penned by Rav Feldman he explains that incorrect information was presented to Rav Chaim Kanievsky and therefore his opposition is not against gedolei yisrael. He still would submit to their opinion, but only if the issue is presented properly and accurately and he still says to vote. In the meantime, he believes it is prohibited to do so and by voting one signs on to the tenets of Zionism and ignores the Torah and it remains prohibited to do so and to join with the Reform, as has been the position of the gedolim for generations.
Rav Feldman retracts his retraction on WZO vote
Rav Feldman retracts his retraction on WZO vote Rav Feldman feels one should not vote, and if one already has voted he can, and should, dispute the credit card charge and the vote will be canceled.
I don't really have a solid opinion on this issue but I heard interviews with some of the people pushing the frum vote in WZO and what they said bothered me a tad, though I don't really want to side with Rabbi Feldman. Plus, what bothers me about the vote has nothign to do with what bothers Rav Feldman.
I am wary of going into someone else's house and telling them what to do. WZO is WZO - let them run it the way they want, and if you want to direct money to Israel to causes you prioritize, start your own fund and send the money to your targets. Why force WZO to do what you want? Should we all join reform synagogues and vote for them to install mechitza and get rid of microphones?
Regarding Rav Feldman's issue with Zionism and the Israeli Knesset and frum parties not being similar to voting in the WZO elections, as they take the attitude of just saving what they can but not being active participants in Zionism and the State, I think the last elections, if not one or two prior elections, shows that their stance has changed. The UTJ party campaigned actively as Zionists and shleimut haaretz. They sold themselves to potential Dati voters as being true to the land and with all the slogans of religious zionism. I don't know if Rav Feldman is aware of that, but I wonder what he would say about that change in approach, and if maybe now the two are the same. Maybe he would change his mind regarding WZO, or maybe he would pull his support for UTJ.  
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