iran holocaust conferenc.
(photo credit: AP)
Moshe Aryeh Friedman, a member of the Natorei Karta, who attended the Holocaust denial conference in Teheran last month, was asked to leave a hotel in Brooklyn over the weekend, where he was staying with his wife and four children. It was the latest in a string of protests against the anti-Zionist sect.
Friedman entered the Park House hotel in Borough Park on Wednesday using his wife's maiden name, hotel managers said. On Friday, Friedman was recognized by people in the neighborhood. By Friday afternoon, a small group of people had gathered outside the hotel on 43rd St. to protest his presence.
When word reached hotel employees that Friedman was staying at the hotel, a manager called the New York Police Department to have him removed. But the police said they could not legally remove him, reported hotel manager Israel Tyberg.
"We told him to get out," Tyberg said. "We are Orthodox Jews and didn't want such a person in our hotel."
Some hotel guests left upon hearing that Friedman was staying there; others didn't come, said Tyberg. Employees posted a sign on the door saying the hotel was "not responsible for any guest staying at the Park House."
News spread throughout the community that Friedman was staying at the hotel, and several hundred demonstrators protested outside the hotel Saturday night, calling for his removal.
"I think that anybody who had gone through the Holocaust wouldn't want this person to stay on their property," Tyberg said. "It's about an ideology of what's right and what's wrong, and this was wrong. Nothing to do with Zionism, purely wrong."
Rumors were reported on Ynet Monday that Friedman's wife left him and fled Austria where they live to her family in Brooklyn. According to Ynet, Friedman's wife approached rabbis in Brooklyn to help her divorce her husband. But according to hotel staff, Friedman was at the hotel with his wife and children.
Friedman was removed with a police escort Saturday night when his reservation ended.
A group of protesters from the right-wing Zionist Defense Organization were allowed into the hotel late Saturday night to confirm that Friedman and his family had left.
Community members were incensed to hear that Friedman was in their neighborhood, said Zev Brenner, president and executive producer of Talkline Communications Network, a Jewish radio and television source.
"There is something wrong here that must be addressed, and the ultra-Orthodox need to deal with this," Brenner said. "The Natorei Karta find shelter and sustenance within the Orthodox community, and the community has been slow to recognize what they represent."