Chabad rabbi Shalom Moshe Paltiel, of Chabad of Port Washington, has responded to an article that ran in Politico last Sunday: Port Washington, NY Chabad 2104

The Happy-Go-Lucky Jewish Group That Connects Trump and Putin Where Trump’s real estate world meets a top religious ally of the Kremlin.

 The article takes a look at Chabad connections between President Donald Trump, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.  Some running through New York’s real estate business network, some through Chabad’s largest mega-donors in Russia, and one connecting to Chabad of Port Washington.

The Patch reports the rabbi’s response:

Rabbi Shalom M. Paltiel from Chabad of Port Washington told Patch the article was “reminiscent of the age old anti-Semitic stereotyping that the Jews somehow control everything.”

Note:  Accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’ is a common defensive response tactic used by the Chabad organization.  Politico’s angle is anti-Trump, not anti-Jew.  Even it were anti-Chabad, it would still not be anti-Semitism.  Chabad does not represent all Jews.

Patch reached out to Paltiel for a response to the Politco article. In an email, Paltiel responded, “The writer’s imagination is the stuff of movies and any honest reader can see this is someone looking to create a story and is a master conspiracy theorist. I’m not very concerned about the article because the above is quite obvious when one reads it. The public response to it similarly reflects this.”

I’ve been off a couple of days for the Passover holiday.  But while reading the Politico article I recalled a post about Chabad of Port Washington which noted their naming of Felix Slater “Man of the Year” in 2014 (and in 2010 – not mentioned in Politico).

Though I’ve seen several criticisms of the Politico piece (The Forward, Daily Caller, etc.), I think it’s a very good thing that a major media outlet is attempting to take a critical look at Chabad.  I hope they will continue to do so, and discover the Chabad that is far different than the public relations image it offers us.