According to the Jerusalem Post, Chabad has decided to launch an official anti-Disengagement campaign:
On Wednesday afternoon, the Chabad emissaries of Israel met at Nir Etzion, a kibbutz north of Tel Aviv, to launch the campaign.
"This should not be seen as a change in Chabad's opinion about disengagement," said [Chabad spokesman Rabbi Menachem] Brod. "From the very beginning, we opposed the plan, but tactically speaking, we were waiting for the right time to come out openly against it."
"The main problem is that we have no money to fund the campaign," he said.
Ahhh. But what did Rabbi Brod say two months ago?
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post in May, Brod said that Chabad was distancing itself from active and open opposition to disengagement for fear it would hurt Chabad's Jewish outreach activities. "Chabad exists to bring Jews closer to Judaism, whether they have right-wing or left-wing political views," Brod said. "If Jews are alienated from Judaism as a result of our anti-disengagement activities, if they end up not celebrating Pessah or Rosh Hashana, that is also pikuah nefesh [life-threatening] in our eyes." …
Matti Wagner continues:
The campaign is likely to galvanize and unify a movement that has suffered from a schism between extremist, messianic members and the more moderate mainstream camp. Chabad leadership hopes to incorporate some of its fringe elements in the present campaign in an attempt to redirect energies that have been focused elsewhere toward a joint effort.
Let me posit the following reasons for Chabad's now 'official' involvement:
- The messianists have the Chabad street behind them. The vast majority of Chabadniks are opposing Disengagement loudly, clearly and publicly – even when the 'official' leadership told them not to. This 'official' sanction is about covering the 'official' Chabad leadership's collective behind – and protect their fundraising base.
- 'Official' Chabad sees the possibility of (or has been promised) a large cash inflow.
Either way, it's all about the money.