Charedi activist Shraga Stern sparks anger by calling Rabbi Avraham Pinter 'Kapo'

He sent an email addressed to 'Dear Kapo Pinter' to hundreds in Stamford Hill


The outspoken Charedi activist who has repeatedly campaigned in support of Jeremy Corbyn has sparked anger by calling a leading Rabbi a “Kapo” in an email circulated to hundreds in the Stamford Hill community.

Shraga Stern sent an email on Saturday evening to “Dear Kapo Pinter” - addressing Rabbi Avraham Pinter, chairman of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregation's (UOHC) external affairs committee.

The pair have disagreed repeatedly over recent months over the community's responses to changes to government policy on the teaching of LGBT issues in schools, which Mr Stern has aggressively opposed.

“Kapo” was a term for prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp who was assigned by the SS guards to supervise forced labour.

"Why are the Christians not aware of your deal with the DfE? I just need that reassurance once more," Mr Stern wrote in his email, which urged people to lobby their MPs to vote against draft regulations on relationships and sex education.

"Never argue with a liar. You can't win because they believe their own lies."

Mr Stern’s email immediately sparked outrage amongst many in the Stamford Hill community. One senior Jewish communal figure revealed to the JC they had sent an angry email to Mr Stern.

In a follow-up email sent on Monday, Mr Stern did not apologise. He wrote: "I have been accused of employing harsh and even offensive language. Whilst I would normally lose no time in apologising for the use of offensive (even if clearly ironic) language, I need to point out that the right to give offence is integral to the right of freedom of expression.

“Throughout this campaign against the RSE regulations I have been openly vilified, denounced and denigrated, and my reputation unashamedly besmirched .

“In this particular case I decided to hit back. As a parent my intention was to defend myself as a victim being abused by another victim, which is – tragically – precisely what happened during the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews.

“Be that as it may, the issues at stake here are too important to be side-tracked by the crocodile tears of those who do not like the truth.”

Rabbi Pinter declined to comment when contacted by the JC.

In January, Mr Stern was pictured with Jeremy Corbyn at the Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration in Westminster.

Mr Stern has been linked to a letter that appeared in the Sunday Times bearing the signatures of 12 Charedi Jews saying Mr Corbyn had “bent over backwards” to help the Jewish people and saying the "anti-religious education policies being relentlessly pursued by Ofsted" was the "real current threat" to british Jewry.

But it has subsequently become clear several signatories had not seen the wording ahead of publication.

Hyman Bindinger, 81, was among the 12 signatories, whom the letter identified as "British Jewish Holocaust survivors".

But he has now said: "It was a mistake. I must admit that the person came up to me and in the middle of it and the music was blaring and he asked me to sign, and I made a mistake.”

He added: “He showed me that other people signed and I thought ‘I will sign it’… I do not understand what it’s about. I hardly know who Corbyn is.

“[My friends and family] told me that I’m a big fool. I will be more careful.”

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