Charedi man who confronted Monsey attacker rejects cash reward ‘because it was raised by Zionists’

Josef Gluck, a member of anti-Zionist group Neturei Karta International, reportedly turned down the $20,000


 A Charedi man hailed as a hero after fighting off a machete-wielding attacker last Chanukah has reportedly turned down a cash reward because it was offered by Zionists.

Josef Gluck, who threw himself in front of a man who burst into a house in Monsey suburb of New York and stabbed five people, rejected the $20,000 (£15,430) reward offered to him from the Jewish Federation and the Anti-Defamation League, because of his discomfort with the organisations’ missions, a rabbi close to him has suggested.

Mr Gluck threw himself in front of Grafton Thomas on December 28 last year after the alleged attacker entered the house where some one hundred people had gathered to celebrate the seventh night of Chanukah.

Mr Gluck used a wooden table to stop the attacker and force him outside, where he documented his number plate and alerted police.  

Rabbi Dovid Feldman, who suggested Zionism was the cause of Mr Gluck’s rejection, is the leader of Neturei Karta International, an anti-Zionist Charedi organisation that calls for the dismantlement of the State of Israel.

He claimed others in the local community raised the $20,000 to reward Mr Gluck.

Neturei Karta believes that Jews must wait until the Messiah re-establishes a Jewish state. The fringe organisation, which is run from New York and London, has previously come to attention for its close relationship with former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Its leaders have frequently attended Iranian-sponsored conferences and met those considered beyond the pale by other Jewish groups, including Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

Miriam Allenson, a spokeswoman for the Jewish Federation, told The Journal News that the reward had had no strings attached and that they had “no idea” of Mr Gluck’s decision.  It was originally planned to award Mr Gluck the money on February 6, but he cancelled citing a family emergency.

“It was his choice not to accept”, Ms Allenson continued. “We’re letting it go. There’s nothing else to say.”

Mr Gluck is reportedly preparing to write to the Jewish Federation and the Anti-Defamation League to explain rejecting the reward.

“We were disappointed Mr. Gluck ultimately decided not to accept the award money for his heroic actions, we continue to work closely with the Orthodox Jewish community in Monsey and across the region,” said Evan Bernstein, the Anti-Defamation League’s Vice President of the Northeast Division.

Mr Gluck has been celebrated with a number of honours for his bravery, including a New York State Senate Liberty Medal and a congressional certificate.

There has reportedly been an uptick in anti-Zionist demonstrations by Strictly Orthodox Jewish groups around Monsey, an increasingly prominent centre for American Charedim, after the attack.

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