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There is a commonly quoted anecdote that when Vice President Hubert Humphrey came to the Satmar Rav for votes in 1968 and asked him what he could do for him the Satmar Rav replied "Sell weapons to Israel!". In some versions of the story Humphrey is surprised about this and the Satmar Rav explains "We have a disagreement with our family members but we don't want to see them hurt". This anecdote seems to be popular because it contradict (or at least mitigates) the uncompromising anti-Zionism that is reflected in R' Yoelish's published writings. My question is does anyone have a reliable source for this story and is it true? And if not where does this story come from?

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This sounds very suspect to me. If that were true, it would not be in spite of what he published - it would be in direct contradiction. A desire for a strong State of Israel!? I would be astonished if he ever expressed such a thing... –  Shimon bM Jul 18 '13 at 12:38

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The Satmar book, The Rebbe, mentions a different version of that story. The Rebbe is quoted as saying:

Had Humphrey spoken to me in support of the Zionist state, it wouldn't have bothered me in the least. We Jews have a Torah which forbids us to have a state during the exile, and therefore we may not ask the Americans to support the state. But a non-Jew has no Torah, and by supporting the state he feels he is helping Jews. So, on the contrary, if an American non-Jew is against the Zionist state, it shows he is an anti-Semite.

Cited on http://www.jewishideasdaily.com/824/features/the-riddle-of-the-satmar/

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Wow! (15 chars) –  Daniel Jul 18 '13 at 18:43

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