Antwerp bar tells Jewish lawyer to stop suing haredi firebrand

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (JTA) — The president of Antwerp’s bar association told a Jewish lawyer to stop suing Moshe Friedman, a controversial Orthodox Jew.

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Association President Dirk Grootjans said last month that he advised attorney Henri Rosenberg drop such cases for “fear that he cannot distance himself from emotions” regarding Friedman, a contrarian and vocal anti-Zionist.

Friedman angered many local Jews in January, when he obtained an injunction forcing a haredi all-girls school to enroll his two sons. The injunction has been lifted but Friedman’s lawsuit is being reviewed. He also filed to enroll his girls at a Zionist yeshiva for boys. The lawsuit came after no Jewish school agreed to enroll Friedman’s children.

After the enrollment, Rosenberg called for child welfare authorities to probe the Friedmans, whom Rosenberg also reportedly accused of withholding rent and other debts. Moshe Friedman has denied this and accused Rosenberg of falsifying documents — among other charges — in what Friedman described as an attempt to libel him.

Contacted by JTA, Rosenberg declined to comment on the issue.

In his letter to Friedman’s lawyer, the president of the Antwerp bar association wrote actions attributed to Rosenberg were “inappropriate for a lawyer.”

Even before the enrollment, many community members resented Friedman, who in 2006 met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad in Tehran at a conference which featured caricatures which denied and made fun of the Holocaust.

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