Arafat adviser Rabbi Moshe Hirsch dies


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Rabbi Moshe Hirsch, a close adviser to Yasser Arafat, has died.

Hirsch, a member of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta, died Sunday at his home in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood. He was 86.

A New York native, he immigrated to Israel but never became a citizen. Hirsch was the son-in-law of Neturei Karta founder Rabbi Aharon Katzenelbogen and led a faction of the organization in Israel, according to reports.

Neturei Karta is famous for its 2006 visit to Iran, where delegates held a warm meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the eve of a Holocaust-denial conference.

Hirsch’s ties to Arafat dated back to the 1980s, when the Palestinian leader lived in Tunis, Haaretz reported.

Hirsch was appointed "adviser on Jewish affairs" when the Palestinian Authority was established. A Palestinian delegation led by Hatem Abdel Qader, an adviser on Jerusalem affairs to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, entered Mea Shearim Monday to pay its respects to Hirsch.

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