Nechemya Weberman's Unique Band of Relatives

Abuser's Cousins Include Bob Dylan-Hunting 'Garbologist'

Off-Beat Family: Nechemya Weberman’s extended family include this anti-Zionist who attended a conference in Iran.
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Off-Beat Family: Nechemya Weberman’s extended family include this anti-Zionist who attended a conference in Iran.

By Jon Kalish

Published December 28, 2012, issue of December 28, 2012.
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The six delegation members — all affiliated with the anti-Zionist group Neturei Karta— told their fellow attendees, including former American Nazi and Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, that the Holocaust was a historical reality. But speaking on their behalf, Neturei Karta activist Aharon Cohen told the audience that “in no way can it be used as a justification for perpetrating unjust acts against the Palestinians.”

A native of Brooklyn, A.J. Weberman immigrated to Israel in 1959 and has dual American-Israeli citizenship.

His personal confrontations with Dylan, at least one of them physical, are legendary. In January 1971, A.J. Weberman reached Dylan on the telephone and, in two separate conversations, conducted a probingly confrontational interview. The phone conversations were later released as a Broadside/Folkways LP entitled “Bob Dylan vs. A.J. Weberman.” But Columbia Records, to which Dylan was signed, used its legal muscle to get the record pulled from the shelves.

Weberman’s literary analysis of Dylan’s lyrics, which he refers to as Dylanology, inspired his “Dylan to English Dictionary.” He also wrote a book titled “My Life in Garbology.”

On his anti-Satmar website, A.J. Weberman includes an embedded video of William Mordechai Weberman being interviewed by a television crew at a May 2011 anti-Zionist demonstration.

Reached by phone at his home in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, William Mordechai Weberman confirmed that he is, indeed, a member of Neturei Karta and was a participant in the group’s 2006 trip to Iran.

William Mordechai Weberman said that Nechemya Weberman occasionally attended services at his synagogue, which is known as the Malachim Shul. Asked if he knew A.J. Weberman, William Mordechai Weberman replied that he vaguely knew of his research into a famous figure.

“I heard of him, I’d say, like 30 years ago already. With someone named Dylan. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s the guy.”

Contact Jon Kalish at feedback@forward.com


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