(TIMES OF ISRAEL) — The head of the Satmar Hassidic sect has accused his followers of increasingly admiring Israel for its military and political accomplishments, imploring them to maintain the Hasidic group’s hardline anti-Zionism.

Addressing thousands of Satmar members at Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum, Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum lamented what he called a “tremendous and terrible spiritual decline” among his followers.

“According to the rumors I heard, [people] are excitedly talking about the news of [the Israelis’] accomplishments, how smart they are, how they succeed politically and militarily, and about their heads of government,” Teitelbaum told the crowd in an address in Yiddish on Sunday, according to a Hebrew translation from the Kann public broadcaster.

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