Neturei Karta

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk


Guardians of the City or Neturei Karta


Few of us know that there are approximately 1000 Jews who practice Orthodox Judaism but nevertheless seek the destruction of Israel. They call themselves Neturei Karta.  Claiming that they represent authentic unadulterated Judaism, they have made it their mission to denounce Israel everywhere and to side with Israel's Arab enemies.

Guardians of the City was founded in 1938.  At that time this group split off from Agudas Yisroel, which was founded in 1912.  Agudas Yisroel  originally also rejected the state of Israel.  However, when the majority changed their mind, Neturei Karta persisted in their refusal to recognize the Jewish state.

The members of this organization claim that Zionism is illegitimate because "the entire concept of a sovereign Jewish state is contrary to Jewish law."  They say that the entire concept of a Jewish state is in direct conflict with a number of Jewish fundamentals. These fundamentals reputedly are found in the Oral Tradition as handed down by God to Moses on Mount Sinai.  Accordingly, the Talmud teaches in the Tractate Kesubos that Jews are not to use force to bring about the establishment of the Jewish state before the coming of the universally accepted Moshiach.  Furthermore it states that we are forbidden to rebel against the nations and that we should remain loyal citizens and we shall not attempt to leave the exile ahead of time into which God has sent us.

Rejecting any and all participation in Zionism, Neturei Karta associate with Palestinians and the Iranians and other anti-Israel groups.  For example, on June 7, 2000, a delegation of Neturei Karta Jews visited Iran were they were interviewed on Iranian television and radio by the Vice President of the Islamic Republic.

Neturei Karta has gone so far as to claim that the Nazis meant to send all Jews to Spain but did not do so on the insistence of the Zionists, that the Jews should eventually capture Palestine from the Arabs by the use of force and bloodshed.

On the 24th of February 2005 a delegation of anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews traveled to Beirut, Lebanon, to participate in "the Second Conference of The  Palestinian People’s Right of Return".  There they proclaimed that Zionism does not represent the world Jewish view; that Judaism and Zionism are extreme opposites, and that they favor the rule over the entire Holy Land by the Palestinian people, in which Jewish people would be their loyal citizens.

Neturei Karta also label all Zionists atheists even if they are orthodox Jews. Zionists, not the Arabs, are the greatest enemies of the Jewish people, says the Neturei Karta, as they have their pictures taken with the Arab delegates to the International Conference for the Defense of the Palestinian Cause. Nothing pleased the enemies of Israel more than the distribution of these pictures worldwide accompanied by the slogan “The Jewish People feel the suffering of the Palestinian People”.

Further, the Neturei Karta proclaim that we Jews were expelled from Israel because of our sins and that therefore we must do nothing to return to Israel bur rather live as they do, without sin. Then the prophet Elijah will proclaim the coming of the Moshiach who will bring us perfect peace and without any human effort return us all to Israel.  

Until then,

Shalom u’vracha.

Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including Man's Ascent to Reason (2003) & the forthcoming Football & American Identity.

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