They are well-known paid shills – “RentaJews” – of the Iranian government. They are the same “Jews” we always see at every demonstration in the U.S., Canada, and Britain, protesting on behalf of the “Palestinians” and against the Israelis. This group is an offshoot of Naturei Karta, a tiny sect of ultra-orthodox Jews who are opposed to the establishment of and the continued existence of the State of Israel.
We know that the far left Jew-haters and some of the leftist Jews are going to jump all over this video that appears to demonstrate that an avowed antisemite, Rep. Ilhan Omar, has the support of the “most religious Jews.” I couldn’t stomach more than a few minutes of this video, but if you want to know who these anti-Israel “Orthodox rabbis” really are, read the information below the video.
Neturei Karta, the anti-Zionist’s favourite fringe Jewish sect that portray themselves as ‘the authentic Jews,’ selectively quoting from the Torah and the Talmud to justify their belief that the establishment of a Jewish state before the coming of the Messiah is forbidden.
The JC You’ve seen them before in the US as well as the UK. You might have also seen them in Iran, being welcomed by the Iranian government and former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as honored guests. It’s always a small group of men dressed in strictly orthodox Jewish garb, holding anti-Zionist signs. The signs usually say the same thing – “Judaism rejects Zionism”, or “Jews worldwide condemn Israel”.
These pictures are eagerly shared by many “anti-Zionists” on social media, often with a message along the following lines – “These are the REAL Jews, and they oppose Israel”. These pictures are usually tweeted at Jews who have the temerity to believe in the concept of a state for the Jewish people.
However, the men holding these signs all belong to a sect called the “Neturei Karta”, a tiny sect, far from reflective of the attitudes of the Jewish community at large.
People who are positively disposed towards Israel – or at least, not opposed to it – might not be aware of the group, and might find such pictures extremely disconcerting. So, as a public service, let’s discuss who these people are, and what they want.
Who are the Neturei Karta?
The concept of Zionism was one of a number of ideologies popular among Jews prior to World War Two, including Communism and Bundism. But the Holocaust, which saw the murder of over a third of the Jewish people, changed that irrevocably. Zionism, the idea that the Jewish people should have their own country in their historic homeland, became by far the strongest movement among the Jewish people.
But there has never been a single idea in the entire history of the Jewish people that has been embraced unanimously – and Zionism was no different. There were far-left Jews who saw Zionism as an insult to their own ideologies – and there were religious Jews who felt the same way.
The most famous rabbinical opponent of Zionism was a man called Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, the head of the Satmar Chassidic dynasty. Satmar had been decimated in the Holocaust, but Rav Yoel, who was a force of human nature, rebuilt the movement from the ground up. He was vehemently anti-Zionist, and until this day, the Satmar sect is hostile towards the idea of the state of Israel.
However, there were a group of strictly orthodox Jews who went further – much further. They called themselves “Neturei Karta” – literally, “Guardians of the City” – they were actually set up just prior to World War Two as a breakaway from Agudas Yisrael, a strictly orthodox organisation which had begun to warm towards the idea of a Jewish state.
What do the Neturei Karta do?
Globally, the Neturei Karta sect number around 5,000, while the most conservative estimate of the global Jewish population comes out at approximately 14.3 million. This means that Neturei Karta make up just 0.03% of the entire Jewish population.
Most are based in Israel, despite their bizarre refusal to recognise the state. There are also communities in the US and the UK. However, even among Neturei Karta, only a few hundred vocally protest against the state of Israel. But what they lack in numbers, they more than make up for in poisonous hatred.
Simply put, if you loathe the state of Israel, Neturei Karta want to be your friend. They went to Iran to participate in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust Denial conference. They went to meet with Louis Farrakhan, the horrendously antisemitic head of the Nation of Islam cult. They march hand in hand with people waving Hezbollah flags and calling for the death of Jews at regular Al Quds day parades.
How most Jews view Neturei Karta
The group is regarded with bemusement by some Jews, condescension by others, and disgust by many more. Other strictly orthodox Jews have taken pains to disassociate themselves from the behaviour of Neturei Karta, unequivocally condemning them.
Even some far-left Jewish anti-Zionists know exactly what Neturei Karta are – a group of crazy fundamentalists who support the Palestinian cause because it happens to fit their own agenda. “Neturei Karta’s worldview is shaped by their opposition to Jewish self-determination, not support for Palestinian self-determination.
But apparently for many anti-Zionists, it matters less about what Neturei Karta believe, and more about how they actually look. Because Neturei Karta dress in the garb which most non-Jews associate with Jews, and because they hold up signs emphasising their anti-Zionist beliefs, they can be held up by antisemites as the real Jews, the good Jews, the Jews who agree with us – while the vast majority of Jews, who do support Israel, can be dismissed by such people as “fake”.