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Neturei Karta

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Neturei Karta is an extremist group of ultra-Orthodox Jews who advocate the dismantling of the state of Israel

The radical anti-Zionist Hasidic Jewish sect Neturei Karta has attracted international attention as "Hamas's useful idiots" since the October 7, 2023 pogrom by the terrorist group in Israel. Small groups of its members, estimated at around 5000 worldwide, have frequently joined violent, often antisemitic rallies led by pro-Palestine activists in cities like London, New York and heavily Jewish communities in the United States like Teaneck, New Jersey. The ultra-orthodox fringe group have being hailed by some far left and pro-Palestine activists and commentators as ideal representatives of Jews.

But Neturei Karta whose aramaic name translates as "Guardians of the City", is an extremist movement that has embraced Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah and rejects non-religious Jews, equality between men and women, and the existence of the secular Jewish state as "criminal" and "heretical". They believe that the restoration of Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel can only take place with the arrival of the Messiah. Zionism is a "rebellion against God" and "Zionists are the main cause of antisemitism in the world".

Since the 1970s, a branch of Neturei Karta led by Rabbi Moshe Hirsch (1923-2010) and then by his son, Meir Hirsch, has engaged in radical political activism and developed associations with anti-Zionist groups like the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement who advocate for and engage in campaigns with antisemitic rhetoric, and Louis Farrakhan, head of the American anti-Jewish hate organization Nation of Islam.

This branch is represented in the United States by Rabbis Moshe Ber Beck and Yisroel Dovid Weiss. In November 1999, they met Farrakhan.

Yisroel Dovid Weiss also appeared for Neturei Karta at the international conference on the Holocaust organized in Tehran by the Iranian government in December 2006, alongside Holocaust deniers such as David Duke.

Neturei Karta are opposed to any relationship normalization between the Arab states and the State of Israel.


(Last updated on 04/04/2024)

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