An interview with Neturei Karta

Posted on July 13, 2012

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A short while ago I wrote a piece on the Orthodox anti-zionist group Neturei Karta, which can be read here. I also wanted to know a bit more about the group in particular and managed to get a few words from Rabbi E. Beck. Based in New York, they took time out from their very busy schedule to answer the following:

What is the Neturei Karta?

The name Neturei Karta is a name usually given to those people who regularly pray in the Neturei Karta synagogues (Torah Ve’Yirah Jerusalem, Torah U’Tefillah London, Torah U’Tefillah NY, Beis Yehudi Upstate NY, etc.), study in or send their children to educational institutions run by Neturei Karta, or actively participate in activities, assemblies or demonstrations called by the Neturei Karta.

How many members do you estimate make up your organisation?

In particular, we have written there that although our active members may be only a few thousand, the Jews who agree with our basic ideology that there should not be a Jewish state number in the hundreds of thousands.

To be more exact, there are an estimated 13 million Jews in the world. Of these only about 2 million are observant. About 1 million of these 2 million are scrupulously observant and loyal to Judaism;  the others, known as the Modern Orthodox, observe certain basic laws like the Sabbath and kosher, but otherwise are well-integrated into the non-Jewish lifestyle. 

Why are so many so-called ”Jews” following the path deviating from what Judaism has taught? Particularly about not stealing or killing as 2 of the ten commandments.

Zionism was founded by secular Jews who deviated from all parts of Judaism. Most of them did not even believe in G-d. Thus it is not surprising that they had no problem stealing and killing to achieve their objectives. The Modern Orthodox, just as they did not hesitate to bend Judaism to make it fit with their lifestyles in countries like England and America, did not hesitate to go along with the Zionist program although it violated Judaism. Furthermore, perhaps some of them were (and still are) fooled by the Zionist propaganda that without a state, all the Jews would be in danger, and that stealing land and killing was sometimes necessary to protect Jewish lives.

In any case, the more traditional Orthodox group has no connection with Zionism. You can see communities of such Jews in many places in the world, for example in Stamford Hill you will not see a single Israeli flag. In the Holy Land itself, there are hundreds of thousands of Jews who oppose the state and to this day continue to refuse to serve in its army. (The Zionist government is now working on a way to force them to serve, but they will avoid it at all costs – even if it means going to jail or leaving the country.)

Do you see a peaceful dismantlement of the state of Israel at any time in the near future?

We hope that a dismantlement of the state could occur soon.  As to how it could happen, there are many ways to bring a peaceful end to the Zionist state, and we are sure that if politicians put their minds to it, they will find a way. But the method they use is not really our business. Our business is that according to Torah, the state is a rebellion against G-d and it cannot continue; we must ensure that it comes to an end. It is up to politicians to make sure it happens without any bloodshed, G-d forbid. 

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Posted in: Middle East, News