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 Wednesday, July 02, 2003

  Neturei Karta- A Unique Group of Orthodox Jews.

The stereotyped view of orthodox Jews is one of right-wing extremists with a mission for the Greater Israel. And as exemplified by some Israeli settlers, they had been viewed as whole-sale grabbers of Palestinian lands.

NOT every orthodox Jewish group is of that stereotyped mold. Certainly Neturei Karta is one of those that does NOT fit into that stereotype of Orthodox Jews.

Neturei Karta is a group of orthodox Jews in Jerusalem who refused (and still refuse) to recognize the existence or authority of the so-called "State of Israel".

Read HERE about Neturei Karta a splinter group of orthodox Jews from the Agudas Yisroel.

Neturei Karta opposes the so-called "State of Israel" because their followers believe the entire concept of a sovereign Jewish state is contrary to Jewish Law. They distinguish between Zionism and Judaism and they contend that Zionism has nothing to do with Judaism.

Read HERE Speech by Rabbi Ahron Cohen on "Israel, Judaism and Zionism" at Birmingham University UK.

Read HERE Speech by Rabbi Yisroel P. Feldman. "Zionism is the Problem" in Boston, Mass. on Sunday, June 15, 2003.

Read ( and Listen) HERE Audio Lecture by Rabbi Goldstein on "Judaism and Zionism" on 23rd December 2001 (UK).

Read HERE Speech by Rabbi Weiss on "JERUSALEM: SOURCE OF CONFLICT, SYMBOL OF PEACE " on March 2, 2003, at the International Conference on Jerusalem/Al-Quds.

Read HERE Speech by Rabbi Weberman " Because We are Jews", on Friday July 26, 2002.

Read Neturei Karta's Open Letter to President George Bush on November 2001. The letter says "... we wish to bring to your attention that the Agudath Israel letter, in its assertion of Orthodox support of Israel, is to a significant degree a falsification of the public record and capable of causing much anguish if left uncorrected. ...Many Orthodox Jews are opposed to Israeli statehood and see its very existence as contrary to Torah principles. Jews are forbidden by their faith to have a state before the coming of the Messiah.."

Here is Neturei Karta's view on "Zionism versus Judaism:
" There is a vile lie, which stalks the Jewish people across the globe. It is a lie so heinous, so far from the truth, that it can only gain popularity due to the complicity of powerful forces in the "mainstream" media and educational establishment.

It is a lie which has brought many innocent people untold suffering and if unchecked has the potential to create extraordinary tragedy in the future.

It is the lie that declares that Judaism and Zionism are identical. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Judaism is the belief in revelation at Sinai. It is the belief that exile is a punishment for Jewish sins.

Zionism has for over a century denied Sinaitic revelation. It believes that Jewish exile can be ended by military aggression. Zionism has spent the past century strategically dispossessing the Palestinian people. It has ignored their just claims and subjected them to persecution, torture and death.

Torah Jews the world over are shocked and pained at this short-lived dogma of irreligiosity and cruelty. Thousands of Torah scholars and saints have condemned this movement from its inception.

They knew that the pre-existing good relationship between Jews and Muslims in the Holy Land was bound to suffer as Zionism advanced.

The so-called "State of Israel" stands rejected on religious grounds by the Torah. Its monstrous insensitivity to the laws of basic decency and fairness appall all men be they Jewish or not.

We of Neturei Karta have been in the forefront of the battle against Zionism for over a century.Our presence here is to refute the base lie that the evil, which is Zionism, in some way represents the Jewish people. The reverse is true. We are saddened day in and day at the terrible toll of death emanating from the Holy Land. Not one of then would have occurred if Zionism had unleashed its evil energies upon the world.

As Jews we are called upon to live in peace and harmony with all men. We are exhorted to be law abiding and patriotic citizens in all lands.

We condemn the current Zionist atrocities in the Holy Land. We yearn for peace based upon mutual respect. We are convinced that this proposed mutual respect is doomed to fail as long as the Israeli state exists. We welcome its abolition in a peaceful manner. "
They believe in the total support to Palestinian claims to sovereignty over the Holy Land.

Read HERE Neturei Karta's views on the Palestinian Issue -Questions and Answers.

On the issue of Palestine:
" Neturei Karta's (NK) belief is that accepting Palestinian claims is the only Torah true path to peace. It alone can end the spiral of war and death that has plagued the Middle East for the last century. Neturei Karta believes in the basic Torah tenet that we are a people in exile.

We have no claim to political power anywhere in the world and least of all in Palestine, from which we were exiled by Divine decree. Thus, the land belongs to those who have dwelt there for centuries, the Palestinians. If they choose to allow a few or many Jews to maintain citizenship in their state is entirely up to them.

Of course, NK sympathizes with the terrible plight of the Palestinian people and seeks to alleviate their suffering at the hands of the Zionists. In pursuit of this policy NKI often joins Palestinians in protests and demonstrations throughout the world. "
On the Neturei Karta's website, it is stated:
"We seek the return of all Palestinian refugees to their rightful land.

We seek to live in the land of Palestine as anti Zionist Jews. To reside as loyal and peaceful Palestinian citizens, in peace and harmony with our Muslim Brethren. Just as our ancestors lived in Palestine for centuries before the usurpations of this tragic century. "

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