Op-Ed: Neturei Karta is Wrong, But Where Are We?


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The latest episode in so-called Neturei Karta’s history of meeting with and marching alongside the enemies of the State of Israel – their participation in the March to Jerusalem from Jordan and Palestinian Land Day commemoration in Lebanon – must give us pause for reflection.

Of course, it is reprehensible to show support for terrorism of any variety, or to honor the memory of a terrorist with blood on his hands. But I wish to carry the criticism of this fringe group a step further. One of their stated purposes is to soften the Arabs anger at Jews by showing them that at least some Jews, in particular Orthodox Jews, oppose Zionism and the State of Israel. By claiming to represent us all, they aim to save us all from a would-be attacker. My question is: just how do they expect to succeed in this mission, when every action they take elicits condemnation from just about the entire Orthodox Jewish world? Do they think the Arabs will really believe that they represent anyone but themselves?

If these people are really serious about their goal, they must stop acting on their own, and seek out support from the Gedolei Hador for everything they do. If Gedolim tell them that their current approach is wrong, then they must follow the Gedolims guidelines for the right way to get the message out. As long as they don’t do that, they are doing more harm than good, because the picture of four Jews joining an Arab march while the rest of the Jewish people condemns them is enough to convince anyone that almost all Jews are pro-Israel.

Which brings me to my question for the larger frum Jewish world: where are we? What are we doing to let the Arab world know that we are not pro-Israel? Good, the Neturei Karta of Yisroel Dovid Weiss is fake and wrong, but where is the real Neturei Karta? We, the frum Jews of the world, know that it was not our idea to make a state, fight wars against the Arabs or arouse their anger. We are peaceful people. But how are the Arabs going to know that if we don’t find some way to tell them?

Yesterday, Rav Nochum Weissfish was attacked by an Arab youth with an axe as he walked in the streets of Yerushalayim. Two weeks ago, a rabbi and three Jewish schoolchildren were murdered in France. The perpetrators were evil murderers, but anyone with common sense knows that when there are murderers walking around, you have to make sure not to get caught in the crossfire. You have to distinguish yourself clearly from those whom the murderers hate. These innocent Jews could have been any of us. To a terrorist, we all look the same. What are we doing to address this problem? Where are we?

Name withheld by request.

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.



  1. Why publish this????????? Incoherently written and the message is horrible.YWN has to take responsibility – don’t publish every piece of garbage to insight controversy to increase ads. Real frum Jews are pro-Israel.

  2. What to do? Daven!
    Your whole assumption that all Gedolim be’etzem agree with the Satmar-NK shita is wrong. Once the state had been created, most Gedolims support it’s defence. You have been taken in by the Satmar propaganda.

  3. You write “If Gedolim tell them that their current approach is wrong, then they must…”. This is a big “if”, now what if the Gedolim say that they are right? there is a second side to this story. So please write what the must will be then.

  4. The author makes good points, but mistakenly presupposes two things:

    1. That the reason arabs hate us is because of the tziyonim.

    2. That, even if that were the cause, they could possibly care less if we support that idea.

    Item 1 is demonstrably false, as the millennia have shown. We will be hated, state or no state, frum or frei, until Moshiach comes bimhera yiyomenu.

    Item 2 is also plain to see, based on the official charters of many terrorist organizations and on the realities of all three dominant religions – xianity, islam, and secularism are all strongly opposed to our Torah and will continue to strike against those who merited to receive it.

    In my opinion, the only solution to our current predicament is achdus – not the drawing of more imaginary boundaries. The sooner we remain united as one people, the sooner HKB”H will bring us a full and complete redemption.

  5. Withheld-
    What do your rabunnim believe the right thing to do is? Undermine Israel’s security, thus endangering an untold number of yidden? Or keep quiet and vote! Yes vote to change Israel’s so called “oppressive” policies. But you don’t want to vote. No. You want to identify yourself with people who, as you noted, are kooks with no backing from the Jewish world.
    I’m not sure who gave you the idea that the Arabs won’t try killing us if we’re good to them. Last I checked, they kill. Period. Israel’s policy is just an excuse, and you know that.

  6. author states:

    We, the frum Jews of the world, know that it was not our idea to make a state, fight wars against the Arabs or arouse their anger. We are peaceful people. But how are the Arabs going to know that if we don’t find some way to tell them?

    we – frum jews – will one day have to give a din ve cheshbon as to why we did not join the other jews who did establish the state – the jews in the time of ezra were punished for not joining the aliyah and rebuilding of the 2nd temple, i pray we are not similarly punished.

    but even if we assume he is partially right – take the chazon ish approach – what do you expect 7 million jews in israel to do – surrender to the murderous arabs for slaughter ??

    what a stupid article

    what a shame it is published

  7. Really!!?!!! Has the killing of the jews only been around since the State of Israel has been around?? This article is full of hogwash and stupidity. In the beginning the frum were against the State but now there are practically no “real” gedolim who say we should distance our self from the state. Rav Shach was part of the government!! Do you really believe that by coming out against the state you will be loved by the arabs or other nations? They HATE you!!!

  8. If Name Withheld By Request understood that everything that happens in this world is G-d’s will, including the creation of the State of Israel, he would not have written this article.

    Gedolim like the Lubavitcher Rebbe, zt’l, although not a Zionist, supported the defence of Israel. Who are you to against the Gedolim.

  9. Anyone who is against Israel/Yiden and pro arabs/terrorists should be thrown out of Israel.
    Neturey Karte are a big חילול ד They can’t be Frum.

  10. why do you publish this stupidity? its not an editorial, its hogwash by a non intelligent person who has read to much lefty/neturai karta publications

  11. The Satmar Rebbe ztl was above all a tremendous oheiv yisrael. As a young man, R. Freifeld ztl went to collect $$ from the Satmar Rebbe for Chinuch Atzmai. The Rebbe attacked him immediately because of Chinuch Atzmai’s reliance on the medinah. Then he had his gabbai write him a nice check. When Hubert Humphrey was running for prez he visited the Rebbe. The Rebbe asked him whether he would ensure that Israel would have planes to protect itself. Whether a state should have been declared is one issue. But the protection of acheinu kol bais yisrael is another matter. Note, the Satmar Rebbe was the ga”avad of the Eidah, not NK.

  12. What a paradox.
    First you sy they should listen to Gedolim, and then you turn around and basicaly say that the approach the Gedolim are taking is wrong…

    Did it ever accure to you that we are simply in Golus, and that Golus INCLUDES being in Golus under a secular rule. Daven and do Tshuva!

  13. The enemy wants to kill Jews. Frum, chilonim, reform, whoever. This anti-Zionist line they sold all these years was thinly disguised Jewhatred that leftists ate up. They don’t hate Jews because Israel exists. They hate Jews because Jews exist.

  14. Which gedolei hador? Rav Ovadia allows Shas MKs to hold high cabinet positions – and the saying of Hallel albeit without a beracha (as per the majority Sephardi minhag on Rosh Chodesh and the last days of Pesach). The gedolim of UTJ allow a “deputy minister” who has all the powers of a minister. The Religious Zionist gedolim say Hallel with a beracha on Yom HaAtzmaut.

  15. I come to this site to read the comments and see how the most anti-Semitic person is a Jew. I have a perspective that my Ashkenazi brethren don’t possess. That is, understanding the Arab/Muslim mentality much better.

    You are mistaken if you think that you’re softening their anger. If you had the brains to read their press, you would understand that they are not only against the state of ISRAEL but against all Jews. Now, while we’re on the subject of ISRAEL. Let me point out two things. Firstly, these fools dressed in black and white look to the non-Jewish and non-Orthodox world as regular “frummies.” The outside world doesn’t distinguish between one sect and another. Second, Zionism is the longing for a Jewish homeland. So, unless you’re a Helen Thomas supporter and believe that Judaism begins and ends in Poland, you may be a Zionist. Today, the biggest Zionists are Orthodox more specifically Charadi Jews. Your vision of Zionists being secularists is wrong. Remember, the State/Medina/Israel gives many of the Yeshivas 500NIS every month for each boy and girl learning. That includes the Americans that are there for a year or two.

    So to Achainy Bnai Yisrael who seem to be very xenophobic, please crawl back into your hole of hating those Jews that do not look and smell like you. Pesach is the time of freedom; free yourself of your hatred.

  16. “dontbeagolem says:
    we – frum jews – will one day have to give a din ve cheshbon as to why we did not join the other jews who did establish the state – the jews in the time of ezra were punished for not joining the aliyah and rebuilding of the 2nd temple, i pray we are not similarly punished.”
    What an idiotic thing to write. Are we saying hertzel the torah hating jew and Ezra are one and the same?

  17. “We, the frum Jews of the world, know that it was not our idea to make a state, fight wars against the Arabs or arouse their anger. We are peaceful people. But how are the Arabs going to know that if we don’t find some way to tell them?”

    Will it matter what kind of statement we make? Furthermore, will such a statement go and inflame the the israeli-arab conflict even more? I don’t know, and you don’t either know. What I do know is our gedolim are not morons, and they decided on the current course of action of not making statements of the like.

  18. Of course we had no problem with the arabs before the state was created.
    Maybe the courageous anonymous author never heard of the massacres in Marocco, Algeria, Syria, Yemen (reading again Igeret Teman from the Rambam might be a good idea)…

  19. You don’t speak for me. You don’t speak for me as a Jew, as a frum Jew, as a descendant of frum Jews and Rabbonim and gedolim. You can’t see and hear the ikveso doemeshicho? I pity you. You think that Zionism is all about eradicating Torah? You are ignorant and have an inflated sense of self importance. For religious zionists its all about Torah, and for secular zionists, They have countless things they consider more important than erasing your frumkeit.
    And even were all of this untrue, Israel is a fait accompli, and there IS a Jewish state, there IS a Jewish army, there IS a place where there is more learning and more opportunity for Torah than any place at any time in our history. It exists now only because the State of Israel exists, and that has happened only because it is the will of Hakodosh boruch hu. Your nameless, faceless assumptions are an insult to me and many others. Do tshuva.

  20. Well written Op-Ed. Thank You YWN for publishing it.

    And the point is poignant and absolutely correct. We need to let the world know that Orthodox Judaism and Orthodox Jews are anti-Zionist and opposed the creation of the State.

    How do we get that important message across?

  21. Gedolei Yisroel were and are extremely anti-zionist. Rav Schach zt’l and many others viciously condemned zionism and the state. Despite this, they felt it the lesser of two evils to partake in the government and elections.

  22. The writer may be correct in his point (or maybe not)
    But unless he thinks he is the Gadol, that we should adhere to, he is very contradictory. 1st he says that NK are wrong for not listing to gedolim, & then he asks were are we? What can we actually do if the Gedolim don’t instruct us do so? Obviously he feels that he is the Gadol that we should listen to. If that’s the case, let him reveal who he is.

  23. @Derech

    you are as big of a fool as the writer of this article is. What do you propose we do? shall we call Hamas and say please take over the government of Israel and let us live peacefully with you? Should all 8 million jews who live in Israel get up and move to another country? FACE THE FACT ISRAEL IS HERE TO STAY!!!! unless Rachmana Litzlon there is another war which can cause the death of at least 6 million jews there is nothing to do but try to change the attitude of the israeli government towards the torah way of life.

  24. The answer to Arab terrorism was given by HOrav Amnon Yitzchok, SHLIT”A, in a lecture a couple of years ago.

    He explained that Arab terrorism is orchestrated by G-D to wake us up from our slumber.

    A state of Israel that sanctions Chilul Shabbos, violation of the standards of Tznius, and Toeva parades is a big problem. We are judged by our majority, and Chareidim are only 10% of the Israeli population.

    He will immediately turn-off this terrorism if we show that we are prepared to change our ways.

  25. yitzchokm:

    your ignorance is shameful

    not only did the majority of jews not go back to rebuild the 2nd temple but the ones who did were not exactly the “shentzte yidden” of bavel
    Ezra was so upset he gave a knas to the leviim for their lack of participation, he took away their maaser
    read tanach
    read history books
    dont be such an am haaretz the rest of your life

  26. Dont,
    Excuse me? I’m quite aware of the history, thank you .
    Your saying that those (like my grandparents) who don’t follow the call of a rosha like hertzel, to fight their way back into Israel should be punished? And you bring proof from Ezra? And i”m ignorant???
    Oh, silly me!

  27. yitchokm, stop focusing on herzl (who by the way was not anti Torah, just ignorant as he was not brought up frum)and realize that EY is a place for Jews to live a true Torah life. Stop focusing on the faults of the founders of the State of Israel and realize that it is a great zechus to live here . Could it be that HKBH had the state started that way so we could be reminded that we are still in Golus? There are soooo many Chareidi families living in EY .

    Yes, Ezra is proof. Here we are many years away from Herzl and we have an oppurtunity to live in our homeland..

  28. 34. yitzchokm

    sometimes g-d sends ezra – sometimes the vilna gaon (yes one of the first tziyonim)- sometimes rav tzi hersh kalisher & sometimes hertzel

    as an aside – hertzel wasn’t observant (my rebbe says a galach daf zain frum a yid daf zain ehrlich) .. but why a rasha ?? was he a pedofile ?? was he friendly with Iran or Hamas like the NK (takeh reshaim) ??

    as for your zaideh .. 6 million were slaughtered many could have been saved by escaping to israel .. you have the guts to tell them better to die than go to israel ?? are you nuts !!

    finally zaides are people too. they make mistakes too. some even are involved in historical tragedies.

    time to get with the program

    the ribbono shel olam gave you a gift

    the gift isnt perfect

    but nonetheless it is a precious gift.

  29. Don’tbeagolem,
    If you really believe that we could have escaped the holocaust by following the rosha herzl I have a bridge to sell you. It’s in brooklyn.
    He’s called a rasha because he rejected Gd and everything about Him. he was full of contempt for frum Jews and anything Jewish.
    virtually all rabummin, including some of my grandparents fought Long and hard against this terrible concept of Zionist state.
    I’m not sure what kind of chutzpah you need to have to call a kodush like the vilna Goan a zionist.
    Thanks for the question, but no. I’m not nuts.

  30. yitchokm, Rav SHACH ZTL said that the chareidim are the real zionists!!! Zionist is not a bad word. It was just made out that way because of the horrific things that the SECULAR zionists did when they wanted to make the state.

    Rav Zev Leff , shlita , stated that just because the zionists did the mitzvah wrong does not take away from the fact that it is still a mitzvah to live in the land of Israel..
    it’s one thing to fight against the state BEFORE it was established but it’s wrong to say that it should not exist now when sooo many FRUM people live true Torah lives here..

    and yes the Vilna Gaon was a REAL Torah True Zionist.. and so was R’Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg ZT”L. Stop focusing on the issues of the state and realize that we are lucky to be able to live Torah lives in the land of Israel.. I live here and surely don’t think about those issues like you do.

  31. charrbs #39: Rav Shach was the biggest and most vocal critique of ALL of Zionism and the State. Religious zionism and secular zionism.

    Stop trying to redefine zionism. It is all treif.

    Living in Eretz Yisroel is indeed a mitzvah. That is not what zionism is all about. Chareidim have been living in Eretz Yisroel since the 1700’s, when the Vilna Gaon and Baal Shem’s talmidim moved there. Long before the zionists. And they’ve been living therein ever increasing numbers since. Long before the state existed.

  32. #40, no , I am not defending zionism as you say.. but that Torah jewry is the yearn for Zion.. I heard that Rav Shach stated that the chareidim are the real zionists.. The truth is that the seculars who started the state were NOT zionists .. they were just atheists who thought they knew it all.

    The fact is that more Chareidim are able to live in EY because of some of the benefits of the state.

    i.e. stipends for learning in yeshiva.. funding for schools.. (that is something Americans can only dream about)..health care at decent prices..

    The Chareidim who lived in EY before the state were only able to do so from support from chutz laaretz..