Neturei Karta

What is neturei karta?

Neturei Karta is a name for Jews who oppose Zionism and the establishment of the so-called “State of Israel,” and retain all opposition to the existence of that state.

Neturei Karta is an Aramaic term meaning "Guardians of the City.”

The name was given to a group of Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem who refused (and still refuse) to recognize the existence and authority of the so-called "State of Israel" and made (and still make) a point of publicly demonstrating their position, the
position of the Torah and authentic unadulterated Judaism.

The group was founded in Jerusalem, Palestine in 1938, splitting off from Agudath Israel.

Over the years, a number of Neturei Karta activists and followers settled outside of Palestine. Some of the reasons that these individuals abandoned the country in which they and their families had lived for many generations prior to the establishment of the illegitimate so-called "State of Israel" include: ideological refusal to live under the illegitimate heretical "Israeli" regime, their being exiled by the Zionist government for their insistence on remaining independent of the illegitimate heretical regime, and inability to live a normal family life due to persistent harassment against their families, repeated incarcerations and often physical torture by the Zionist police and agents. This dispersion resulted in the emergence of various Neturei Karta establishments on the broader international scene. These establishments include synagogues, educational institutions, publishing houses and organizations.

But most of our activists, followers and sympathizers are not members of any particular Neturei Karta institution. That’s because we are not an organization in the strict sense; Neturei Karta is just a general name given to those Jews who speak out for the honor of G-d and fight against the Zionists, who want to transform Judaism from a religion to a nationalism, and the ancient Jewish people from a religious, peaceful people to an aggressive people. Those Jews, wherever they live and to whatever synagogues they belong, are termed Neturei Karta. In most large Jewish communities, synagogues and academies of learning, there is a portion of the population that shares our views.

how many members do you estimate make up your organisation? and what is the position of the orthodox jewish community that does not align itself with the neturei karta?

Neturei Karta is not really an organization with official membership, chairman, board members or the like. Neturei Karta is just a general name given to those Jews who speak out for the honor of G-d and fight against the Zionists, who want to transform Judaism from a religion to a nationalism, and the ancient Jewish people from a religious, peaceful people to an aggressive people. Those Jews, wherever they live and to whatever synagogues they belong, are termed Neturei Karta.

These active members who speak out in public may be only a few thousand, but religious Jews faithful to the Torah who are against the Zionist State number close to a million worldwide and comprise more than half of Orthodox communities. What better proof can there be than that in all central Jewish neighbourhoods, in America and in Europe, which contain thousands of synagogues and educational institutions, you will generally not find a Zionist flag hanging in any official location. On most religious calendars, the 5th of Iyar (Zionist Independence Day) is not even mentioned; on the contrary, in many places it is considered a day of fasting and sadness. It is true that the Modern Orthodox movement is generally Zionist oriented, but you can ascertain for yourself that generally speaking, the more religious a congregation is – the more anti-Zionist it is. Thus, of the approximately 2 million observant Jews in the world, the 60 or 70 percent who are traditionally Orthodox are usually against Zionism, while the Modern Orthodox are usually Zionist. You will find disagreement with certain specific activities carried on by Neturei Karta; nonetheless, opposition to Zionism is shared by the majority of traditionally Orthodox Jewry.

It must also be noted that we are not the only Orthodox anti-Zionist organization. This includes the communities of Satmar, Munkacz, Stolin, the Brisker schools of Talmudic study, and the Eidah Chareidis – the religious Jews of Jerusalem who are descended from the community that lived in the Old City in the 1800s, before Zionist colonization began. The Neturei Karta Palestine branch began as a subdivision of the Eidah Chareidis of Jerusalem.

What is the average percentage, worldwide and in israel, that are anti-zionist?

Religious Jews who are against the Zionist State number close to a million worldwide and comprise the majority of Orthodox communities. What better proof can there be than that in all central Jewish neighbourhoods, in America and in Europe, which contain thousands of synagogues and educational institutions, you will (generally) not find a Zionist flag hanging in any official location. On most religious calendars, the 5th of Iyar (Zionist Independence Day) is not even mentioned; on the contrary, in many places it is considered a day of fasting and sadness. It is true that the Modern Orthodox movement is generally Zionist oriented, but you can ascertain for yourself that generally speaking, the more religious a congregation is – the more anti-Zionist it is. Thus, of the just under 2 million observant Jews in the world, the 60 or 70 percent who are traditionally Orthodox are usually against Zionism, while the Modern Orthodox are usually Zionist. You will find disagreement with certain specific activities carried on by Neturei Karta; nonetheless, opposition to Zionism is shared by the majority of traditionally Orthodox Jewry.

About half of these million anti-Zionist Jews live in the Holy Land, all of them refuse to join the Israeli army, and a large percentage of them boycott all Israeli elections. The leading body of those who don't vote is called the Eidah Chareidis, the high rabbinical court in Jerusalem. The Eidah has at least 100,000 members and controls a network of more than 50 schools throughout the Holy Land.

And there are many videos on our website www.nkusa.org of mass protest around the world and at

These demographic estimates are reached by grouping people according to mode of dress and lifestyle, schools attended, neighbourhoods and so on. (And this segment of the population is growing rapidly due to high birth rates and outreach movements.) However, there are many more Orthodox Jews who may not live such a traditional lifestyle, yet are opposed to the state and sympathize with the anti-Zionist cause.

Furthermore, even among secular, non-observant Jews, there is a large and growing number who are opposed to the crimes of Zionism. There is a movement of secular youth who refuse to serve in the army for this reason. There are peace activists like Gush Shalom, B'tzelem and Peace Now. Many of the followers of these movements are young people who grew up learning the true history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as publicized by the new historians and formed their opinions accordingly. Therefore it is very hard to arrive at an exact figure of how many Jews in the Holy Land oppose Zionism.

Among secular Jews in other countries as well, there is a growing percentage of non-Zionists or anti-Zionists. Several years ago, a study found that only half of American Jews under the age of 35 were comfortable with the idea of a Jewish state. Among older secular Jews the percentage of Zionists is somewhat higher.
Of course, secular Jews cannot speak for Judaism, as I stressed at the beginning of this letter.

In conclusion, about half of Orthodox Jews and about a third of secular Jews are against Zionism, totalling about 35% of world Jewry. And this percentage is rapidly growing, due - among other factors - to the high Orthodox birth rate, secular assimilation, and the spread of information about true history and current events.