In an unassuming corner-house in the maze of terraces in Stamford Hill lives a man who, despite his sombre dress and quiet courtesy, knows how to make the headlines. On December 27th, to mark the third anniversary of attacks on Gaza, he joined others gathered outside London’s Israeli Embassy to protest against the acts – and the very existence – of the state of Israel.Boy, this British site sure knows how to marginalize everybody with common sense. Here's where the representatives they spoke with mouthed off with some horrific mumbling:
He wishes to remain anonymous, but once inside the house introduces Rabbi Elhanan Beck, a small, serious man dressed in the same, sombre dress: a long black coat over formal clothing, sidelocks curling down from beneath a black fedora that hides his kippah. These two men are part of the Neturei Karta, an ultra-orthodox Jewish collective that actively opposes Zionism.
As conflict flared up again in Palestine and Israel last autumn, photographs began to circulate on social media and mainstream press of the burning of Israeli flags in Stamford Hill and elsewhere. Dismissed by some on Twitter as “heavily tokenized nutjobs” and embraced by others as “ethical activists”, there is a lot of confusion about what this strand of ultra-Orthodox Judaism stands for, and why.
“Zionism is a secular movement. Imagine if a group of people came along claiming to be Muslim, but they didn’t follow the Qu’ran, they didn’t pray, they didn’t believe in God. And they said they wanted to lead the Muslim people and speak for the Muslim people of the world. It would not be accepted.”Oh, the religion's been hijacked alright - by Neturei Karta! And a lot Muslims do follow the Koran and its verses; it's fiends like Neturei Karta who don't follow the Torah. They blatantly call Zionism "secular", acting like it's some fabricated new-fangled movement/ideology, and they're not publicizing so much as violating the 10 Commandments like Thou Shalt Not Lie. That's what they're doing, whether they're willing to admit it or not. Here's some more of the horror-dialogue they spewed:
“Our religion has been hijacked. Neturei Karta is just a group of people who feel they have to publicize this.”
The two men reminisce about a man who, on the evening of Israeli Independence Day, walked into a café on Oldhill Street (a heavily Hasidic shopping street in Stamford Hill) with an Israeli flag. “People were crying, shouting, wanting to break his car” Rabbi Beck says, animatedly, “Hundreds of [Hasidic Jewish] people chased him out. Really, hundreds. These things are not welcome here”.How low can they go? How repulsive can they be? How parrot-phrasing can they stoop to? Every sensible Jewish person should be horror-stricken at how they twist Judaism out of context like a poisoned pretzel. That's the desecration being committed in the name of the Lord our God. The Neturei Karta do not represent the Almighty at all, and are abusing the Torah with their repellant belief system that they contrived in all their hatred of Israel. Why are they even bothering to call themselves Jews if this is all they can think of taking as a lifestyle?
They describe the Israeli flag as “the most hated thing that any Jew can stand for” and Rabbi Beck, a teacher at an Orthodox Jewish school in the area explains that a few times a year the flags are burned, on the streets by adults, and in some schoolyards by supervised children. He says it is gestures like this that set them apart from other anti-Zionists in the community. “Burning a flag looks a bit too extreme. Even if they [other anti-Zionist, Orthodox Jews in Stamford Hill] agree with the principles behind it, they may not always agree with everything we do.”
The Neturei Karta make no bones about the fact that these rejections of Israel are on religious grounds, above any principles of politics or human rights.
“Every Jewish person should be horrified by what is happening. But I don’t want to give the wrong impression,” says Rabbi Beck, “We are here for human rights also, but mainly for religious reasons”. His companion adds, “Human rights are part of our religion. We have to be peace loving people. But this is about the desecration of God’s name.”
The same news site has also fawned over Lutfur Rahman, the Tower Hamlets overlord who's been busily turning the neigborhood he governs into an Islamic enclave. It shouldn't be too surprising they'd take any favorable position on Neturei Karta as well, since the movement has proven itself Islam's best ally in Jewish society, and given its support to Ahmedinejad.