Neturei Karta, an international society representing non-Zionist Orthodox Jews, has blasted recent remarks by Yoni Metzger, Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, in which the rabbi called for the deportation of the people of Gaza to the Egyptian Sinai desert.
In a statement circulated to the press earlier this week, Neturei Karta called Metzger’s remarks “vicious and provocative.”
“Yona Metger is not an authentic rabbi, despite the fact that he carries the title of ‘Chief Rabbi.’ Chief rabbis of the Zionist state only carry legitimacy in the eyes of the Zionist Jews. His status as a rabbi is not unlike the leadership of Theodor Herzl, who also wore a beard.”
The group reasserted its ideological stand that the Zionist state of Israel lacked religious and moral legitimacy from the Orthodox Jewish perspective.
“The state of Israel is an illegitimate rogue regime whose very existence is leading the world to World War III. Palestinians have an inherent right, guaranteed under international and moral law, to return to their land in historic Palestine and to establish their independent state in the entire Holy Land, which was forcefully taken from them by the Zionists. Indeed, many Gazans are refugees who were expelled from other areas of Palestine by the Zionists ever since 1948.”
The statement lashed out at the rabbinic establishment in Israel, describing state-paid rabbis as “stooges of Zionism.”
“ Chief rabbis of the Zionist state, whether Metger or anyone else, are merely very well-paid stooges of the Zionists and serve their Zionist masters without regard for the welfare of the Jewish people, the Palestinians, or any other nation in the world.”
The statement went on: “Chief rabbis, and other rabbis, who support the existence of the Zionist state, are wicked emissaries of Evil. Such ‘rabbis’ promote hatred and war, and use their coercive powers to demand subservience of Jews to the Zionist enterprise. This description of such people has been the long-standing position of authentic rabbis for the last century.”
The statement stressed that advocates of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, whether Metzger or others, don’t represent the Jewish religion.
“Yona Metzger, like all Zionist rabbis, expresses feelings of cruelty and inhumanity which originates in his loyalty to the cult of Zionism, is perfectly prepared to sacrifice Jewish lives on the altar of his idolatry, the state of ‘Israel.’ Any moral person would much prefer to see the Zionist warmongers, including Metger, removed from the Holy Land. Metger and all Zionist rabbis don’t represent the Jewish religion.”
Neturei Karta, which means “Guardians of the City, urgently appealed to the leaders of the world, especially the great powers, to stop supporting the Zionist regime.
“Many nations believe that supporting Zionism shows friendship to the Jewish people. This is incorrect! True friendship to the Jewish people can be demonstrated by saving all the peoples of the Middle East, including Jews, from the bloodthirsty machinations of the dangerous state of ‘Israel’ and by dismantling the Zionist regime entirely.”
In an interview with the British Jewish weekly last week, the Jewish News, Metzger was quoted as saying that Palestinians could have a nice country in Sinai.
“Take all the poor people from Gaza to move them to a wonderful new modern country with trains, buses and cars, like in Arizona. This will be a solution for the poor people; they will have a nice country, and we, the Jews, shall have our country and we shall live in peace.”
Metzger also reportedly said that he would discuss the “matter” with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, adding that he thought the idea would find popularity among Israelis.
Neturei Karta is a Haredi Orthodox Jewish group with thousands of adherents all over the world. It was created in 1935, mainly as a reaction to the emergence of Zionism among European Jewry.
The group opposes Zionism and calls for the peaceful dismantling of the state of Israel in the belief that Jews are forbidden to have their own state until the coming of the Messiah. Moreover, Neturei Karta views Israel’s violent and often criminal behavior vis-à-vis the Palestinians, e.g. systematic persecution, ethnic cleansing, house demolition and land theft, as decidedly incompatible with the moral teachings and ideals of Judaism.