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Exile and Redemption: The Torah Approach

'A Friend of Neturei Karta.' Neturei Karta, Monsey, New York, 2000. US$3.00

This little booklet was produced by a group of traditional Orthodox Jews to present fundamental Torah teachings that were once the mainstream position of most Jews. In particular, the booklet looks at traditional teachings concerning Jewish exile and the ultimate redemption of the Jewish people. The group, Neturei Karta, 'guardians of the city', advocates traditionalist Jewish resistance to Zionist pretensions, both in Palestine and in North America. In the face of a crisis of confidence in many Zionist circles, both of the right and the left, the author believes that it is time that Jews looked again at this older alternative.  

To the author, 'The essence of Judaism is the Jewish faith as revealed in the Torah', not any other ethnic or cultural basis. Exile and Redemption argues that Jews in exile have to perform a difficult balancing act. They are obliged to act honestly, loyally and patriotically towards their host nation and all its inhabitants, while at the same time, they must keep sufficiently apart to practise the Torah and to preserve their identity. Zionism, in contrast, originated in the ‘frustrations of non-believing Jews such as Theodore Herzl. Zionism’s fundamental error denies the spiritual reason for the exile of the Jews from the Holy Land and seeks to impose its own material ‘redemption’ through force of arms, terror and occupation. Zionism is ‘willing to shed streams of blood in order to achieve its goals.’ This has led directly to the cauldron of hatred that has, ‘peace processes’ notwithstanding, brought about the current situation in the Middle East. ‘The hatred of many Arab nations towards America and the West is rooted in Zionism’ which is very influential there.

Exile and Redemption accuses Zionists in America of doing more to poison Jewish-Gentile relations than anything most anti-Semites could dream up. They claim to defend Jewish interests but ‘resort to the bizarre tactic of opposing the forces of religion and morality in society…’ which ‘created tremendous resentment amongst Gentiles who value their faiths and common decency.’ The reasoning behind this strategy appears to be that any powerful religious influence could harm Jewish interests, so they must all be kept weak.

Some Zionists promote decadence in the entertainment industry, some wish to dictate to racial, ethnic and religious groups what they may or may not say - or even think! Some demand apologies for real or imagined slights on Jews or financial tribute in the form of ‘reparations’. American politicians who are insufficiently loyal to Israel (author’s emphasis) are targeted for defeat and defamation. Indeed, ‘Anyone who stands in the way of any part of this (Zionist) agenda is automatically subject to withering persecution. Pressures will be brought to have them fired from their jobs, their books banned and their lives ruined.

Such triumphalist arrogance, the author argues results from Zionism’s departure from humble submission to God (here styled ‘G-d’). The result has been growing animosity between most religious and ethnic communities in America and the wider world and ‘what they mistakenly perceive to be the Jewish people and their faith’. One such group is the Nation of Islam – a Black Muslim group led by Minister Louis Farrakhan.

Neturei Karta seeks to counter this influence by reaching out to such groups with the true face of Judaism. In early 1999, a delegation of seven Neturei Karta representatives made their first private contact with the Nation of Islam in Chicago, where they were treated with hospitality. The representatives discussed a number of matters, especially the strained relations between American Jewry and the NoI, which is often stigmatised in the mainstream American media as ‘anti-Semitic’. The rabbis conveyed the distinction between traditional Torah Judaism and aggressive Zionist groups like the so-called ‘Anti-Defamation League’ in the US and terror gangs like Haganah and LEHI in Palestine.

Contacts and mutual respect grew between the two groups. In November 1999, Minister Farrakhan welcomed another delegation to the former home of NoI’s founder, Elijah Muhammad. At the conclusion of the meeting, Farrakhan made a conciliatory speech in which he admitted that attacks on him were not the work of ‘the Jews’, stating that “it’s a terrible thing to say ‘Jews’ and make clear who you are referring to.” A delegation of NoI officials cemented relationships in December by making a return visit to the home of Rabbi Yecheskel Gold in New York.

The delegates brushed off vicious attacks by Abraham Foxman from the ADL, arguing that NK’s methods won more goodwill for the Jewish people than ‘ADL denunciations and intimidation’ ever could. Naturally, the rabbis have broad disagreements with the NoI’s theology, but they believe that the morality, discipline and self-reliance taught by the NoI can only have good results for Black Americans and American society in general.

The antics of the US-bankrolled Zionist State probably pose one of the greatest dangers to world peace today. Many people, though, are afraid to confront this truth for fear of being branded ‘anti-Semitic’. This well-illustrated booklet is a useful introduction to the little-known truth that Zionism and Torah Judaism are mutually exclusive.

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