The Jewish Chronicle - - FEATURES -

The se­ries in which we in­ves­ti­gate the Semitic qual­i­ties (or oth­er­wise) of some­one or some­thing in the news

While Bri­tish Jews were cel­e­brat­ing Is­rael’s 60th birth­day last week­end, oth­ers were at­tempt­ing to dis­rupt the of­fi­cial party held at Wem­b­ley. Among them were ru­moured to be the anti-Zion­ist group Ne­turei Karta. So how Jewish is it?

You would need to be hy­per-crit­i­cal to ar­gue with the re­li­gious cre­den­tials of Ne­turei Karta. Mem­bers of the group are all Jewish, they daven three times a day, they eat glatt kosher, they wear black hats (and streimels on Shab­bat), have peyot, wear tz­itzit and beards. To sum up, th­ese guys are frum with a cap­i­tal F. AGAINST: All of Ne­turei Karta is anti-Zion­ist. But one strand of the group is so ex­treme that it has made friends with some pretty dodgy peo­ple on the ba­sis that your en­emy’s en­emy must be your friend. A sig­nif­i­cant Ne­turei Karta con­tin­gent at­tended Yasser Arafat’s funeral. They have also held talks with Na­tion of Is­lam leader Louis Far­rakhan, who has in the past de­scribed Ju­daism as “a dirty re­li­gion”, and have shared a plat­form with Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ah­madine­jad. Is this the stuff that nice Jewish boys get up to?

Tricky one this. Th­ese peo­ple are both more Jewish than most Jews, but are they the en­emy within? We take eight points away for be­ing un­nec­es­sar­ily con­tro­ver­sial.


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