OpinionAntisemitism

Neturei Karta’s spokesman proclaims his love for a genocidal antisemite

The extremist group’s neurotic need to cast off its Jewishness is profoundly dangerous.

Members of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect demonstrate against Israel in New York City, Sept. 27, 2021. Photo: Luke Tress/Flash90.
Members of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect demonstrate against Israel in New York City, Sept. 27, 2021. Photo: Luke Tress/Flash90.
Joe Kaufman
Joe Kaufman is chairman of the Joe Kaufman Security Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to educating the public on issues concerning national security and counterterrorism.

Neturei Karta is a vocal group of anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews. While members of the group present themselves as the true representatives of religious Jewry, in reality they are a rogue Jewish faction comprising only around 5,000 members worldwide. However, due to its fringe views, the group is embraced by enemies of the Jewish community and Israel, who see Neturei Karta as “useful idiots” who help deflect accusations of antisemitism. As a result, group members are often strategically placed front and center at anti-Israel demonstrations.

While many devout Jews have strong emotional and religious ties to Israel, others view a Jewish state created without divine sanction as prohibited under Jewish law. Neturei Karta takes this much further by calling for Israel’s complete dissolution.

Neturei Karta’s leadership is notorious for fraternizing with Israel’s deadliest enemies. The most infamous example was the group’s participation in a 2006 Holocaust denial conference in Iran. At the event, Neturei Karta’s spokesman Yisroel Dovid Weiss reportedly hugged and kissed then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinjad, who one year prior had called for Israel to be “wiped off the map.” Weiss also met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and presented a gift to Hezbollah’s second-in-command Naim Qassem to be conveyed to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

Neturei Karta reportedly received funding from the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat. The PLO has been designated a “terrorist organization and a threat to the interests of the United States, its allies and to international law” by the U.S.

Because of its highly controversial activities, Neturei Kata has been condemned even by anti-Zionist Jews. For example, the Satmar Rebbe of Williamsburg, Zalman Teitelbaum, has asserted: “It’s a terrible desecration of God’s name to support murderers in the name of the holy Torah and God’s name.”

In the group’s latest stunt, Weiss was featured on an Islamist podcast with South Carolina imam Ibrahim Dremali, with the two proclaiming their love for one another. Not long ago, this same imam called for a genocide of Jewish people.

Dremali was born and raised in Gaza and has a second home in Gaza City, where many members of his family and clan resided prior to Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre. Today, Dremali is imam of the Grand Strand Islamic Society (GSIS), located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Previously, he led the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR), the Des Moines Islamic Center (DMIC) and the Islamic Center of Greater Austin (ICGA).

He has spent time on the federal no-fly list—something for which he blames this author—and was arrested by U.S. immigration agents for marriage fraud. He was also arrested and spent time behind bars in Israel.

In May 2021, Dremali was interviewed by Arees University, an educational institution with which he was affiliated at the time. Dremali proudly expressed his support for Hamas and extolled his connections with the terror group. Probably alluding to the planned Oct. 7 attacks, Dremali told the interviewer that Hamas was planning a “very strong surprise soon.” He added that Hamas was “gonna hit those people” with “special rockets.”

Dremali also engaged in classic antisemitism, saying, “They control the whole world—the Jews—by the money.” He jubilantly spoke of a genocidal scenario in which all of the Arab countries surrounding Israel would unify to annihilate the Jews: “The people, they want to make jihad. The people want to open the border. … If the Arab leaders open the borders of Palestine … the Jews, they’ll be inside that ocean.”

On Dec. 1, 2023, Weiss appeared with Dremali on “The Deen Show,” an Islamist podcast hosted by Muslim convert and former gang member Eddie Redzovic. According to Weiss, this was his third appearance with Dremali.

The show began with Weiss proclaiming his love for Dremali. When Redzovic said that the “world thought” an “organic Gazan” (Dremali) and an “Orthodox Jewish rabbi” (Weiss) “couldn’t sit together,” Weiss exclaimed, “Sit together? We love each other!” Weiss then proceeded to take Dremali’s hands in his own and kiss them. Dremali did likewise.

This lovefest did not prevent Dremali from repeating antisemitic libels in front of Weiss, claiming that AIPAC “controls” the U.S. government “100%” and that Jews changed and corrupted the Bible.

This is par for the course for “The Deen Show.” The episode followed an episode the previous month featuring rabid antisemite Rick Wiles, who Redzovic affectionately referred to as “Pastor Rick” and added that he was “very honored” to have the antisemite on his show. Wiles claimed that Jews practice Satanic rituals, own all the U.S. presidential candidates and are not racially Jewish. He asserted that Jews are “white European colonizers” who are “descendants of Khazarians”—a classic pseudo-historical claim that all Ashkenazi Jews are descended from converts. The show also promoted repugnant antisemitic stereotypes, placing an image of an oversized hooked nose over a person’s profile.

Weiss and Neturei Karta’s involvement with genocidal anti-Jewish racists like Dremail is profoundly dangerous, a display of the worst kind of Jewish self-abasement and self-hate, and an aberration within the Jewish community. Unfortunately, however, it is merely a continuation of the group’s long history of such shocking behavior.

Neturei Karta is aiding and abetting its mortal enemies in a perverse attempt to prove to the world that it is composed of “good Jews.” But loving someone who says they want to kill you is merely an expression of the group’s neurotic need to cast off its Jewishness, which it sees as a shameful stigma. Neturei Karta is committing spiritual suicide while attempting to bring the rest of the Jewish community down with it.

Beila Rabinowitz, director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this column.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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