- Aramaic translation is "Guardians of the City"; a group of religious extremists who live primarily in the Mea Shearim section of Jerusalem and in Bnei Brak. It derives its name from a passage in the Talmud that refers to those who devote themselves to the study of the Torah as the guardians of the city. The group adheres to strict Orthodox views and follows the lifestyles that were brought to Israel from eastern Europe. Their dress codes are the traditional long coat and black hats of eastern European origin. They oppose Zionism and have refused to accept Israel as a Jewish state. They oppose the use of the Hebrew language for everyday communication because it is the holy language and because to do so would imply acceptance of Israel as the Jewish state. They believe that a Jewish state can be established only by God. Neturei Karta strongly opposes Israel and has indicated a willingness to work with such groups as the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Arab states to oppose the Zionist enterprise.The group has close ties with the Satmar rebbe and those of similar views who are headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. According to their doctrine, any attempt to regain the holy land by force or against the will of God is considered a sin. The Zionists, in their view, have usurped the holy name "Israel" and have exploited the Jewish religion and the holy land to reinforce their positions. Neturei Karta spokespersons have made clear their opposition to Israel and political Zionism in numerous ways. They see themselves as the original Jewish settlers, the Palestinian Jews who made their way to the holy land with the clear intent of worshiping God in his "backyard." They claim to have no political ambitions. They do not recognize the Israeli flag and have no "right" to a flag of their own. They have raised the Palestinian flag because they have said it is a flag of a state they consider to be theirs. They have indicated that they wish to be part of a proposed Palestinian state and to be represented in a joint Palestinian-Jordanian delegation to struggle against the common Zionist enemy.
Historical Dictionary of Israel. Bernard Reich David H. Goldberg. Edited by Jon Woronoff..
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