Neturei Karta members burn Israeli flag
Neturei Karta members burn Israeli flagIsrael news photo: Flash 90

The anti-Zionist Neturei Karta hareidi sect was named on Monday one of the top 10 most influential and active anti-Israel groups in the United States, in a list released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Each of the groups on the list, according to ADL’s research, is “fixated with delegitimizing Israel” and has demonstrated the ability to reach new segments of the American public with a hostile and misleading narrative about Israel, the organization said in a statement.

The top 10 anti-Israel Groups, as identified by ADL, are:

ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism)
American Muslims for Palestine
Friends of Sabeel-North America
If Americans Knew/Council for the National Interest
Jewish Voice for Peace
Muslim Public Affairs Council
Neturei Karta
Students for Justice in Palestine
U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

“The Top 10 anti-Israel groups are the most significant players in the domestic anti-Israel movement today,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.

“The groups are fixated on delegitimizing Israel and convincing the American public that Israel is an international villain that deserves to be ostracized and isolated,” he added.

In compiling the list, ADL considered various criteria, including the groups’ ability to organize, sponsor and endorse Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel; their sponsorship of and participation in anti-Israel rallies, panel discussions or conferences; and their ability to pursue anti-Israel policy initiatives and lobbying efforts against Israel.

In addition to their national impact and influence, many of the groups included in the list are known to employ rhetoric that is extremely hostile to Israel, Zionists and/or Jews.  Examples of this include: Allegations that Israel or Jews control the U.S. government or the media;

Offensive parallels to the Holocaust by comparing Israeli leaders to Nazis or describing Gaza as the “new Auschwitz;”

Calls for the dismantlement of the state of Israel;

Expressions of support for terrorist groups that seek Israel’s destruction.

“The list represents the worst of the worst anti-Israel groups,” said Foxman. “They lob any and every accusation against Israel, including charges of Nazi-like crimes, ‘apartheid’ policies, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and genocide. Their accusations are rarely, if ever, balanced with an acknowledgement of Israel’s repeated efforts to make peace with the Palestinians, or the legitimate terrorism concerns faced by Israeli citizens.”

ADL issued its first list of top 10 anti-Israel groups in 2010 in the wake of the 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Since then, major shifts in the Middle East, as well as more aggressive efforts to delegitimize Israel through the BDS campaign, have resulted in a significantly altered domestic anti-Israel movement.

The Jewish anti-Israel group “Jewish Voice for Peace” (JVP) made the ADL list once again. ADL noted that the group’s leaders and members of its Rabbinical Council are regularly invited to major anti-Israel events and conferences, and the group claims that its Jewish nature gives it a “particular legitimacy in voicing an alternative view.” 

ADL further noted in its report that JVP “intentionally exploits Jewish culture and rituals” in an effort to convince other Jews that opposition to Israel does not contradict, but is consistent with, Jewish values.

NGO Monitor recently exposed that JVP runs a “summer camp” for campus activists to train them in the most effective methods to conduct a BDS campaign against Israel.

The Neturei Karta sect opposes the establishment of the State of Israel. Its members often win international headlines despite their tiny percentage of world Jewry.

Members of the cult have in the past met with former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who publicly called to wipe Israel off the map. Most recently, a member of the sect was arrested in Israel on suspicion of offering to spy for Iran.