Satmar Rebbe (file)
Satmar Rebbe (file)Yaakov Neumi/Flash90

Leaders of one of the groups of the Satmar anti-Zionist hasidic sect have told their followers to vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton next week. Satmar split into two groups after the former Grand Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum's death and this message comes from the group in Kiryat Yoel that belong to the group led by Rabbi Aharon (Aroinim).

According to those Satmar leaders, Republican candidate Donald Trump is pro-Israel and works to strengthen the Jewish state, and it is therefore forbidden to vote for him. Satmar believes that it was forbidden to create a Jewish state until the coming of the Messiah as the Talmud says that Jews in exile must not antagonize the non-Jews and therefore is anti-Zionist. It is also against the fact that the state is run by secular Jews. Religious Zionists believe that the establishment of a Jewish state is a harbinger of the Messiah and that religious and secular should work together to develop the state, with the religious ensuring that Judaism is nationally recognized and Jewish law observed in public places.

In the notice sent to thousands of hasidim, the group justified their decision on other grounds as well, stating that Clinton "has stood with the haredi sects for several years, when she was First Lady, New York Senator, and Foreign Minister." Sources within the community said that the real reason is the fear of reprisals from nearby minority communities who are pro-Clinton.

A fringe group related to Satmar and often confused with them, known as Neturei Karta, organizes anti-Israel rallies, and often organizes protests at pro-Israel gatherings in the US in which some Satmar hasidim participate.