Are real Jews opposed to Zionism?

The relatively new concept of Zionism began only about one hundred years ago and since that time Torah-true Jewry has steadfastly opposed the Zionist ideology


Who is spreading this lie?

For decades a tiny faction (estimated at 100 people) of Neturei Karta, a small sect of orthodox Jews totalling no more than 5,000 people, have vociferously protested against the state of Israel. Their hatred of Israel has led them to align themselves with some of the most fanatical Jew haters. They were on the payroll of Yasser Arafat, they attended a Holocaust denial conference sponsored by Ahmadinejad, and imitating the gut-churning zeal of the Westboro Baptist Church they even had the audacity to distribute flyers vilifying the victims of the Mumbai Terror Attack.

While other small orthodox Jewish sects have opposed Zionism, none have done so with such enmity and fervour as Neturei Karta. This small group of rabid self-hating Jews have created complete confusion in the anti-Israel movement by feeding it disinformation. They have set up a comprehensive educational network which attempts to convince non-Jews that the creation of Israel is against the Torah. There is barely a rally we attend where we are not approach by some anti-Israel activist claiming “according to the Torah true Jews cannot support Israel”. Intrigued to learn just exactly what they were teaching one of our senior researchers approached them requested a flyer. The flyer quoted a Talmudic passage known as the “Three Oaths” which discusses whether Jews can return to the land of Israel. We were shocked at what we read.


This Neturei Karta printed and branded flyer falsifies the Torah! These so-called God fearing Jews have twisted the words of our religion to convince non-Jews that a Jewish State is against Judaism. The real text of the Three Oaths is completely different:

G-d placed three oaths upon the world, two upon the Jewish people and one upon the nations. The Jewish people were foresworn not to immigrate as a wall (i.e. en masse) to the Holy Land, and not to rebel against the other nations. The nations were foresworn not to afflict the Jews too much.

– Tractate Kesubos 111a

In the Neturei Karta flyer the third oath is “Not to make any attempt to end the exile” while the actual third oath is “The nations were foresworn not to afflict the Jews too much”. The Neturei Karta twist is not just a staggering perversion of Judaism but it is also a purposeful concealment of one of the reasons Jews can return.

Do the three oaths forbid a Jewish State?

  • While the Three Oaths are codified in the Talmud, like much of the the content of the Talmud they are metaphorical and not obligatory (aggadah). Not one of the major codifications of Jewish law contains them (Mishneh Torah, the Arba’ah Turim, the Shulchan Aruch, etc.)
  • The United Nations resolution to declare the State of Israel fulfills the first condition of the oath to not rebel against the nations. Thus, when the United Nations told the Jews to go home, it was mandatory that they do so. Just as Cyrus instructed the Jews of Babylonia to construct the Second Temple.
  • The Three Oaths simply meant that God had decreed an exile for the Jewish people. The fact that the Jewish people have successfully returned to the Land of Israel is evidence that the oath is void and the decree has ended.
  • Even if you belong to one of the small sects that believe the oaths were obligatory, the non-Jewish nations violated their vow by excessively persecuting the Jewish people. Only the mentally insane would try to argue the Holocaust wasn’t an “excessive affliction”. This is the reason Neturei Karta concealed the third oath, as even if one believed the oaths were binding, when Europe exterminated six million Jews they dishonoured their oath nullifying all three.

Zionism is an essential part of Judaism

Every single religious Jew is a Zionist, even Neturei Karta, the only differences is that Neturei Karta (and sects like it) believe it isn’t yet time to go back to the land. Ever since the Jewish people were expelled from their homeland by the Romans it has been a principle of faith to await and expect the return to the land. The Torah documents how the land was given to the Jewish people for eternity and despite being driven out by the Romans it promises that they will return. Three times a day every Jew faces Israel and prays to return… the return to Israel is a fundamental principle of the Jewish faith.

If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill

-Psalm 137:5

While it is true that Zionism was originally a secular movement – the seed from which it grew was Judaism, which is the reason Israel was chosen over Kenya. The early Zionists didn’t just pick a country at random – they started a movement to return the Jewish people to the home they had so desperately longed for thousands of years (which at the time was sparsely populated). The successful establishment of the Jewish State brought about the fulfilment of this biblical prophecy.

One last thing

The entire Neturei Karta philosophy is based on these three oaths in the Talmud, a few lines down on the very same page of the Talmud it lists three more oaths: 1. That the end (ketz) should not be revealed, 2. That the end should not be pushed off, 3. That the secret should not be shared with the non-Jews.. Many rabbis have ruled that the secret in question is the very oaths we’re discussing. If Neturei Karta have effectively created an entire religion revolving around these oaths what on earth are they doing violating the sixth one by distributing flyers publicising them?