The Good and Bad Watchmen by Yair Davidiy (3 March, 2013, ADAR 21, 5773)
The Bible speaks of Watchmen in both the favorable and negative sense. The anti-Zionist movement known as Neturei Karta consider themselves Guardians or Watchmen of the City, and so they may be. If however they are watchmen, according to Scripture, then they are not of the positive type.
The name Neturei Karta is Aramaic and means Guardians of the City, cf.
6 I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
They shall never hold their peace day or night.
You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent,
7 And give Him no rest till He establishes
And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
Neturei Karta is against the existence of the State of Israel and considers it a negative force impeding the Coming of the Messiah.
The ideological framework of Neturei Karta is based on the Three Oaths.
These have been discussed in an article on the britam.org web-site:
THE THREE OATHS, ISRAEL, and EPHRAIM.. Religious Zionism, Jewish anti-Zionism, and the Lost Ten Tribes Today by Alexander Zephyr.
Basically the argument goes that the Jews should not try to return to the Land of Israel before the coming of the Messiah; or Rather, that they should not have strived to establish an independent State in the Land of Israel. This can be argued against according to Biblical Verses and various commentaries. On the whole, as Zephyr shows, the Biblical Message appears to be overwhelmingly in favor of the Zionist Position. Our article showing the present-day Jews to be the Biblical Judah also shows from Prophecy that towards the End Times the Jews would return to the Land, establish an independent kingdom, be militarily succesful, defeating their enemies, and preparing the infrastructure for all the rest of Israel, see Why the Jews are Judah! Nevertheless, the issue at the ground-floor level is a little more complicated. Not only Neturei Karta but ALSO many (but not all) of the Ultra-Orthodox are reserved concerning the secular State of Israel to some degree or other. The Zionist Movement was hijacked before the establishment of the State by Secular, often-Socialist, Liberal, Free-Thinking type elements. Some of them were anti-Religious and used Zionist ideology and their control of finances and the State apparatus to undermine Judaism. The Ultra-Orthodox, being in many ways the most religious, were discriminated against and often mistreated. In reaction many Ultra-Orthodox sharpened their attitudes towards the State per se.
The question of Neturei Karta however is entirely different. A majority of the Ultra-Orthodox, including even those who are reserved about Zionism, excoriate Neturei Karta even more
than the secular Zionists do. Even so, on certain points, when Neturei Karta demonstrates against desecration of the Sabbath in certain neighborhoods etc it will naturally receive some support from other Jews.
On the whole however, many amongst the Ultra-Orthodox consider Neturei Karta traitors to the Jewish People and desecrators of the Holy Name. Neturei Karta is a very small group who receive a lot of publicity. By Neturei Karta we mean primarily those who demonstrate against the State of Israel. They number about 100 males. In addition there are certain families in Israel who identify with Neturei Karta whose numbers altogether reach about 5000. For certain purposes the families of Neturei Karta receive financial assistance from other quarters, such as Satmar. Hasidei Satmar originally came from Hungary, are now mostly in the USA, and may now be comprised mostly of newcomers, who came from other Jewish religious groups and from elsewhere. Ideologically, Satmar agrees with Neturei Karta . Most Satmar followers however are against the type and style of public demonstrations that Neturei Karta engages in.
Neturei Karta is notorious for attempting to befriend enemies of the Jewish Peoples such as Palestinian PLO leaders, Iranian fanatics, the Afro-American Farrakhan, and other criminal-terrorist elements. Neturei Karta feeds off publicity and outrageous statements.
Why does Neturei Karta receive so much publicity?
The answer is that very many other elements WANT them to seem to be much more important than they really are!
Gentiles who are against the State of Israel want to show that there are religious Jews who agree with them. This makes it easier for them to maintain their stance without being accused of anti-Semitism.
Jews who may be in favor of the State of Israel but against the Jewish Religion want to believe that many more Ultra-Orthodox are fanatically anti-Zionist than is actually the case.
The list continues.
The Good and Bad Watchment. Scripture Works Both Ways!
Neturei Karta calls itself the Guardians or Watchmen of the City. They base their claims on a questionable allegorical interpretation of a few verses in the Song of Solomon. This same Biblical Book also speaks of the Watchmen of the City. They are the ones who beat and assault the maiden who is looking for her beloved. The Watchmen in this case symbolize the forces of darkness and the Gentile Nations who are against the reunion of the Jews and Israel with the Almighty.
Song of Solomon 5:
7 The watchmen who went about the city found me.
They struck me, they wounded me;
The keepers of the walls
Took my veil away from me.
Perhaps Neturei Karta really are the Watchmen described by Solomon?
A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.
1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.