Netuei Karta Member Convicted Of Trying To Spy For Iran


Israeli media is reporting that a member of Netuei Karta, an ultra-orthodox Jewish group which calls for the destruction of Israel,  has been convicted of offering to spy for Iran. According to a Times of Israel report:

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man who was convicted of offering to spy for Iran was sentenced to a four-and-a-half-year prison term by the Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday.

Yitzhak Bergel, a 46-year-old a member of the anti-Zionist fringe group Neturei Karta, met with Iranian officials at their embassy in Berlin in 2011.

Bergel attempted to enter the embassy on January 17, but found it to be closed. Returning the following day, he was shepherded into an inner room at the embassy and there met with three unidentified men.

He told the Iranian officials that he denies the existence of the State of Israel and offered to spy for Iran. He also explained to the officials that he was not interested in asylum, and was ‘willing to murder a Zionist.’

The Iranian officials gave Bergel a note with an email address where they said he would find a message. They also asked him to maintain telephone contact with them.

Three days after the meeting, Bergel returned to Israel and began to check the email account repeatedly, and even attempted to contact someone named ‘Haji Baba’ by phone.

Bergel was arrested in mid-July. As part of a plea bargain, he confessed to charges of treason and contacting a foreign agent.

Reads the rest here.

Netuei Karta International (Jews United Against Zionism) is known for its opposition to the establishment of Israel and its leaders have said that the creation of Israel “was a heresy made up by the Zionists to undermine the true Jewish life” and that “We will not lose hope and dream of dismantling the state of Israel.” In 2006, the leaders attended a Holocaust denial conference in Iran and have issued public statements denying that Iranian President Ahmadinejad was anti-Semitic after calling for destruction of Israel. Netuei Karta rabbis have frequently supported and attended events with global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi including a 2005 London press conference where Qaradawi reiterated his support for suicide bombings in Israel. Qaradawi has appeared with the Naturei Karta rabbis in public before and calls them “a big segment of Jews opposing the Zionist entity.” However, there appears to be no evidence that the group, descended from Hungarian Jews that settled in Jerusalem’s Old City in the early nineteenth century, has any substantial membership.

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