Jews who criticize or oppose Zionism are usually Orthodox and maintain that Israel can only be regained
miraculously. They view the present state
as a blasphemous human attempt to usurp Gd's role, and many actively work to dismantle the secular State of Israel. However,
unlike many gentile antiZionists, Jewish anti-Zionists usually
firmly believe in the Jewish right to the Land of Israel,
but only at the future time of redemption.
The bestknown group of the Jewish religious antiZionists
are the Neturei Karta.
Two common religious grounds are typically
given for antiZionism. One is that today's
Zionism is a secular Zionism, packed with
nonJewish influences, and lacking key
features like Moshiach and the rebuilt Temple.
Adherents to this position are more on the
nonZionist, rather than antiZionist,
side. The other reason is that the Talmud (Meseches Kesuvos, 111a), as part of
a discussion of certain Torah verses mentioning oaths, states that when
Israel went into the second exile, there were
three vows between Heaven and Earth:
1. Israel would not "go up like a
wall" [conquer Eretz Yisrael by massive
2. Gd made Israel swear that they
would not rebel against the nations of the
world [would obey the governments in the
3. Gd made the nonJews swear
not to oppress Israel "too much"
[translation of phrase yoter midai].
Groups accepting these positions are more
on the antiZionist side.
The religious counterreply to the above
is that secular Zionism is a preliminary stage
Zionism, and that the vows no longer apply
since the gentiles violated their part (by
such actions as the Roman persecutions, the Spanish
Inquisition and the Nazi
Holocaust). The Balfour
Declaration of 1917 and the United
Nations partition vote of 1947 are also regarded
as having given permission to the Jews to
reestablish the state by the nonJewish
rulers of the area. Once this permission was
granted it could not be revoked. It should
also be noted that the oaths cited above are
only mentioned as a side point in one place
in a discussion in the Gemara, and as the
viewpoint of an individual. Many people feel
that they do not apply in any case.
Some Religious Zionist Jews see the formation
of the secular state as accelerating the process
of redemption, with themselves playing a major
role in doing Gd's will by serving the
state, whose creation is often seen as miraculous.
Jews are pleased that Israel exists from a
practical standpoint-as a haven for oppressed
Jews and as a land imbued with holiness wellsuited
for Torah study. But they don't generally
assign religious significance to the formation
of the modern state, and often decry aspects
of its secular culture.