Jerusalem member of Neturei Karta indicted on conspiracy, to spy for Iran



A Jerusalem man from the  Neturei Karta faction traveled to Berlin in 2011, offered the staff at the Iranian embassy to provide intel about Israel & even expressed his willingness ‘to murder a Zionist.

By Aviel Magnezi


Cleared for publication: A Jerusalem resident and member of the Neturei Karta faction, a radical haredi sect, has been charged with offering himself as a spy to the Iranian government.

Defendant in court Photo: Alex Kolomoisky

Defendant in court – Photo: Alex Kolomoisky

According to the indictment, the man, who is being charged with contacting a foreign agent and intention to commit treason, had contacted the Iranian government and offered his services as a spy.

In January 2011, the defendant boarded a flight to Berlin and a day later visited the Iranian embassy which had been closed. He went again a day later, in full ultra-Orthodox regalia, and asked for a meeting.

At the offices he met three unknown individuals including a person who introduced himself as “Haji Baba.” The defendant told the three he was an Israeli and member of the Neturei Karta sect explaining that the group does not recognize the State of Israel.

He further noted that he aims to replace the current government with one controlled by gentiles. He then offered the Iranians to gather information about Israel for them.



During the conversation, he asked the Iranians why aren’t they able to protect their people from Israeli assassination missions. He was rebuked of insulting Iran while asking for political asylum but replied he was not seeking asylum. He further noted that he is willing to murder a Zionist.

At the end of the meeting, the defendant was told that higher ranks needed to be consulted on the matter. “Haji Baba” gave him a note with an Iranian email account and instructed him to check it for a message from them. He was also given an embassy telephone number for future use.

The defendant returned to Israel four days later and checked the email account at an internet café in Jerusalem. He also used public payphones to phone the embassy in Berlin.

In one of the cases he asked to talk to Haji Baba but was told he was out of the office. The defendant intentionally avoided contacting the Iranians via his home computer and telephone.


The affair has now been cleared for publication after charges were filed against him.


‘Defendant a reclusive type’

The defendant is a member of a relatively moderate faction of Neturei Karta called Torah Veyira which is against cooperation with the Arab world against Israel. However it is still opposed the existence to the State of Israel. He resides in what is considered a more moderate haredi area in Jerusalem but his front door features stickers with anti-Zionist slogans.

Yoelish Kraus, a prominent activist within radical haredi ranks said, “The charges sound a bit bizarre both due to Torah Veyira’s opposition to contact with the Arabs and due to the defendant’s virtual lack of attendance in protests or other Neturei Karta functions.”

Kraus estimated that the stickers were posted on the door by the man’s children. He described him as a mysterious, reclusive type who was newly religious.

The defendant’s attorney, Yair Nehorai said: “We need to bear in mind that no damage was caused to the state or any other element and that the events happened more than two years ago.”



Yoav Zitun contributed to this report.

View original Ynet publication at:,7340,L-4412610,00.html