Dovid Weiss

Dovid Weiss

: Photo from Wikimedia Commons / Author of Photo: Nima Najafzadeh


* Neturei Karta rabbi and anti-Israel activist
* Views Zionism as “the world-wide disease”
* Participated in 2007 Holocaust conference in Tehran
* Embraced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as an “advocate of peace”

Born in 1956 to Hungarian Jewish parents who had survived the Holocaust, Dovid Weiss is a frequent lecturer on American college campuses — primarily at the invitation of chapters of the Muslim Students Association. A rabbi in full Hasidic garb, he sports a pin of a Palestinian flag on his lapel and vilifies Zionism and Israel as evil according to “Jewish law.” He has called Zionism “the world-wide disease.”

Weiss belongs to the ultra-Orthodox sect Neturei Karta (NK), which he says “has always been in the forefront of those voices that have been raised in opposition to Zionism.” This organization, whose political views are close to those of the PLO’s Fatah group, believes that God punished the Jews with exile for their sins, and that a Jewish state cannot be reestablished until God redeems them and the Messianic Age begins. NK consequently views Zionism as a sinful departure from Judaism and calls for the dismantling of Israel.

Weiss summarizes his organization’s creed as follows:

“Zionism, from its inception, advocated and urged cruelty towards the Palestinian people. … Zionism advocates and executes war against all nations. … Zionism sadistically abuses [the poor and suffering]. … There is no excuse for the Zionist takeover of the Holy Land…. The Palestinian people have graciously agreed to participate in a so-called peace process with the Israeli government. That is most kind of them. However, we must warn them that it is our belief that until the scourge of Zionism, incarnated in the state of Israel, is removed from the Middle East there can be no peace. We are a people in exile. We are forbidden to attempt to reconquer the Holy Land…. We call for a peaceful dismantling of the Israeli state without violence or bloodshed.”

In 2001 Weiss was part of the Islamic Human Rights Commission delegation that attended the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. The conference aimed to condemn and punish “Israel’s belligerent occupation and systematic human rights violations as a racist, apartheid system” that was guilty of “racist crimes against humanity including ethnic cleansing [and] acts of genocide.”

In March 2006 Weiss was a member of a NK delegation that traveled to Tehran to meet with senior Iranian officials and express support for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s repeated calls for Israel’s elimination. In a statement to Iran’s official IRIB radio, NK called for “the disintegration of the Zionist regime” and called it “a dangerous deviation to pretend that the Iranian president is an anti-Jewish or anti-Semitic personality.”

In December 2006 Weiss and seven fellow NK rabbis returned to Tehran to meet with Ahmadinejad, embracing him and endorsing his stance that Israel has no right to exist. “We tried to appease them [the Iranians],” Weiss later told the New York Daily News. “We explained how the Holocaust is used to intimidate people who want to speak against the unjust Zionist regime.”

During a September 2007 Holocaust conference in Tehran, Weiss and a coterie of fellow NK members again met with the Holocaust-denying Ahmadinejad. Prior to that meeting, Weiss called the Iranian President an “advocate of peace.”

At his many public appearances over the years, Weiss has made such statements as the following:

  • “There will be no peace in the Middle East until there is no state of Israel.”
  • “Israel kills people to harvest and sell their body parts.”
  • “The suffering of the Jewish people in the Second World War … has been incessantly exploited by the Zionist propaganda machine since 1945.”
  • “Zionism is missing the most potent weapon in any ideology’s arsenal. It doesn’t have the truth on its side.”
  • “At times the Zionist conquest via immigration became an actual shooting conquest with acts of terror against Palestinians, British and other Jews becoming the order of the day.”
  • “The cat is out of the bag. The true amoral and immoral core of Zionism stands revealed. Its current actions are yet another revelation of its evil essence.”
  • “There is nothing holy about shooting and brutalizing women and children! There is nothing holy about stripping millions of people of their basic political rights! There is nothing holy about casting an innocent [Palestinian] nation into … exile!”
  • “The need to enforce Zionist claims by force of arms, the need to dispossess a people from their towns and homes, the need to wage incessant war, to brutalize a people, including their women and children is an inevitable result of this, hopefully, short-lived rebellion against God and elementary morality.”
  • “The key to peace is to return Palestine to the Palestinians in its entirety, including the Temple Mount and Jerusalem … [and] a full right of return for all Palestinian refugees.”
  • Speaking at a Nation of Islam convention in 2000, Weiss claimed that Israel was an “abomination of God.” “We apologize,” he added, “for the chutzpah, the nerve of the Zionist leaders who attack the honorable Minister [Louis] Farrakhan. All those who have called you [Farrakhan] an anti-Semite, let them be shamed…. All those who say they are Jews who speak ill of Mr. Farrakhan are not Jews.”

Portions of this profile have been adapted, with permission, from

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