Car of U.K. Rabbi, Member of anti-Zionist Neturei Karta, Is Burned in Arson Attack

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Members of Neturei Karta with Hamas.Credit: Reuters

A U.K. rabbi who has spoken out against Israel's efforts against Hamas in Gaza was again targeted by attackers, who this time burned his car outside his home, a media report says.

No one was hurt in the arson attack but Aharon Cohen's Volvo was destroyed, the Manchester Evening News reported. Police are investigating, the paper reported. The rabbi lives in Broughton, Salford, which is a borough of Manchester in northwest England.

The paper said he'd spoken at a recent pro-Gaza demonstration.

And it quoted Cohen as saying, "Imagine if a group of foreigners set up a state in Lancashire. I don't think it would be a lot different to the reaction of the Palestinians to the formation of the state of Israel. It's been a disaster, a festering sore that goes back 100 years."

The rabbi has been the subject of attacks for several years, the paper reported.

Cohen is a member of Neturei Karta, an Orthodox Jewish sect that rejects Zionism and the establishment of Israel. The group holds that a Jewish state can be formed only with the coming of the Messiah.

In late 2006, he attended and spoke at a Holocaust-denial conference in Tehran. In a speech titled "Orthodox Jewish attitude toward the `Holocaust,'" Cohen said:

"the Orthodox Jewish teaching and attitude is that the perpetrators of a crime, although fully guilty and responsible for their actions, would never have succeeded in their evil unless the A-lmighty wished it. Our task is to accept the will of the A-lmighty and to strive to improve ourselves, removing from our behavior the deeds that may have been the cause of our suffering."

And he said the Zionists, "with their secular pompous approach[,] behave in complete opposition to this philosophy and dare to say 'Never Again.' They have the audacity to think that they can prevent the A-lmighty from repeating a 'Holocaust'. This is heresy.

"My friends I wish to end with the prayer that the underlying cause of strife and bloodshed in the Middle East, namely, the State known as 'Israel,' be totally and peacefully dissolved. To be replaced by a regime fully in accordance with the aspirations of the Palestinians."