Moshe Hirsch, an American-born anti-Zionist rabbi and close associate of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, has died in Jerusalem, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish group said Monday. He was 86.
Hirsch was a leading figure in Neturei Karta, a tiny ultra-Orthodox sect that opposes Israel's existence as a Jewish state and has embraced its enemies. He was born in New York and attended a rabbinical academy in New Jersey.
Arafat, who died in 2004, appointed Hirsch his adviser on Jewish affairs.
Neturei Karta, which is Aramaic for "Guardians of the City," was founded some 70 years ago in Jerusalem by Jews who opposed the drive to establish the state of Israel. Estimates of the group's size range from a few hundred to a few thousand. Hirsch was the son-in-law of the group's founder, Rabbi Aharon Katzenelbogen.