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An ultra-Orthodox Hasidic sect, founded in New York in 1947 by Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, passionately anti-Zionist and hostile to the existence of the State of Israel. Connected to the Neturei Karta movement, the Satmar, named after the Hungarian city of Szatmar, is a rival of the Lubavitch. While for the latter the creation of Israel was an act of God, for the Satmar the Jewish state cannot exist before the coming of the Messiah. By the 1960s the Satmar community in the Williamsburg section of New York City was the largest Hasidic community in the United States, and today it is the largest in the world. Most members outside the United States live in London; there are only about four hundred in Israel, migration to which is actively discouraged by the sect.

Rabbi Teitelbaum attracted worldwide Jewish attention on several occasions when he was the only prominent Jewish figure to categorically renounce the newly founded Jewish state and to lament Israel's victory in the Six-Day War. Considering it sinful for Jews to establish their own state prior to the arrival of the Moshiach (or Messiah), he publicly expressed this through sobbing and shouting; but his followers loved and admired him enough to tolerate the negative publicity they received. He died in 1977 and was succeeded by his nephew, Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, who holds Israel responsible for its wars with the Arabs.

SEE ALSO Hasidism;Lubavitcher Hasidim;Neturei Karta;Messiah;Moshiach.