Sanhedrin Makes Link with Turkish Author to Oppose “The Unbelievers”

In 2005 I wrote the first of several postings about a group in Israel calling itself the “Sanhedrin”. It claimed to be the reinstitution of the ancient Jewish body, and it began by announcing a theocratic agenda for Israel: absurdly, one early priority was a call for monarchy, with Rabbi Yosef Dayan – known for having performed a “death curse” against Ariel Sharon – as lead candidate for the job. Also on board was Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, who was sympathetic to an extremist attempt to blow up the Dome of the Rock in the 1980s and who wants Christians and Muslims expelled as “idolators”, and the pseudo-archaeologist Vendyl Jones, who, although non-Jewish, is an ex-Christian who holds “Noachide” views. In the USA, apocalyptic Christian Zionists such as Hal Lindsey overlooked these  details to declare that the Sanhedrin was “extremely relevant to students of Bible prophecy”. Since its creation, I’ve noted that the Sanhedrin has declared that police who provide security for gay rights marches in Israel are criminals, and that Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh – who signed adminstrative orders hindering right-wing extremists in the West Bank – is a traitor. It has also denounced the Israeli Supreme Court as “anti-Jewish”, demanding “an alternative legal system based on Jewish sources”.

Recently, the Sanhedrin has been forging links with Adnan Oktar, a Turkish Muslim who has churned out hundreds of books on Islam and other subjects. Joel Richardson recently met him, and told us that:

Surprising to me was the fact that Adnan has developed a very friendly relationship with the Israel Sanhedrin Rabbis who also are surprisingly very much in favor of this Turkish led Islamic Union. Most notable is Mr. Oktar’s friendship with Rabbi Menachem Fromen. Also of interest is Mr. Oktar’s call to rebuild the Jewish Temple.

Oktar’s website has further details of their interview:

JOEL RICHARDSON: Final question: I was also fascinated to learn that you have been in dialogue with the Sanhedrin Rabbis of Jerusalem, of Israel. That you have been in contact with Rabbi Menachem Froman. And that you have a very warm relationship with these Rabbis and that they seem to be endorsing and comm[e]nding your call for a Turkish led Islamic union. Could you tell us a little bit about that? I was also interested to learn just before I came that this very influential Rabbi Menachem Froman had spoken with George Mitchel the Middle East envoy from the Obama administration and that he had personally appealed to Mr. Mitchel to utilize you as a significant peace negotiator for the Middle East. Would you be willing to share a few of those things?

ADNAN OKTAR: …Of course the Rabbis love me, that is the truth. They do love me a lot. They regard me as a good Muslim, as a good Muslim leader. But I do not regard myself as a future leader of the region in that sense, not as a Muslim leader with such a mission….In other words, I will never accept any political role, but if spiritual support or service is needed I will happily provide it. That is the purpose of my life, and I will do it even if they do not want me. However they love me and I love them back, to say the truth I have a profound affection for them. We have also Christian brothers here and I love them, too. There are Orthodox and Catholics and Evangelicals, and we sometimes dine together, and I love them very deeply. They are entrusted to us by Allah, so there is no reason for us not to love them. Of course we will love them.

(Richardson later clarified that Fromen himself is not part of the Sanhedrin)

Meanwhile, the Sanhedrin website announced that:

From June 30 – July 3, 2009, representatives of the Jerusalem Court for Bnei Noah met with Mr. Adnan Oktar, also known as Harun Yahya. Two statements were prepared, one from the Jerusalem Court, one from Mr. Oktar.

The Sanhedrin statement included the following:

Our struggle should be against denial of Truth, especially against atheism, not against other believers. And even that struggle should be one emphasizing kindness and compassion knowing that most people today have lost their way.

Despite the urgent need for cooperation, certain circles are inciting conflict. The success of this incitement needs to be understood, not only in terms of materialism but also in terms of human emotions and sociological interactions, because without understanding at a very basic level it is hardly likely that a successful strategy be developed to counteract the incitement – or to address the factors which are perceived as excuses for the incitement. Without understanding the factors exacerbating conflict, it will hardly be possible to strengthen the dialogue and cooperation between civilizations. Today, many ideological struggles continue to divide the world. However, the major ideological conflict is not between religions, but between people who believe in Truth, in G-d’s existence and in the need for cooperation, on the one hand, and on the other hand people who deny Truth, who deny Holiness: – the unbelievers. There is only one way to defeat the alliance of the various groups of unbelievers on an ideological level: to discover all the economic, psychological and sociological forces which power this behavior, and to find a combination of economic, psychological and sociological forces to counteract and eradicate the negative and destructive influences of anti-religious materialism and further the cause of a society dominated by morality, happiness, tranquility, security, and prosperity. This will be done by forming an alliance of all conscientious people, namely, the righteous among Christians and Muslims, along with devout Jews, who will come together and unite in this common cause.

Thus the first project which must be undertaken is investigation and teaching, a new center of learning and law: the founding a new university. The purpose of this university is to investigate the mistaken ideologies which are the source of denial of God and Truth, and to develop ways to overcome them.

Oktar concurred, with a typical attack on science:

The whole world is literally under the control of a Darwinist, materialist dictatorship. Teachers at universities are unable to see that evolution is a lie and students cannot say a word of criticism of evolution in their exams, while conferences about Darwinism are even held in the Vatican. This is a clear sign of how grim the state of affairs is. Devout Jews, Muslims and Christians are oppressed everywhere in the world and unable to live according to their faiths, and in many places they are forbidden to remember Allah at all. And materialists and atheists are doing this together, they are in a total alliance against believers. Under these conditions, the alliance of true believers must also be a very powerful one. If we collaborate closely together then, insha’Allah, all of Asia, all the Middle East and the whole world will enter a perfect age of peace and ease. But of course Muslims and Jews, and also Christians, must ally themselves together. In fact, if the will exists the world can be made a perfect place in a week, a month, or at most a year. En excellent situation can be formed very quickly. But the whole problem lies in putting it into practice, practicalities, a climate of security, a climate of sincerity and fervent love. Let us tell young Israelis at universities of the existence and oneness of Allah. Let us describe the invalidity of Darwinism. Let us describe the invalidity of materialism. Let us tell young people in Palestine of the danger of atheism. Let us describe how Darwinism has collapsed and the true moral values of the Qur’an…Insha’Allah, atheism can have no effect once we have a generation that is well-informed against Darwinism, highly cultured, very devout, that fears Allah and has a strong love for Him and whose members love and respect one another.

This is as expected – Otkar has produced several Creationist tomes, including an Atlas of Creation for schools which declares that “Darwinism and materialism”, rather than extremist religion, is responsible for contemporary terrorism. The Atlas was published in English and mailed out to scientists around the world; Richard Dawkins gives his assessment here.

However, there’s now been a curious development. The Sanhedrin website has removed these statements, and instead there is a weird message:

Dear Friends,

Until the meeting of the Sanhedrin confirms publication, please remove information of the meeting from the sites.

Beezrat Hashem the meeting will take place 21 July.

Thank you,
Rabbi Yeshayahu Hollander

Richardson has also agreed to remove a posting he made on the subject, while a video on Otkar’s website is not working. A couple of photos remain on Otkar’s site, so the meeting certainly has already occured. Presumably something has been lost in translation, and the “21 July” date refers to some kind of new statement.

Perhaps a problem has emerged given Otkar’s somewhat schizophrenic views on Jews. In his meeting with the Rabbis, he denounced anti-Semitism:

The People of the Book are entrusted to us by Allah, and the Jews’ devotion to the Prophet Musa and the Prophet Sulayman and their respect for the Prophet Davud are all factors that increase our love and compassion for them many times over. It is most important for believers in the one Allah to love one another at a time when atheism and irreligion are so widespread and when Darwinism and materialism are propagandized so blatantly. We therefore need to create opportunities to become better acquainted with one another. Let our Jewish brothers come and be our guests, and let our Muslim brothers be their guests in Israel.

But this is also a man who has been linked with Holocaust denial and anti-Jewish conspiracy theories. Radio Islam carries a list of titles, including The New Masonic Order,

…clearly demonstrating that the Secular World Order was established by ‘certain people’ and is still administered by them…The real origins of Freemasonry: Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem, Rosicrucians and Cabalists…The story of the influence of Israel over the USA and the Jewish lobby in Washington…

Judaism and Freemasonry, meanwhile,

…discloses the real identity of the Freemasonry organization using the sources of Masonry itself. Many people in Turkey’s first knowledge of this organization was acquired as a result of this book.

Worse than these, though, is another book – not on the Radio Islam list – entitled Holocaust Deception.

[UPDATE: Otkar claims that the Holocaust Deception was written by someone else – see my posting here.]

Michael Hopkins noted the existence of this book in an article for Talk Origins, but he received a curious rebuttal:

I am writing to you from Istanbul, Turkey on behalf of Harun Yahya. I am a regular visitor of and I saw your web page recently. I want to draw your attention to a mistake about Harun Yahya in your review of the SRF in Istanbul. Harun Yahya does not deny the reality of the Holocaust but denounces it. He has a very well known website visited and appreciated by many Jews and people of other faiths called The real version of his book titled The Violence of the Holocaust is enclosed for your reference (Unfortunately it is in Turkish and has not been prepared in English yet). The book posted at has not been published and will not be published. I will be very pleased if you correct this information on your website and let us know.

Holocaust Violence can be seen here; in it, Otkar blames Darwin for the Holocaust, and tells us that “social Darwinism” begat a “corrupted” form of “radical Zionism”:

This book does not criticize patriotic Jews’ justified behavior and demands, but rather the mindset and practices of certain radical and racist Zionists…History shows that so long as radical Zionist ideology is not renounced, the Jews—and therefore their neighbors and the entire region—can never enjoy peace. To avoid any repetition of painful experiences from the past; to attain a lasting peace in the Middle East; and for Jews and Arabs to live in peace and security in their own lands will be possible only if both sides abandon all forms of radical tendencies and turn towards true religious moral values. Our hope is that the facts set out in this book will encourage a major step in that direction.

However, as Hopkins notes, the rebuttal does not claim that Holocaust Deception does not exist, only that it “has not been published and will not be published”. The fact Otkar has also written Holocaust Violence, which contradicts it, proves only that he is inconstant. And in fact the book was published: the cover and text can be accessed here, and a 1997 review from the Holocaust-denying Institute of Historical Review (1) specfically praises it as an “attractively laid out volume, with numerous photographs, nine pages of source reference notes, an eight-page bibliography, and a good index.” Further:

The book’s first section explores in detail the little-known story of collaboration between Zionists and Third Reich Germany, relying in part on an article on this subject in the June-August 1993 issue of this Journal.

Holocaust deception and fraud is the focus of the book’s second section, which relies to a considerable extent on books and other material put out by the Institute for Historical Review, including the IHR Journal. This section traces the development and impact of Holocaust revisionism, showing how revisionist scholars have succeeded in debunking numerous Holocaust claims. Accompanying this detailed survey of revisionist scholarship are photographs of such key personalities as Henri Roques, Fred Leuchter, Germar Rudolf, Arthur Butz, David Irving and Robert Faurisson.

Yahya’s anti-Jewish writings have been logged by the Stephen Roth Institute; however, in 2004 it noted that:

Numerous books by the Turkish Islamist Adnan Oktar, aka Adnan Hodja, are on display in almost every bookstore, under the pseudonym Harun Yahya. His revisionist writings focusing on Jews and Israel are rife with false accusations and caricatures. It should be noted, however, that Adnan Oktar has undergone a change and become more tolerant toward Jews and others; he now works toward promoting inter-religious dialogue.

That may be so, but clearly Otkar is a propaganist who writes whatever is expedient in a given situation. Without an explicit repudiation for past anti-Semitism, a meeting with the Sanhedrin looks opportunistic for all concerned.

Yahya Holocaust Deception

Yayha and Sanhedrin