The Neturei Karta faction has come out against the custom - common among ultra-Orthodox boys - of dressing up as soldiers on Purim, and warned that such costumes were even worse that those of Christian priests.
In pamphlets distributed among their public, the stream's leaders urged their followers not to masquerade as policemen, soldiers, rescue workers, ZAKA crew or other forms of national service, and avoid wearing "impure symbols."
Haredi kids in 'forbidden' costumes (Photo: AFP)
In an article titled "On Purim I Do Not Wear Zionist Outfits," they wrote: Would anyone wear the clothes of pagan priests? Let alone the clothes of those who serve the heretical monstrosity that descended from Israel."
The article went on to say that, "The offspring of God, the king of kings do not wear the clothes of the Zionist Amalek… also on Purim one must not wear a garment adorned with words that are insulting to the leader and the congregation."
Denial of the state
Neturei Karta is an extremist ultra-Orthodox stream that opposes Zionism and does not recognize the State of Israel and its institutions, believing that the existence of a secular state constitutes heresy against God.
The community's members do not recognize the courts' authority, do not take part in local and national elections, do not send their children to the public education system and do not serve in the army. They also refrain from using Hebrew as their daily language, do not carry an identification card and refuse to accept money from the state, although most of them pay taxes.
Most of the congregation, about 400 families, resides at the Mea Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem; a 100 more families live in Beit Shemesh and several other families live in Bnei Brak. Other Neturei Karta communities can be found in the United States, the UK and Canada.