Every year, tens of thousands of supporters of Israel flock to New York City for the Celebrate Israel Parade, a truly stunning display of Zionism and Jewish pride. And every year, a small group of radical anti-Zionists from the extremist Neturei Karta sect turn out for a meager counter-protest, barely registered by the majority of Parade participants.
In recent years, Neturei Karta activists have been accused of employing a "rent-a-crowd" – paying non-Jews, usually immigrants, to dress up as Orthodox Jews and pose with anti-Israel signs to make up for their own steadily dwindling numbers.
On the surface, yesterday's parade was no different, except that by many accounts the demonstration was somewhat smaller than usual.
But there was one thing: participants who looked a little closer noticed, much to their amusement, that Neturei Karta appeared to have gone cheap on their actors' costumes.
Several eye-witnesses, including members of Arutz Sheva's own delegation to the event, said that for a significant period of time the Neturei Karta protest consisted of just one actual Jew, who spent his time directing a crowd of poorly-disguised Hispanic and other non-Jewish actors wielding anti-Zionist and – oddly – homophobic signs at paraders.
The following pictures were submitted by Rabbi Elchanan Poupko, an Arutz Sheva who was present at the Sunday parade.
"As we came close to the Neturei Karta group and the other group protesting the Israel Day Parade, we were shocked to discover that only one Jew was there while at the same time he hired Hispanic and other non-Jews, dressed them with tzitzit and Nachman kippot and had them hold his sign as if they are Jews," Rabbi Poupko related.