Orthodox confront Neturei Karta sect

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 21, 2010

Police were called to a two-hour stand-off between Neturei Karta followers and a counter-demonstration of Orthodox Jews outside a Manchester hotel on Tuesday night.

Around 30 men from the anti-Zionist fringe Chasidic sect held placards decrying Israel and aliyah outside the Fairways Lodge hotel in Prestwich.

The group, condemned by all leading Manchester rabbis, were protesting against a meeting of pro-aliyah organisation Nefesh B’Nefesh being held there. The meeting was to have taken place in the nearby strictly Orthodox synagogue Shaarei Mordechai, but moved venues twice as news of a demonstration spread.

Rabbi Shimon Flaur, who claimed to have organised the Neturei Karta protest, spurred his followers by chanting “this is Zionist propaganda” and calling Israel a “terrorist state”.

Orthodox and strictly Orthodox counter-demonstrators gathered nearby. Some waved Israeli flags.

Last updated: 3:54pm, January 21 2010