What is the Neturei Karta’s internal structure, and how many Neturei Karta are there?
On one level, Neturei Karta is an ideological movement at the farthest fringes of Orthodox Judaism; it is not a formal organization. A number of Neturei Karta activists, however, have joined together to form an organization called Neturei Karta International, which runs two Web sites. There are probably fewer than 100 actual Neturei Karta activists (the ones carrying placards and speaking at anti-Israel rallies), but the total number of people who would identify themselves as Neturei Karta in New York, England and Israel could be as many as a few thousand. Neturei Karta members often claim that tens or even hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews and Hassidim share their beliefs, but this is patently false.
Although there are segments of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community and some Hassidic Jews who do not embrace Zionism (which they view as a secularist and godless movement) and in the early 1900s opposed on theological grounds the creation of a Jewish state, these movements are sufficiently pragmatic to permit their members who live in Israel to pay taxes, use social services, vote and even form their own political parties. By contrast, Neturei Karta adherents who live in Israel do not vote, do not accept any government assistance, and reportedly even refuse to use Israeli passports. Some ultra-Orthodox, who may not be conversant with these distinctions, might support Neturei Karta just because they appear to be pious men expressing opposition to Zionism.