Quantcast

Jewish Journal

JewishJournal.com

May 17, 2013

Thousands protest in Jerusalem against haredi draft

http://www.jewishjournal.com/israel/article/thousands_protest_in_jerusalem_against_haredi_draft

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men attend a demonstration against plans to enlist men from their community into the military, near the recruitment offices in Jerusalem on May 16. Photo by REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men attend a demonstration against plans to enlist men from their community into the military, near the recruitment offices in Jerusalem on May 16. Photo by REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Thousands of haredi Orthodox Israelis protested in Jerusalem against plans to enlist haredi men into the military.

The protesters gathered Thursday night near the city’s military draft bureau to hear rabbis warn that army service would irreparably harm their way of life.

“The government wants to uproot and secularize us,” Rabbi David Zycherman said, according to Reuters, “They call it a melting pot, but people cannot be melted.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government has committed to expanding the draft to include haredi men, most of whom receive exemptions on religious grounds.

The strong showing in January’s election by Yesh Atid, the party of Finance Minister Yair Lapid, was attributed in large part to pledges to resist demands by Orthodox parties and spread the burden of army service and taxation more evenly across Israeli society.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said at least 20,000 protesters took part in Thursday’s demonstrations. There were about a dozen arrests after protesters hurled bottles and stones at officers, some on horseback, Rosenfeld said. Police used stun grenades to quell the unrest. A water cannon was also deployed when protesters set a garbage bin on fire. At least six officers required medical treatment and two were taken to hospital, Rosenfeld said.

Most Israeli women and men are subject to two to three years of mandatory military once they turn 18. Exceptions are made for most Arab citizens of Israel as well as haredi Orthodox men and women.

JewishJournal.com is produced by TRIBE Media Corp., a non-profit media company whose mission is to inform, connect and enlighten community
through independent journalism. TRIBE Media produces the 150,000-reader print weekly Jewish Journal in Los Angeles – the largest Jewish print
weekly in the West – and the monthly glossy Tribe magazine (TribeJournal.com). Please support us by clicking here.

© Copyright 2014 Tribe Media Corp.
All rights reserved. JewishJournal.com is hosted by Nexcess.net
Web Design & Development by Hop Studios 0.1295 / 42