Jewish Journal

Solidarity in Israel Between the Left and the Ultra-Orthodox

by Jeremy Elster

March 13, 2014 | 7:00 am

Alongside of hundreds of thousands of Haredim, who demonstrated earlier this week (2/3/2014) against forced military recruitment, dozens of activists joined a demonstration in Tel Aviv in solidarity with the ultra-Orthodox. The question is, what drives leftist activists to demonstrate with a group that seemed far from radical leftist ideology? This week also saw more than 50 Israeli high schoolers of draft age send a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu signaling their intent to refuse military service in protest of the occupation of the West Bank and high moral cost of army service on Israeli society. And what are the implications for realizing Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State?

Yesterday, members of the Israeli governing coalition in the Knesset began voting on a series of three controversial bills. This includes the bill to draft Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) into the military, another to raise the election threshold for entrance into the government from 2% to 3.25%, and the third to require approval via national referendum for any peace deal that includes withdrawal from Israeli territories.

On Wednesday, the Haredi conscription bill passed in Israel by a vote of 67-1

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Jeremy Elster is a Southern Californian native and New Israel Fund/SHATIL Social Justice Fellow working as the International Communications Coordinator for Israel Social TV...

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