Israeli Orthodox Jews Protest Plan To Force Military Service

Israeli Orthodox Jews Protest Plan To Force Military Service


Hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox, or
Haredi, Jews flooded the streets of Jerusalem Sunday to protest a bill that would force
them to be part of Israel’s military draft. An estimated 300,000 Haredi Jews turned up
in the capital, blocking traffic during the morning and early afternoon. The rally was
supervised by about 3,500 police and security officials. But by evening the demonstrators
had peacefully dispersed. (Via Israel Videos Feed) Traditionally, Haredi men have been exempt
from Israel’s compulsory military service, signing up for religious schools instead.
But a bill expected to pass the country’s parliament this month would make it a crime
for Haredi Jews to avoid the draft. The bill has led to clashes between the Haredi
and the Israeli government before. Last month a protest in Ashdod threatened to turn violent
after Israeli police began using water cannons on demonstrators. (Via Euronews) Protesters accuse the government of trampling
on their religious beliefs. One demonstrator told The Jerusalem Post, “The goal of the
government in getting haredim to go to the army is to get them to abandon their religion.” “We contribute in our way. We’ve proven that
our contribution helps the community and kept the people of Israel as one nation throughout
3,000 years.” (Via Al Jazeera) But government officials have been pushing
to end the exemption, saying it encourages the Haredim to disconnect from the modern
world. Israel’s economy minister wrote in The New York Times last month that military
participation would help Haredi Jews find work later in life. “With extremely low labor participation, ultra-Orthodox
Jews … have unfortunately slipped into a situation of welfare and poverty. … This
situation must end.” Ultra-Orthodox Jews constitute about 11 percent
of Israel’s roughly 8 million people.

2 comments

  1. That would be like trying to force the Amish or Quakers in the US to join the military. Just a really bad idea. I agree with the Orthodox Jews, this is a move to weaken the Orthobox's faith. Like the Native American's taken as kids to boarding schools. This is a plan to brain wash as many Orthodox Jews as they can, break them from their faith while separated from their fellows. While I am no fan of religion, I think this is a horrible move on the Zionist governments part, and likely in part due to Orthodox Jews who don't support the Nation of Israel as the religious requirements have not yet been fulfilled for the nation to be reborn according to Orthodox faith.

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