Jerusalem - Chareidim Protest New Draft Laws That Would Offer Postponements, Not Exemptions, From Military Service
Jerusalem - Thousands of Chareidim took to the streets of Jerusalem today to protest a recent amendment to the IDF draft law that would extend the grace period for Chareidi enlistment but would still require Chareidim to serve in the army.
The demonstration began at Kikar Shabbos and marched up Rechov Malchei Yisroel into Geula, with protestors carrying signs that said “This is the salvation of the yeshiva world?” and “Tens of hunters are waiting to ambush our children,”. Some of the protestors were dressed in sack cloth and several tangled with police who were forced to use tear gas to restore order.
The Plag Yerushalmi group, under the auspices of Rav Shmuel Auerbach, has taken a militant stance against any forced conscription and is joined by the Eida Chareidis which does not recognize the Israeli government. Both have opposed the changes to the original draft bill, which was modified to extend the grace period for Chareidi enlistment to eight years and would not enforce any criminal sanctions against those who failed to enlist. The amendment was made in conjunction with some representatives of the Chareidi community.
This is the first time that Charedi representatives have voted to set laws that will require members of the Torah world to enlist,” said Yehoshua Wein, a member of Plag Yerushalmi who was instrumental in organizing today’s demonstration. “The proof is that the Chareidi representatives who supported this idea and agreed that the Chareidi public will send its sons to the army have implemented a complete change in the relationship that has existed between the Chareidi world and the IDF since the birth of Israel until now.”
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