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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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AG Blocks Draft Bill as Haredim Rally Outside EU Headquarters

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein ruled that in order to achieve complete equality, the draft law must be clipped of two major benefits for young Haredi recruits.
A Haredi rally outside the EU headquarters to protest the new bill imposing IDF recruitment on Haredi men some 3000 miles away, was nevertheless run in impeccable, dare we say military order.

A Haredi rally outside the EU headquarters to protest the new bill imposing IDF recruitment on Haredi men some 3000 miles away, was nevertheless run in impeccable, dare we say military order.
Photo Credit: Zhou Lei / Xinhua

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It was the first day of summer vacation, and representatives from the Haredi communities of Austria, Belgium, Britain, France and other European countries were bused in to rally outside the European Union headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on Monday, in protest of the new Israeli draft legislation that will require Haredi men to enlist.

The protesters appealed to the EU to put pressure on Israel to change the legislation.

Rabbi Betzalel Weisz, a rosh yeshiva from Stamford Hill, London, said Haredi Jews were obligated to offer their vocal support to the Haredim in Israel, and to urge them not to give up their staunch position that Haredim don’t serve in the army.

“The aim of the army and the Zionists is not defense but to undermine religion and remove Haredim from the religion,” Weisz said.

The rally was very well organized, in almost military style. The IDF would do well to recruit all these folks, if only as consultants on putting together projects involving large groups of people without accidents. Remember, these are the people that packed thousands into a stadium in Queens to protest the Internet.

Hraedi Rally EU 2

Meanwhile, the path of the new draft bill has been blocked, at least temporarily, by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, who ruled that in order to achieve complete equality, the draft law must be clipped of two major benefits for young Haredi recruits: deferment until age 21 and the choice between the civil and military service.

AG Weinstein wrote, regarding the age differential, that “this is a rule that carries with it a violation of the equality principle for recruits who are not yeshiva students, and who are generally drafted by the army at the age of 18.”

When’s the next bus to Brussels?

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About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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6 Responses to “AG Blocks Draft Bill as Haredim Rally Outside EU Headquarters”

  1. Judi Fradkin says:

    While I went to Yeshiva and have great rabbis in my family, I don’t think the Haredim should be excluded from the draft. This is not fair. My cousing Major Aryeh Artzi OBM was an observant Jew-shabbat Kosher, etc. He was killed defending the Jewish people in the Sinai during the Yom Kippur War. His life was just valuable as these Haredim. I dont’ think the Torah tells you to sit around and do nothing all day long. If they don’t like the laws of Israel, let they go to Europe. Please note again I am not anti FRUM . Torah u maddah.

  2. Charlie Hall says:

    Bad enough that Charedi Jews stage anti-Israel protests in New York, where they were pretty much ignored by everyone, but anti-Israel protests in Europe?

    And they wonder why so many Israelis are hostile to Charedim?

  3. Ruth Yehle says:

    God bless Margaret Thatcher, (first woman) President of the UK. And the father of my firstborn, Robert M. Pogue, MD, whose jahrzeits (anniversary of their deaths) are 3/8/13 and 3/9/13.

  4. Yechiel Baum says:

    Young able body men standing around collecting donations for their personal use wearing the best furs and silks but do not do Hashem's bidding of defending Jews and Eretz Yisrael. Such Hipocrasy. All donations to them should cease immediately and better used for those families whose men and women serve. If they are really studying, then they would learn that they must serve otherwise, they are phonies and cowards.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It's bad enough that the EU condemns Israel & gives us orders, but now Jews are asking for MORE condemnation & embarrassment in front of those who love to demonize us? For one thing these charedim are not Israeli citizens so they have no right to complain. But if they feel they must protest, why not in front of the Israeli embassy? The other thing is that many fellow Jews, especially in Israel, are finding it harder to tolerate these slackers. I really respect the Charedi IDF units who go against their fellows to give to the whole Jewish people, but these who not only don't have the faith & courage to live in the Jewish state while also demonstrating against it, earn no respect. What a chillul Hashem. Disgusting.

  6. What happened ti Bitul Torah?

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