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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Thousands of Haredim Riot over IDF Draft (Video)

Haredim could turn hate into love by serving in the army and showing non-religious soldiers the Light of Torah,
Police and Haredim scuffle on main road near Bnei Brak.

Police and Haredim scuffle on main road near Bnei Brak.
Photo Credit: Screenshot

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Thousands of Haredim took to the streets Thursday afternoon, blocked the roads in several cites and threw Molotov cocktails at police, who arrested more than three dozen protesters.

The riot ostensibly was over the arrest and five-day jail sentence of a Haredi youth for not reporting to the IDF after receiving a draft notice, but that was only another splash of oil on the fire  lit by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
The judges told the government to stop funding yeshivas whose students do not serve in the military. The government currently is in new territory because it has not yet come up with a new law concerning military service Haredim.

The Haredi protest, as usual, managed to disrupt as much traffic as possible and irritate as many fellow Jews as possible to make sure that the general public has more reason to be intolerant of a community that does not tolerate government law that is not to its liking.

Police used water cannons and rode on horses to disperse the protests that blocked the entrance to Jerusalem from the Tel Aviv highway.

Other demonstrations took place at Bnei Brak and Ashdod, where more than a dozen Haredi protesters were arrested for assaulting police and causing public unrest.

As for the yeshiva student who was arrested and jailed, and Haredi leaders threatened there are thousands of others who are ready to join him and crowd the prisons to Standing Room Only.

Jerusalem Haredi Rabbi David Zicherman said,  “We will start a war with the State of Israel, and it will burn like wildfire. We, Holocaust survivors, are now encountering a spiritual Holocaust” because they are ordered to leave their yeshivas to serve in the army.

Haredi leader could initiate a far more effective protest that might be even be more uncomfortable for the largely secular Israeli public. They could enlist en masse, take advantage of the special IDF programs for Haredi soldiers and spend part of their days of training and service by learning Torah and doing some “kiruv” to educate non-religious soldiers. The Haredi youth could perform a big mitzvah by sharing some of their knowledge of Torah with soldiers who don’t know the difference between Kiddush and Kaddish.

The result would be either the IDF saying it can’t handle any more Haredi youth and that they should go back to learning, or perhaps enough non-religious soldiers would see the Light of Torah and turn the IDF into a religious army and not just an Israeli army.

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About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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7 Responses to “Thousands of Haredim Riot over IDF Draft (Video)”

  1. John Keytack says:

    Are they Levites? The Holy Scriptures give an exemption from military service to Levites and newly married men.

  2. Once (upon a time) ONLY religious men defended Israel. And many unreligious Jews would not have been considered Jews. But….

  3. Are there any innocent people in palestine?

  4. Ben II says:

    they shouldn’t be rioting, they should be joining the cause.

  5. Israel is at war, make no mistake. In a time of war, all Jews are called on to report to duty. (Exemptions made on a case by case basis, of course.) If there is no Israel left to defend, there will be no Torah left to learn.

  6. Too bad fanatics give regular believers such a bad name when they act like this. If they don’t want to fight, why did they riot? The Quakers never did that. They just sat down and refused to go. They are still exempt.

  7. Bobby Harris says:

    i wish to see Israel be defended if someone loves Israel that much should be drafted into the IDF to defend the land and the jews they shouldn't fight against it why not join IDF and be proud of the homeland that would be a good thing to do we need more defenders there and that's important for Israel's future

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