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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘military draft’

Protest of Half a Million Haredim to Shut Down Jerusalem on Sunday

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Approximately half a million Haredim are expected to turn out for a massive “million-man” rally in Jerusalem early Sunday afternoon to protest the pending legislation to jail Haredim who refuse to report for duty in the IDF.

Highway 1, the major highway from Tel Aviv to the capital, will be closed at the entrance to the city from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., as well as Yafo (Jaffa) Road and other main arteries.

The Jerusalem branch of the Histadrut national labor union has issued a call to employers to release all workers from work by 12:30 p.m., with a full day’s pay, so they can head for home before mammoth traffic congestion. At least 1,700 buses are expected to bring Haredim to Jerusalem form all parts of the country for the protest, according to Daniel Bonfiel, director of the Jerusalem branch of the Histadrut.

That works out to more than 120,000 Haredi protesters, not including those from Jerusalem. However, Bonfiel predicted that 600,000 Haredim will attend the demonstration

The number of people who are defined as “Haredi” in the entire country varies from a bit less than half a million to 900,000.

The weather forecast favors the Haredim, with temperatures expected to be higher than usual for this time and no rain in sight.

Given this winter’s drought, one of the worst in recent memory, the Haredi community is wasting a wonderful opportunity to use their physical and spiritual powers to pray for rain.

But why waste prayers for rain that would help Zionist farmers, and anyway, who needs the water from the Kinneret since it may not be Kosher for Passovers, so who cares? The Haredi demonstrators will most probably leave the chore for praying for rain to the less Orthodox Jews and carry on with their protest.

Sunday’s black-hat rally is only the first shot in the Haredi war – and that is the correct word – against the Knesset in general and specifically Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh {arty who paraded through the last general elections on a platform that included getting rid of the rite of exempting Haredi youth from serving in the IDF so they can stay in yeshiva. That includes a large number who are listed as yeshiva students but spend most of their day at home, working for money “under the table” so they don’t have to pay taxes, or catching up on the latest Internet YouTube videos.

A vast number really do learn in yeshivas, supporting their rabbis’ claims that their devoting time to learning Torah is Israel’s real defense.

Let’s leave that issue aside for the reader and God to decide.

Lapid has either climbed up a very safe political leader or has crawled out on the longest limb on the highest tree he could find. There is not way he can retreat, and the Haredi rabbis refuse to compromise. For them, the IDF is treif. There is no middle ground.

Lapid has the support of a large majority of Israelis, who for years have suffered from the Haredi stranglehold on almost every government coalition, the budget and even the future of Jews in Judea and Samaria.

For decades, money for yeshiva has been their platform, which explains why the Sephardi Haredi party backed the Oslo Accords lest the government coalition fall.

Two year ago, Lapid’s success and that of the Jewish Home changed everything. The only way that the Haredi parties will be needed in a government is if the coalition breaks up over U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace talk follies, and that is unlikely, much to the dismay of Kerry and his boss.

That leaves the Haredim and Lapid to fight it out.

Haredi Rabbi Warns Lapid Is a Target for Assassination

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

A rabbi-lawyer warned  on radio that an “important’ Torah scholar told him that Yair Lapid is in line to be the first politician to be assassinated since the murder of Yitzchak Rabin 18 years ago.

The host of the radio show in the national religious Galei Israel radio station immediately half-joked that the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) was on the way to arrest the guest, Dan Halberthal.

The program, by coincidence or not, is called “Don’t Gag the Mouth.” Since the assassination of Rabin, police from time to time have arrested people for suggesting that someone should be shot, although officials have conveniently ignored outright incitement from Arab and even one or two Jewish Knesset Members.

Halberthal defended his statement and said he feels an obligation to make a public warning as a matter of prevention. For the record, The Jewish Press, like Halberthal, is reporting what was said. Nothing more and nothing less.

The background to the rage in the Haredi community is the work of the “Shaked Committee” that has drawn up legislation for a universal draft that would put draft dodgers in jail if they don’t report for military duty.

The sounds of voices of extremism and for violence are becoming more commonly heard in the Haredi community, according to Halberthal.

“A guest of mine on Shabbat, who is an important figure in the world of yeshivas, told me – and I think there is a lot of truth to it – that “there is going to be a new Rabin assassination. Lapid is going to be killed by a Haredi.”

Shrugging off warnings about the Shin Bet, Halberthal, who also lectures on Jewish judicial law, continued, “When someone tells me something that I think is true, I listen.”

In a subsequent interview with Channel 2, Halberthal said, “Since the murder of Rabin, there has not been such a situation… as with Lapid. He is a marked man in the Haredi community.

“It is not exceptional to hear comparisons between Lapid, Amalek, Haman and Auschwitz when his name is mentioned. On Purim, there definitely will be costumes of Lapid as the modern Haman.

Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that some crazy nut will get up one day and decide to carry out the act [of assassination].” The Haredi street is entirely emotional now, and I feel I must issue a warning.”

Reports: Yeshiva Student Draft Dodgers to Face Criminal Charges

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Haredi Orthodox yeshiva students will face criminal charges for dodging the draft under a proposed law, after the intervention of the prime minister, Israeli media has reported.

Under the proposed military draft law, the Haredi men would be criminally charged for evading the draft, but the penalties would not go into effect until 2017, according to reports. In addition, draft orders for Haredim up to age 26 will not go into effect until up to a year after the law goes into effect.

The Shaked Committee that is preparing the draft law was set to meet Wednesday to vote on the final proposal of the bill, which will likely be brought before the full Knesset in March.

Lawmakers from the Sephardi Shas and Haredi United Torah Judaism parties have threatened to drop out of the committee.

The Tal Law, which allowed Haredi men to defer army service indefinitely, was invalidated by the Supreme Court in February 2012 and expired in August that year. Haredi yeshiva students since then have had their drafts deferred.

Thousands of Haredim Riot over IDF Draft (Video)

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

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.

High Court Says No Money for Yeshivas whose Students Don’t Enlist

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

The Israeli Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the government to cease all funding of yeshivas whose students do not enlist in the IDF.

The decision struck in one blow further sealed the fate of Haredi leaders fighting the “equal burden” policy pursued by Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid and also gave him a needed boost in popularity polls that are bound to return to his party several seats that surveys have projected he will lose in the next election.

The ruling affects yeshiva students who are ages 18 to 20 but only affects those yeshiva that are funded by the Education Ministry.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s has decided to delay their draft date, but the court still has not discussed an appeal that seeks to eliminate the delay and order the yeshiva students to enlist immediately.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/high-court-says-no-money-for-yeshiva-whose-students-dont-enlist/2014/02/04/

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