Haredi communities in Europe organized and staged a demonstration in Brussels outside the EU headquarters on Monday, in protest against legislation making its way through the Knesset to draft ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students.

Dozens of buses carrying haredi men from the UK, France, Belgium and beyond arrived in Brussels from around the continent for the demonstration, but exact numbers of those participating in the protest could not be obtained.

Rabbi Betzalel Weisz, dean of the Ahavat Torah yeshiva in Stamford Hill, north London, said it was crucial for haredi Jewry in the Diaspora to provide vocal support for the community in Israel and to encourage them not to back down in the face of demands that haredi men enlist in the army.

“The aim of the army and the Zionists is not defense but to undermine religion and detach haredim from the religious observance,” said Weisz.

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