Haifa, IDF honor haredi soldiers

Danon visits first haredi pre-military academy; Haifa mayor expresses support of haredi soldiers following recent attacks.

July 23, 2013 03:47
1 minute read.
Haredi soldiers and their families attend event honoring them in Haifa, July 22, 2013.

Haredi soldiers and families 370. (photo credit: Zvi Roger, Haifa Municiplaity)

Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav and the IDF’s Human Resources Branch organized an event in support of haredi soldiers on Monday, following a spate of attacks in ultra- Orthodox areas.

Hundreds of haredi soldiers attended the event with their families.

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“I was amazed to hear about attacks on haredi soldiers serving in the IDF,” Yahav told the audience.

“Israeli society must rise as one and reject and condemn these acts of violent thuggery, which are somewhere between crazy and evil, and salute those who contribute to the state.

“Haifa is an island of sanity where haredi members of society have always contributed, unlike extreme societies in greater Jerusalem or other regions,” he continued. “I salute these haredi soldiers.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon visited Israel’s first haredi pre-army training academy in the Jordan Valley on Monday.

The academy, Hararei Tzion (Hills of Zion), was founded by members of the Nahal Haredi battalion, the IDF’s first ultra- Orthodox combat unit. It will open its doors in August to 30 cadets who plan on serving in the military for three years, beginning next year.

“As members of the haredi community who served in the IDF we understand the unique challenges these recruits will face once they are drafted,” said Yedidya Akerman, the head of the program.

A special emphasis will be placed on providing the students with the tools needed to preserve their values and lifestyle, the academy said.

“I know some of my friends won’t understand my decision to enlist and not just sit and learn in yeshiva,” said Avraham, a member of the first class of cadets, “but I believe that it is important for us to do our part. I have also seen how soldiers coming home on leave are beaten up in our neighborhood. I always make sure to get involved and stand up for these soldiers.

“It is one thing to disagree, but how dare these hoodlums try to hurt those who are risking their lives to defend all of us?”

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