Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox: Piety vs. patriotism

ByBY GIDON BEN-ZVI
May 11, 2014 18:12

Haredi leaders have long insisted that their young men serve the nation through prayer and study, thus preserving the Jewish heritage that has kept the faith through centuries of persecution.




Neturei Karta burn Israeli flag on Independence Day

Neturei Karta burn Israeli flag on Independence Day. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 As Israel celebrated its 66th Independence Day earlier this week, dozens of haredi (ultra-Orthodox) youth exploited their democratic right to freely assemble by ripping down and destroying Israeli flags, blocking roads, and protesting against the Jewish state.

Such outbursts have developed into a sad phenomenon, with demonstrations against Jewish sovereignty becoming more frequent and more heated as the Israeli government has taken steps to enlist the country’s able-bodied haredi men into the Israel Defense Forces.


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