VIDEO: Ultra-Orthodox MK handcuffs himself to podium over Haredi draft

Meir Porush of UTJ among opponents of legislation that would make national service mandatory for Haredi men.

July 23, 2013 11:43
MK Meir Porush handcuffs himself to the Knesset podium, July 22, 2013.

Meir Porush handcuffs 370. (photo credit: Screenshot: Knesset Channel)

Knesset member Meir Porush of the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party on Monday chained himself to the Knesset plenum podium during a speech against proposed legislation that would make national service mandatory for Haredi men.

"Even if you send them to jail, they will still study Torah," Porush declared as he chained himself to the microphone stand on the podium, to the visible exasperation of Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, who was chairing the debate. "In their name I stand here today," he said.

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The bill passed its first reading in the Knesset early Tuesday morning, after hours of speeches from both sides, despite objections from Porush and fellow UTJ lawmakers Moshe Gafni and Yisrael Eichler, who ripped their shirts before the vote as a sign of mourning. A total of 66 Knesset members voted in favor of the proposal, while 29 were opposed.

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