Religious anti-Zionists protest IDF conscription law in New York

Ultra-Orthodox Jews made makeshift jails in front of Israeli mission in New York.

December 25, 2013 12:12
1 minute read.
Ultra-Orthodox Israel protest 390

Ultra-Orthodox Jews in New York protest IDF enlistment law 3. (photo credit: Reuters)


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A group of ultra-Orthodox Jews angry over new laws requiring religious Israelis to enlist in the IDF organized a protest on Tuesday in front of the Israeli consulate in New York.

The dozens in attendance shouted "We don't want to get drafted" and some also read portions of the Torah chapters.

DF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz praised haredi soldiers on Wednesday, and said that the army wants more ultra-Orthodox men to serve, while emphasizing the importance of helping them maintain their religious identity.

Gantz was speaking during a hearing of the Knesset’s special committee on haredi national service enlistment, during which it was also announced that the Finance Ministry had come to an agreement with the IDF to provide the requisite funds for greater numbers of haredi soldiers.

All IDF personnel are entitled to additional income subsidies if they are married and have children.

The current bill for haredi enlistment proposes an enlistment age of 21 for haredi men, by which time many are married and have children.

The haredi political and spiritual leadership insist that the enlistment of members of the community be delayed until at least this age because the late teens and early twenties are seen as a critical time for ultra-Orthodox men to cement their identity and belonging within haredi society.

“The IDF supports haredi service,” Gantz said during the hearing. “We’re talking about wonderful people, and everywhere [in the army] that they have been integrated their contribution has been noticeable.”

The chief of staff emphasized the importance of ensuring that haredi men enlisting to the IDF be able to maintain their identity and haredi lifestyle while serving, praised them for their intelligence and noted that haredi recruits had already made a contribution to the army.

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