Extremist haredi booklet says IDF enlistment process ‘like selection at gates of Auschwitz'

The descriptions and claims in the booklet are the most extreme yet in a long list of pernicious materials produced by a small group of haredi radicals inciting against IDF service.

June 21, 2016 21:22
2 minute read.
Haredi protest in Jerusalem against draft

Haredi protest in Jerusalem against draft. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

A new propaganda booklet produced by haredi extremists against haredi conscription in the IDF compares the army enlistment process to Nazi selections at Auschwitz, and that the IDF wants haredi yeshiva students as “a pound of flesh.”

The descriptions and claims in the booklet – which has come to light in recent days – are the most extreme yet in a long list of pernicious materials produced by a small group of haredi radicals inciting against IDF service.

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The brochure is designed as a handbook for haredi yeshiva students who have been called to report to IDF enlistment offices, and how they should conduct themselves.

All Jewish men, including haredi yeshiva students, receive orders to appear at IDF enlistment offices for preliminary processing. The large majority of haredi yeshiva students do report for this process, and subsequently receive a deferral of their military service.

“First and foremost, remember that you are amongst people who want what is bad for you,” states the booklet, first published by Ynet on Tuesday.

“That which is spiritually bad and that which is physically bad,” adding that the IDF “doesn’t want you as a person, it wants you as a pound of flesh. At the recruitment office, [people there] aren’t flies, that would be a compliment for them (don’t say this out loud, but that is how you should see them, pitiful things). They are nothings, zero! One big nothing.”

The text says that the yeshiva students should not be excited seeing people with guns, or thinking about tanks and military aircraft.

“ So we repeat, they are nothing, not even stinking maggot flies,” the booklet declares, alongside pictures of flies and piles of rubbish.

“There are not many hours in your life that can determine your fate for many years, ״ it continues. “In the coming hour they will examine every smile, and every sentence of yours, in order to give you a fatal test, similar to the ‘exams’ at the gates of the death camps of Auschwitz, where they examined the condition of every youth, and even the smallest of changes can determine his fate of death, God forbid.”

Radical elements in the haredi community have, in the past few years, waged a vitriolic campaign of incitement and harassment against haredi IDF officers involved in recruiting haredi conscripts, as well as against enlisted haredi soldiers.

It was initiated as efforts to legislate mandatory enlistment for haredi yeshiva students were under way in the last government, after the High Court of Justice struck down the previous arrangement as discriminatory.

The campaign has taken the form of posters, pamphlets and booklets, with cartoons and other images that incite readers against haredi officials involved in promoting IDF service.

These publications routinely depict such people as pigs, and malign those elements attempting to corrupt haredi youth.

“There is no doubt that this is a marginal and radical group which does not include the majority of haredi society,” said Yesh Atid MK Yaakov Peri, who headed the government committee that initiated the legislation in the previous government.

“We must uproot this incitement and this use of racist terms in an uncompromising manner.”

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