Haredi extremists attack deputy minister in Bet Shemesh

Members of the Jerusalem Faction surrounded the deputy minster's car and threw eggs.

April 4, 2018 16:27
1 minute read.
Haredi protest in Bnei Brak, March 22, 2018

Haredi protest in Bnei Brak, March 22, 2018. (photo credit: COMMITTEE FOR SAVING THE TORAH WORLD)


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Dozens of members of the hardline haredi Jerusalem Faction swarmed Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush’s car in Bet Shemesh Thursday, in anger over his work to reach a compromise on the ultra-Orthodox exemption from IDF conscription.

In a video posted on Kan Bet’s Twitter account, the men surrounded Porush’s car, shouted at him and threw eggs, so that he couldn’t get out, and drove away.

Porush’s office told The Jerusalem Post’s sister publication Ma’ariv that this is not the first time this has happened to him.

The Jerusalem Faction has been behind multiple violent protests in recent months, in which members threw stones, among other offenses, and dozens were arrested.

Thousands of yeshiva students associated with the Jerusalem Faction have refused to cooperate with the IDF to obtain their military service exemptions and demonstrations are staged for every one of them that is arrested.

The overwhelming majority of haredi yeshiva students obtain their military service exemptions by undergoing a bureaucratic process at IDF enlistment offices. Students from the Jerusalem Faction refuse to even do this, and are therefore technically absent without leave and liable to arrest by the military police.

Last month, the coalition was in crisis, because haredi parties sought to pass a law that would allow the exemption of most haredi men from the mandatory draft to continue, while Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman wanted his ministry to draft a bill on the matter. The sides are meant to reach a compromise on the matter in the coming months, as the Supreme Court gave the government a deadline of September 2018 when it struck down its exemption policy.

Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.

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