Liberal Jerusalem group plans ‘secular day of rage’

The major counter-protest comes after weeks of violent demonstrations by haredi extremists who blocked main traffic arteries in Israel in protest over draft warrants.

November 2, 2017 17:49
2 minute read.
Liberal Jerusalem group plans ‘secular day of rage’

Anti-religious coercion protest in Jerusalem last month.. (photo credit: UDI SHAHAM)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


A liberal group in Jerusalem is planning to hold a ‘secular day of rage’ on November 17, as a counterprotest to the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) day of rage held last month in the capital.

“Free Jerusalem,” which has been holding a weekly anti-religious coercion outside the Haredi neighborhood of Mea She’arim, announced on Thursday its intention to hold the event, and called on all pluralist sectors in Israel to voice their objection to the Haredi protests.

“The entire State of Israel witnessed in recent weeks protests of extremist factions from the ultra-Orthodox public, in which they blocked main roads and railways, and prevented traffic movement in central intersections – which left millions of citizens paralyzed for hours,” a statement on the Free Jerusalem Facebook page reads.

“The secular, democratic and liberal public remained silent – but we live in a state of law, and it is impossible to let these extremist to dictate us how to live... It is time to stop the madness and voice our objection.”

On October 19, more than 1,000 ultra-Orthodox protesters from the extremist Jerusalem Faction group of Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach blocked traffic in the capital and other cities across the country in a “day of rage” to protest the arrests of two yeshiva students who evaded the draft.

The protesters, all male, shut down the major intersection near the Jerusalem Central Bus Station and held demonstrations in Bnei Brak, Beit Shemesh and Safed. They sat in the streets, chanting, “We would rather go to jail than the army” and singing a song from the Passover Haggada about how in each generation someone tries to destroy the Jewish people but God saves it.

City Councilwoman Laura Wharton (Meretz), who is one of initiators of the counter-protest, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that one purpose of the day is to express the frustration of the public over the ongoing situation.
Police forces and Haredi rioters clash next to Merkaz Hatzalah offices in Mea Shearim, Jerusalem

“The public it frustrated, especially the secular public who work, pay taxes and go to the army in high rates. After the extremist Jerusalem Faction went wild for two weeks and no one stopped them, we decided that we also want to express our feelings. It is about time that the state will take care of those who are maintaining it,” she said.

“We demand an equal enforcement of the law, intervention of the state and going back on the track that the Scroll of Independence showed us – with equal right citizens and putting an end for us surrendering to the extremists,” Wharton added.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Prof. Ariel Porat
May 19, 2019
Prof. Ariel Porat named as new Tel Aviv University president