(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
An NGO is calling on police to investigate an alleged incitement network, which seeks to name and shame ultra-orthodox soldiers among their peers.
According to the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, which filed the request with police, a campaign is under way to build a database of ultra-Orthodox soldiers, complete with names, pictures, and addresses, in order to threaten and discourage recruitment of ultra-Orthodox to the IDF.
“We urge the public to take a picture of all haredim [ultra-Orthodox] in uniform in the neighborhood,” a message distributed two weeks ago over ultra-Orthodox WhatsApp groups said. “From now on all the haredim that join the army will know that sooner or later his picture will be distributed publicly in a database and he will not be able to escape from the public eye!” “The movement attaches great importance to clear and effective protection from harm for those who serve in the IDF,” the Movement for Quality Government said, “it is our duty as a public to promote equality of service, mutual support and integration of ultra-Orthodox public in Israel.”
According to an organizer of the initiative, who lives abroad, and spoke to Channel 2 anonymously, the database already has hundreds photographs.
On Friday, in response to the shaming campaign, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman sent a letter to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan requesting a harsher stance on those shaming ultra-Orthodox soldiers.
In mid-December police arrested 13 ultra-Orthodox men during a protest in front of the home of the Kiryat Gat chief rabbi on Monday. The demonstrators were protesting against the drafting of ultra-Orthodox community members into the IDF.
Police did not return a request for comment for this story.