'We will die instead of being drafted,' Haredi sign reads in draft protest

“We are all happy to go to prison for the sake of learning Torah,” and “We will die instead of being drafted.”

By DAVID DIMOLFETTA, EMMA MCAVOY
July 3, 2019 08:24
1 minute read.
'We will die instead of being drafted,' Haredi sign reads in draft protest

Haredi youth protest draft bill near Jerusalem entrance. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Approximately 3,000 Haredis congregated Jerusalem's entrance to stage a protest against the IDF draft.

Police officers attempted to break up the protest by riding in on horses to round people up and plowing through streets in an armored truck which almost hit several men. The truck, equipped with a water cannon, hosed water onto those standing in the way. Some officers were seen pushing Haredi men out of the streets, attempting to prevent them from interfering with oncoming traffic in the roadways. The men were persistent in their efforts to fight the draft, often returning to the streets after police pushed them onto sidewalks.

Men who resisted received cheers and clapping. A young boy was seen trying to instigate an officer by thrashing his arms while holding his kippah. One Haredi was seen holding a sign, reading “We are all happy to go to prison for the sake of learning Torah,” and “We will die instead of being drafted.” The sign also contained an image of a prisoner’s hand with the number 25 tattooed on, reminiscent of numbers tatooed on Jews during the Holocaust.

The protest is one of several in recent months. The haredi draft bill is one of the most contested isssues in Israeli piltics. The last elections, as well as the current cycle were instigated as a result of disagreements over it.


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