Government, IDF vow to fight incitement toward haredi soldiers

The Attorney-General and Deputy Defense Minister stated that dealing with the coordinated campaign of incitement and harassment against haredi soldiers was of critical importance.

Haredi men enlist in IDF (photo credit: Courtesy)
Haredi men enlist in IDF
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Attorney-General’s Office announced on Sunday the establishment of a working group to combat the coordinated campaign of incitement against haredi soldiers by extremists within the haredi community.
The initiative was announced following a meeting between Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit and Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan, along with the military advocate-general, Brig.-Gen. Sharon Afek, and representatives of the police and State Attorney’s Office.
Mandelblit said in summation of the hearing that the fight against incitement was of critical public importance and needed to be given high priority by the government.
For the last five years, radical elements within the ultra-Orthodox community have conducted a campaign to intimidate and delegitimize haredi soldiers and those who help recruit them.
The campaign has included derogatory images of haredi soldiers in posters, fliers and booklets, as well as attempts to harass them and IDF recruiters by publishing their contact details, and the establishment of a public database of all haredi soldiers to facilitate their public shaming.
Mandelblit said that complaints of harassment by individual soldiers and recruiters need to be dealt with speedily and effectively, and should be prioritized by the police.
He also recommended using noncriminal administrative and economic procedures to pursue the campaigners, their businesses and their institutions which are involved in the campaigns.
One idea which has been floated by the Defense Ministry is to file civil suits against the campaigners for damages and compensation for their harassment.
“We have raised the level for dealing with incitement against haredi soldiers, and I am happy that Attorney-General Mandelblit and the relevant law-enforcement officials understand the severity of the incitement,” Ben-Dahan said after the meeting.