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Religious Zionist Leader 'Shocked and Outraged' by Hareidi Rally

Another respected Religious Zionist joins the chorus of calls against the hareidi rally Sunday.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 3/1/2014, 8:54 PM / Last Update: 3/1/2014, 9:21 PM

Hareidi protest yeshiva funding cut
Hareidi protest yeshiva funding cut
Flash 90

Renowned Religious Zionist leader Rabbi Haim Druckman has called on the Religious Zionist community Saturday night to stay far away from Sunday's "million-man march" against the hareidi draft. 

"I totally reject [the march]," Rabbi Druckman declared Saturday night. "If this demonstration is being held to say that Israel is fighting against the rule of the Kingdom of Heaven, I am so shocked and outraged by it," said the rabbi.

"There is no room to say it's permitted to participate in something like this," the Rabbi continued. "[To] those calling for the demonstration using shocking language: where we are living? Are we living in some dark regime fighting against ...a war on religion? Thank God we live in Israel - even if I have criticized the state [before]."

On Sunday, hareidi leaders will hold a mammoth demonstration that has been called “the million man protest.” The demonstration – prompted by a series of government decisions that are perceived as hurting hareidim – has not only led to unprecedented unity among all of the hareidi streams, but also a wave of incitement against the Religious Zionist community. 

The hareidi community has taken the calls for a draft as a personal attack not only by Yair Lapid - who helped spearhead the Shaked Committee which is behind the new draft laws - but also against Religious Zionists, who they accuse of deliberately harming the hareidi public. Religious Zionist leaders have been warned to stay away from the rally; hareidi leaders have spit fire at the Religious Zionist leadership; and an incitement campaign against Naftali Bennett, who leads the Jewish Home party that is largely seen as representing the Religious Zionist public, has been initiated depicting the MK as a Nazi burning Torah scrolls. 

Hareidi leaders have compared the backlash against the draft to resistance against Nazi Germany, political uprisings in the Ukraine, a "fight to the death" for Torah values, and the struggle against the ancient Persians in the Purim story.

At least one Hassidic sect has threatened to flee Israel en masse if the draft law is ratified, and a boycott has even been threatened against Judea and Samaria in "retaliation" against the Religious Zionist community for the measure.