Daily Israel Report
More

Zion's Corner Blogs


Hareidi Protest Clip Targets Soldiers, Causes Ire

'Official clip' of hareidi anti-enlistment protest suggests serving national security is a 'worthless pursuit.'
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 3/5/2014, 11:57 AM

A video has been released and titled the "official clip" of the massive hareidi protest Sunday, that blocked the entrance to Jerusalem and brought together hundreds of thousands to demonstrate against new hareidi IDF enlistment laws.

Along with footage from the rally, the video features the song "We Get up Early" by Shlomo Cohen. The song features the lyrics "We get up early and they get up early; we get up early to study Torah, they get up early for worthless pursuits."

When combined with images from the rally they take on an unmistakable criticism of non-hareidim.

Images of hareidi protesters are timed for the lines "we get up early to study Torah," and are juxtaposed to "they get up early for worthless pursuits" which is played to images of IDF soldiers, as well as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warning the UN about the Iranian nuclear threat.

Emergency workers who worked to provide medical aid and keep the rally safe were also shown on the clip in time for the lines criticizing "worthless pursuits."

In one scene of the video, a resident of Jerusalem named Yaakov who was previously interviewed by Arutz Sheva at a February protest can be seen holding a small Torah scroll. Yaakov at the time declared "we're 'equal burden,' whoever fasts on Tisha B'av, that's called equal burden. ...We don't get married with non-Jews like the prime minister, his son goes to Europe. ..We'll survive our stupid country."

The clip has raised an outcry; Emily Amrousy of Yisrael Hayom wrote "I'm sure the clip will anger the hareidim who study Torah as well. After all, most of them value and respect the IDF, understand that it's important for the physical existence of the state of the Jews, and just don't want to enlist themselves."

"The clip turns the soldiers, who endanger their lives, to actual enemies," added Amrusy. "Even two innocent soldiers who accidentally crossed the road at the place where the protest started with large heavy bags on their backs are 'waking early for worthless pursuits.'"

Rabbi Haim Navon added his criticism of the clip, noting the line saying "we get up early to study Torah" accompanies images of thousands of fliers being thrown on the streets, while the "worthless pursuits" shows the IDF Chief of Staff meeting soldiers. "That's their 'Torah'?" remarked Rabbi Navon. "Better are the 'worthless pursuits.'"

Nahal Hareidi continues to shine despite general hareidi opposition to IDF

However, not all of the hareidi world opposes fulfilling their duties towards the state. Last Thursday, just days before the mass protest, 21-year-old Yossi Ashtamkar became the second Nahal Hareidi (Hareidi brigade) officer to receive a prize for excellence in IDF history at an officers' course graduation ceremony. 

Nahal Hareidi has won three other prizes over the past several months. In December, the unit won the IDF Chief of Staff's prize; the unit was also awarded the IDF Department of Technology and Logistics' Award and the GOC Army Headquarters Safety Award.

The unit was also nominated for the Education Award, along with an award in Excellence in Maintaining Sector Security, issued by the Paratroop Command and Chief Infantry Officer.

Video promoting the Nahal Hareidi can be seen below, showing the unit's March 2013 induction ceremony.