A video circulating on social media on Thursday shows an IDF soldier being attacked by haredi extremists during a protest against army service in Bnei Brak.
In recent days, haredim from the “Yerushalmi Faction”, a Litvish movement led by Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach that is staunchly opposed to haredi enlistment in the IDF, have been protesting across Israel against the arrest of a yeshiva student who refuses to enlist, despite having received draft orders.
In the video, the soldier appears to be spraying pepper spray at the protesters in an attempt to disperse them. A short time later, a demonstrator assaults the soldier, kicking him and knocking him to the ground. Other demonstrators then join in and begin hitting and kicking the soldier.
The attack continues for several moments before passersby are able to rescue the soldier. He appears to have suffered only light injuries.
Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Jewish Home) condemned the incident.
"This is what the path to bloodshed looks like. This is not the way of the Torah. A group of outlaws who brutally attack an IDF soldier. This is the exact reality against which I warn. The police must make arrests soon because this is how the bloodshed will start."
MK Yehuda Glick (Likud) condemned the violence as well.
“These people are connected to a Torah that is not the same as mine. They are slandering the Torah. Of course, these are outlaws who belong behind bars for a long time,” he tweeted.
In response to the haredi riots, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday ordered to look into the possible termination of the army deferrals of the Maalot HaTorah and Grodna yeshivas led by Rabbi Auerbach.
"The mere act of demonstrating in such a defiant way against army enlistment is an attempt to undermine the authority of the State to conscript citizens to the army. Such behavior is unconscionable and we should not acquiesce to acts intended to intimidate those who wish to enlist. We will act within the frameworks available to us in the Defense Ministry and other government ministries so that those who take part in the continued incitement against the IDF will not receive any benefits, assistance or cooperation," said Liberman.