Haredi draft opponents gear up for protest rally

'Yerushalmi Faction' plans major protest after haredi draft dodger's arrest extended.

David Rosenberg,

Haredi demonstrators clash with mounted officer in Bnei Brak
Haredi demonstrators clash with mounted officer in Bnei Brak
Yossi Zeliger/Flash90

A haredi anti-draft movement called Monday morning for supporters to gather in the city of Bnei Brak to protest the arrest of a haredi draft-dodger.

The Yerushalmi Faction, a fringe haredi movement which opposes any cooperation with IDF draft boards – even for the purposes of obtaining deferments – announced Monday that it would hold a protest rally on Jabotinsky Street in the predominantly haredi city of Bnei Brak east of Tel Aviv.

The rally was called to protest the extension of the arrest of Yitzhak Aryeh, a member of the Yerushalmi Faction who was arrested two weeks ago after he refused to appear before an IDF draft board.

Aryeh had been picked up by police during a routine check, then handed over to military police after it was discovered that he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for draft-dodging.

His initial arrest prompted demonstrations on his behalf, organized by the Yerushalmi Faction.

Now, following a court’s decision to extend his detention, the Yerushalmi Faction has called for an additional protest to call for Aryeh’s release.

The protest is planned for 1:30 p.m., at the intersection of Jabotinsky and Hashomer streets.

The Yerushalmi Faction was founded by the late Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, son of the prominent decisor of Jewish law, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.

Prior to his death in February of this year, Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach led the Yerushalmi Faction movement, and its affiliate political party, Bnei Torah, also known as “Etz”.

Unlike the larger United Torah Judaism party, Bnei Torah and the Yerushalmi Faction have opposed the draft deferment program offered to full-time yeshiva students, calling instead for a blanket exemption for the entire haredi population, mirroring the exemption offered to most of Israel’s Arab population.


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