Lapid's 'haredi protester' outed as secular activist in disguise

Yesh Atid rally against proposed haredi amendment to draft law features secular activist posing as a haredi demonstrator.

Tzvi Lev ,

Lapid with the 'haredi' demonstrator
Lapid with the 'haredi' demonstrator

On Sunday, Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid led a demonstration at Tel Aviv's Center train station against proposed amendments to the Draft Law proposed by haredi lawmakers.

Together with dozens of Yesh Atid activists, Lapid castigated efforts by haredi MKs to extend army deferments for yeshiva students. "Nowhere in the Torah does it say that other people can die for you. Nowhere in the Torah does it exempt you from meaningful national service," said Lapid.

Flanking Lapid was a demonstrator in haredi garb, who held a sign reading "Real believers (in God) do not dodge the draft". However, sharp-eyed observers noted that the haredi man was actually a secular Yesh Atid member in disguise who had appeared with Lapid at other events.

Yesh Atid party officials denied that they had coordinated with the demonstrator, insisting that the activist dressed up on his own accord. "After checking, it turned out that the young man was an activist of Yesh Atid who had decided to disguise himself as haredi as part of the demonstration against the draft dodging law," said the party in a statement.

Lapid's rally came as multiple sources within the coalition say that the current impasse over the Draft Law is liable to topple the government and force early elections. Haredi MKs have told Netanyahu that they will refuse to vote for the 2019 budget until proposed changes to the Draft Law are passed.