Police investigate haredi group over anti-IDF street performance

Edah Haharedit reportedly organized street performance in which children were encouraged to hurl fruit at actor dressed as IDF soldier.

Arutz Sheva Staff , | updated: 10:55 PM

'Hardak' campaign anti-Zionist material
'Hardak' campaign anti-Zionist material
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israel Police are investigating a street show organized by an anti-Zionist haredi organization earlier this month which denigrated IDF soldiers and encouraged members of the haredi community to harass religious servicemen.

On the Lag Baomer festival earlier this month, the Edah Haharedit organization – an umbrella group of anti-Zionist haredi movements – put on a show for children in the Meah Shearim neighborhood which included an actor dressed as a haredi soldier.

During the show, the soldier, who told the audience he was there to protect them, was taunted, called a “hardak” (a Hebrew slang mixing the word haredi with the Hebrew word meaning germ), and later pelted with fruit.

The actors who participated in the show encouraged local children to confront religious soldiers, and denounced the “Zionist state”.

After Israeli television publicized the story, police launched an investigation into claims the performance constituted incitement against IDF soldiers, Kikar Hashabbat reported.

Service in the Israeli military is a highly contentious issue within the haredi community, with anti-Zionist movements like the Edah Haharedit strongly opposed to any cooperation with the Israeli government.

A 2017 poll showed that a strong majority (79%) within the haredi community opposes service in the IDF, with an even larger majority (89%) opposed to the campaign of harassment by some radical elements in the haredi community aimed at delegitimizing religious soldiers.