Haredis planning "million man march" against army recruitment
The ultra-Orthodox community is continuing preparations for Sunday's planned "million-man march," the title organizers have given to their prayer rally protesting the new conscription law that will see haredi draft dodgers facing criminal sanctions.While the decision was stupid and it would make more sense to use economic penalties, the Haredis' attitude is still inexcusable.
The rally, which organizers say will draw upwards of 600,000 demonstrators, will take place near Jerusalem's Chords Bridge, where authorities are planning to shut down the main arteries of the city in preparation.
On Thursday, rabbis from the three major Torah councils -- Sephardi, Lithuanian and Hassidic -- wrote a public letter on the issue.
"We are outraged at the mass blasphemy, at the malicious intention of the prime minister's government in preventing Torah students from studying in yeshivas, forcibly drafting them and threatening those who do not enlist with punishments of arrest and imprisonment," the letter said.
That said, Jerusalem's mayor has told how a lot of Haredis do want to join the workforce and army:
With respect to the heated issue of haredim serving in the IDF and seeking employment, Barkat said the tide is turning more favorably than most people may know.And the Haredi leadership is trying to force them back into a socialist enclave mentality? Tsk tsk. As a resident of Jerusalem, I gravely disapprove of this demonstration for all the wrong reasons to jam traffic, and feel all the more disgusted at "rabbi" Auerbach for the harm he's led to.
“You’d be surprised by the number of haredi residents who are seeking jobs and are willing to join the army – and not from the force of law but from their own will,” he said.
“And my belief right now is [that the challenge is] not to convince them to join the labor force – the challenge is to create enough jobs to cope with the growing demand among the haredi sector to join the labor force.”
To that end, Barkat said he is creating numerous vocational instruction centers throughout the city to “make sure they get the training and help they need to get hired.”