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Friday, October 20, 2017 

Hundreds of Auerbach cultists turn themselves into a disgrace unto the nation

The Haredi followers of cult leader Shmuel Auerbach demonstrated against army service and the arrest of more draft dodgers yesterday by blocking roads and traffic:
Police on Thursday arrested 120 ultra-Orthodox protesters in a wave of rallies across the country, as several thousand hardline anti-draft demonstrators took to the streets in protests that caused major traffic disruptions in Jerusalem.

In the capital, the afternoon rallies continued well into the evening hours, before being dispersed by police. Protesters blocked traffic and the light rail near the city’s central bus station, snarling traffic at the entrance to the city and causing multiple delays on the tram line.

Police said 120 people were arrested during the protests for blocking roads and the light rail, as well as for failing to obey police orders.

Police appeared to be acting with restraint after accusations of excessive force at a recent protest.

An unnamed law enforcement official told Channel 2 police were refraining from using force to clear demonstrators in order to avoid violent clashes.

“The demonstrators are looking for video clips with violence by police in order to enlist donations from the United States,” the unnamed official said.
Needless to say, it's cowardice on the part of the police to resist using serious force in a case like this to get them away from the traffic paths they blocked.
Some ultra-Orthodox protesters chanted “we’d rather die than be drafted” at the demonstrations.

“The state wants to silence all the Jews who want to study Torah,” said one man, who looked to be in his 40s and gave his name only as Tzvi.

“Lately they have seen the (ultra-Orthodox) population growing, so they want us to serve in the army and be absorbed into the general population.”

Earlier, dozens of ultra-Orthodox protesters also blocked Jerusalem’s Shabbat Square, a key intersection leading to several ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in the capital. Police said protesters there burned trash and pushed it into the street.
And that's a way to endanger people, by risking a serious fire. If the extremists want to die, maybe they should consider leaving the country too and going to where welfare is dished out. They'd fit in perfectly with the emerging Islamic scene in Sweden, where welfare is undoubtably given away by the bustle to recipients.

Some of the protestors even acted abusively towards a woman who asked them not to block the train lines. One lone voice of sanity is Dov Lipman, who wrote the following op-ed:
At the exact same time as this ceremony, hundreds of other religious Israelis were blocking intersections throughout the country in the name of religion, in protest over the arrest of two draft dodgers. Why were they arrested? Because they broke the law: They failed to respond to the letters they received telling them to appear at their local IDF draft board. And for no reason: All these draft dodgers had to do was show up, claim that “Torah is their trade,” and they would have received exemptions from military service.

But they didn’t bother to do that, flouting the law which requires them to do so. So they were arrested and imprisoned for three weeks. Did the police enter the yeshiva where these young men were supposedly studying Torah day and night in order to arrest them? No. They were caught driving recklessly while on vacation in the Dead Sea region. For that, hundreds of demonstrators blocked tens of thousands of Israelis from going about their lives. This is an embarrassment in a country a state of law.

Enough is enough

It is time for authorities to come down hard on the “Jerusalem Faction” of the haredi community which sent these demonstrators to the streets, and which instructs its followers to ignore the law and not show up for their army exemptions.

Every single one of these demonstrators who fights the police when they try to remove them from the roads must be imprisoned – not for a day’s incarceration as is done now, but for a minimum of six months. And their leaders – yes, including rabbis – must be brought in as well. There is a law against inciting to break a law, and those who violate it, especially when it involves educating and even commanding youngsters to violate the law, should be held accountable. We cannot allow anarchy.

Israel has been patient with these “protesters” and has demonstrated remarkable restraint. But there comes a time when a country has to put its foot down and say: We will not tolerate this anymore.

That time has come.

The demonstrators and their leadership know that they won’t be really punished for their actions, so they continue ignoring the law requiring them to appear before the draft board, and continue to disrupt the country.

During this week’s demonstrations, a policeman in Jerusalem was surrounded by these hooligans who were throwing rocks and other objects at his marked car, and blocking him from driving. He got out of this car with his pistol drawn. The demonstrators fled, he was able to drive on, and traffic on that street resumed. Is it comfortable for us to see a Jewish policeman wave his pistol at Jewish demonstrators? No. But did it work in order to restore law and order? Yes.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked must join forces to strengthen the penalties for these extremist demonstrators, and must punish their leaders as well. Moreover, it is incumbent on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to support Erdan and Shaked and not worry about the haredim in his coalition revolting over these measures.

It is also time for the mainstream haredi community to take a stronger stance against these extremists. MK Uri Maklev of United Torah Judaism was questioned about these demonstrators on Army Radio, and he said that while this is not his way and he thinks the protesters do damage, he doesn’t want to comment beyond that. No! Mainstream haredim must lead the way in condemning the Jerusalem Faction, and throw it out of the fold. The haredi leadership – if they are indeed the leadership – must support stricter policing and punishment of these religious zealots.
That's correct. Maklev himself should be condemned for failing to clearly acknowledge that the behavior of the extremists was wrong and calls for serious punishment. He didn't do so, and that's why he doesn't deserve to be a politician.

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  • I'm Avi Green
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