Stormy Protest at Kikar Shabbos Against Imprisonment of Yeshiva Bochur


IMG-20131205-WA0100The rainfall did not deter hundreds of chareidim from taking part in a stormy protest at Yerushalayim’s Kikar Shabbos on Thursday afternoon, 2 Teves 5774. Chareidim took to the streets and blocked traffic in protest over the arrest and incarceration of a talmid yeshiva in IDF Prison 6. That young man was taken out of his home in handcuffs by military police earlier in the week and sentenced to two weeks in prison for being AWOL (Absent Without Official Leave) from the military.

Yassam commando police moved in quickly at the Kikar Shabbos protest to reopen the major vehicular artery on a busy Thursday afternoon. Participants in the protest accuse police of using unjustifiable force against unarmed civilians. Police report two protestors were arrested.

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(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem / Photos: Aron Wahav, Chadashot 24)


  1. It is unlikely that mere protests will be effective. More open civil disobedience, and perhaps more direct action (“monkey wrenching” things, including by hareidim currently in the IDF) might get notices. More effecting would be threatening to ally with the opponents of the government (e.g. agreeing to support the zionist left’s goal of territorial concessions in return for an end to conscription, and if that doesn’t work, offering to support the Arab’s demand for a return to the pre-1914 status quo with a ban on conscription and legal autonomy for the hareidim).

    It is clear that conscription of hareidim is not motivated by a desire to improve the IDF’s ability to defend the country, and in fact non-zionist hareidi soldiers will probably weaken the army. An end to conscription and a switch to a professional/volunteer army (as has been done by most western countries) is a realistic demand and would be welcomed by many Israelis, as would a policy of allowing anyone to state they have a religious or moral objection to military service (with economic incentives for those who do wish to serve).