Brain Bush’s Blog

The Men's Turn

  • By : Brian Bush
  • May 18, 2013
  • 2:39 pm

Hi Friends,

It's a Saturday edition of the Blog!

Recently we've been talking a little about the protests of Reformed Jewish women wanting to worship their way down at the Western Wall.

Today it's the men's turn as we talk about Ultra Orthodox men protesting the likelihood of a law being changed to force them being drafted into the Israeli Army.

We had an estimated 30,000 male protesters dressed in their traditional black clothing and hats scuffling with police and saying prayers outside one of Jerusalem's main enlistment buildings.

Things got a bit out of hand when bottles, rocks and other objects were thrown at the police and trash bins were set on fire prompting the police to use stun grenades on the crowd as shouts of “the Torah above everything!” were continually ringing out.

There were a handful of arrests and 10 policemen hurt.

Some Ultra Orthodox men do serve to chose in the army – but the overwhelming majority do not, claiming they need to study the Torah.

National Service, whether in the Army or in some other social bracket, is compulsory for all men and women once they finish high school.

Since Israel's founding the Ultra Orthodox have been exempt form military service, but that issue was very much on the ballets this past January with the public voting that the law of exemption should be altered in order for them to 'share the burden' with the rest of the Israeli society.

Israel's Supreme Court ruled that the exemptions for the Ultra Orthodox from military service were unconstitutional. Since then the debate has intensified and drafts for a new law have been tabled.

The protests were seen as an assembly of power rejecting the notion of change by the Ultra Religious mass.

Brian Bush
Middle East Correspondent
LeSEA Broadcasting

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