Thursday, December 19, 2013

Haredim Fighting the Draft

Sir,  - The unsightly scene captured by the photograph on your front page showing ultra-Orthodox men protesting outside a military prison is in reality depicting a phenomenon far more ugly and perilous than appears at a first glance. In fact your underlined caption "Fighting the Draft"  that appears beneath the picture is itself quite misleading.

Haredi Draft Protest Israel Army

A deeper understanding of what is taking place can be found in the sign that appears in the center of the photograph and reads "It is better to die than to enlist in the Zionist apostasy army." This frenetic fringe group is without either hesitation or subtlety, publicly declaring their opposition not only to the drafting into the army but opposition to the army itself. For them the army is 'apostasy' and 'impure' and it expresses a complete detachment that forbids entrance into its satanic and sinful clutches under any circumstances be they benign or enforced. The army for them is tarfus and they proclaim their willingness to die rather than being part of it.

Unfortunately, the above extreme fanaticism, while it is being expressed by a minority of Haredim, is a reflection of a more widely held attitude that views the entire Zionist enterprise, including the establishment of the State of Israel and all of its institutions, as illegitimate. The only hope of altering their position would be the (admittedly unlikely) condemnation and reeducation of this group by the respected sages of the Haredi world.

In the meantime. they will continue to desecrate God's name and invite the growing resentment of most Israelis, secular and religious, who are able to see and appreciate the Divine Hand that was responsible for the miracles involved in the establishment of Israel and its glorious army.

Petach Tikva

[Image credit: Nir Hason]