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Insults hurled at female Israeli soldier as Charedim challenge draft

Strictly Orthodox protest the arrest of Yeshiva students who ignored military service call

 

Strictly Orthodox demonstrators impeded traffic by blocking a bus as they protested against Israeli army conscription in Jerusalem on Thursday

    A female Israeli soldier had to fend off a large group of strictly Orthodox anti-draft protesters who were attacking her.

    Nomi Golan was caught in the middle of a demonstration against the arrest of two Yeshiva students, who failed to report to an army recruitment office.

    She was trying to guide a car safely past the crowd in Jerusalem on Monday night, and was forced to use karate chops and kung-fu kicks to keep protestors away.

    A video clip of the event shows her keeping a group of men away, who can be seen hurling abuse at her.

    They shouted and spat at the soldier calling her a whore and a “shiksa,” a colloquial word often used to offensively describe a non-Jewish person.

    The footage, originally posted to Facebook, emerged in the week that hundreds of strictly Orthodox Israelis blocked roads and railways to protest the arrest of community members who had not responded to the draft.

    Clashes broke out with the police on Thursday as protesters were dragged into vans.

    Strictly Orthodox demonstrators impeded traffic by blocking a bus as they protested against Israeli army conscription in Jerusalem on Thursday
    Strictly Orthodox demonstrators impeded traffic by blocking a bus as they protested against Israeli army conscription in Jerusalem on Thursday Getty Images

    Conscription is normally compulsory for every Israeli citizen once they turn 18, except Israeli Arabs, and lasts three years for men and two for women.

    The Charedim — the strictly Orthodox — are also exempted, although many secular Israelis believe that all citizens should do their share to protect the country. However, almost all Charedim are reluctant to serve for fear of the negative influences they feel army life would bring.

    Many strictly Orthodox people argue that Torah learning, in which a large number of Charedi men in Israel engage, is a form of spiritual protection for the country. Secular Israelis are sceptical of such a notion.

    In September Israel’s High Court struck down a law that exempted strictly Ortodox students, calling it “discriminatory and unconstitutional”, and gave the government a year to replace it.

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