Effigy of IDF soldier strung up in ultra-Orthodox area of Jerusalem
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Effigy of IDF soldier strung up in ultra-Orthodox area of Jerusalem

Dummy in Mea Shearim hangs alongside sign telling people not to enter wearing uniform of 'despicable army'

An effigy of an IDF soldier is seen hanging in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Jerusalem on March 25, 2016 (courtesy)
An effigy of an IDF soldier is seen hanging in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Jerusalem on March 25, 2016 (courtesy)

An effigy of an Israel Defense Forces soldier was seen Friday hanging from an overhead cable in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem.

Hanging next to the dummy was a sign asking people not to enter the neighborhood in army uniform. It appeared to be a warning against members of the ultra-Orthodox community who have enlisted in the army.

The sign, which also features an apparent caricature of an overweight Israeli soldier, reads: “Have you weakened? Should we forgive the army? Please do not walk around our neighborhoods in the uniform of the despicable army.”

Many in the Haredi community shun mandatory national service, and the community has historically enjoyed blanket exemptions from the army in favor of religious seminary studies.

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men protest against the military draft in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood, December 22, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men protest against the military draft in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood, December 22, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

In November, lawmakers passed legislation extending the ultra-Orthodox exemption from duty until 2023, reversing a law passed in 2014 that would have seen this exemption expire.

The previous legislation, which was a key platform of former coalition party Yesh Atid, would have forced eligible community members to enlist or face penalties. Thousands of ultra-Orthodox men repeatedly took to the streets across Israel to protest the plan.

AFP contributed to this report

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