Thousands of ultra-Orthodox children took to the streets of Jerusalem Monday evening to protest the possible inclusion of yeshiva students in the military draft.
The children rallied in the capital’s Shabbat Square, in the heavily Haredi neighborhood of Mea Shearim. Many of the children were also wearing handcuffs and holding signs reading “save me.”
The rally was the latest of several by the ultra-Orthodox community against proposed legislative changes that will force members of the community to enlist for military or national service.
One sign held by children read “Tatta! Mama! Save me, so it won’t happen that when I grow up [I will be subjected to] the claws of destruction of army service or national service.”
For the last 10 years the Tal Law has allowed yeshiva students to obtain draft deferments, and most members of the Haredi community do not serve in the military or do national service.
New legislation currently being worked out in the Knesset would impose the draft on the community, though the issue of at what age and in what form is still being worked out.