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Poster urges ultra-Orthodox draftees to kill soldiers

Notice on Jerusalem wall encourages shooting female troops and commanders to avoid army enlistment; police launch investigation

Illustrative: Ultra-Orthodox boys and a family walk past a poster that says the internet brings cancer in Jerusalem, July 2, 2009. (Rishwanth Jayapaul/Flash90)
Illustrative: Ultra-Orthodox boys and a family walk past a poster that says the internet brings cancer in Jerusalem, July 2, 2009. (Rishwanth Jayapaul/Flash90)

A poster instructing ultra-Orthodox draftees to kill female soldiers and IDF commanders was found on a wall in a religious neighborhood of Jerusalem over the recent Shavuot holiday amid ongoing protests by extremist members of the community against Israel’s mandatory draft.

The anonymous notice, which was headlined “religious ruling,” says any ultra-Orthodox young man who is drafted “by force to the anti-Jewish army” must “take the rifle you were given” and kill IDF troops.

“Kill the next female soldier who is in your reach and thereby give her the privilege of [fulfilling the commandment to] ‘die before violating’ [the alleged prohibition of military service]. Kill every commander that holds you by force. Kill every conscript, tempter and helper,” the poster, found in the Mea She’arim neighborhood, reads.

Police have launched an investigation into the incident.

The poster also encourages ultra-Orthodox teenagers to commit suicide rather than be drafted, equating military service with the three cardinal sins that Judaism insists one avoid even on pain of death: idolatry, forbidden sexual relations and murder.

“This world is a passageway to the eternal life in the world to come. If you lose this world [die], you will be happy and it will be good for you in the world to come,” the poster says.

It also includes a number of unattributed quotes forbidding military service and references to the biblical figure Pinhas, who is praised as a zealot defending God’s honor after he kills a tribal leader for sleeping with a non-Israelite woman.

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In response to the notice, an IDF spokesperson on Thursday said it crossed “a red line” and vowed that the army would continue to enlist anyone required by law to serve.

“The IDF will continue to carry out its missions out of its commitment to the security of the State of Israel and its citizens and will continue to work to draft all those required to enlist.”

The notice was found just after posters were put up in the predominantly ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak on Tuesday offering ultra-Orthodox children cash prizes if they are arrested or hurt while accosting religious soldiers and policemen.

The posters, which were mockingly titled “real bravery against children” and included photos of a religious police officer arresting an ultra-Orthodox child, implore kids to yell at ultra-Orthodox soldiers and police “Hardakim out” — a derogatory term for ultra-Orthodox soldiers which is a pun on two Hebrew words for “insect” and “germ.”

The posters say “righteous children” up to the age of 15 are eligible to win NIS 530 ($150) if they are detained for shouting the slur, plus another NIS 290 ($80) if they are hit by officers while being arrested.

Also on Tuesday, police arrested seven suspects, among them two minors, for attacking police officers disguised as soldiers in the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Shearim, Channel 2 reported.

Police said that the suspects were arrested after they crowded around the undercover officers and threw objects at them while yelling slurs.

This week’s incidents were the latest in which an extremist wing of the Haredi community in Jerusalem has incited against members of the community who join the Israeli military. The ultra-Orthodox have held dozens of demonstrations to protest the enlistment of religious Jews.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews burn an effigy of an IDF soldier during Lag B'Omer celebrations in the ultra-orthodox neighborhood of Mea She'arim in Jerusalem on May 13, 2017. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews burn an effigy of an IDF soldier during Lag B’Omer celebrations in the ultra-orthodox neighborhood of Mea She’arim in Jerusalem on May 13, 2017. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Earlier this month, a crowd of ultra-Orthodox men and women burned an effigy of an Israeli soldier in Mea Shearim, in an incident that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called “despicable.”

Some segments of ultra-Orthodox society refuse to recognize the State of Israel and oppose Zionism, because of their belief that the establishment of a Jewish state should only come after the arrival of the Jewish Messiah. Most ultra-Orthodox Jews do not serve in the Israeli army.

Times of Israel staff and AFP contributed to this report.

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