Our mission is to inform the world that the State of Israel does NOT represent Jews or Judaism.

Alliance of American Jews to Demonstrate Against Israeli Draft

June 5, 2013

Over a hundred thousand religious Jews from a broad alliance of communities will join this Sunday, June 9, 2013 at 4:00 PM in front of 26 Federal Plaza in NYC to protest against the recent decision by the Israeli government to force Orthodox Jews to serve in its army. The demonstration was called together by leading rabbis and rosh yeshivas (heads of religious schools) in New York and New Jersey.

“Torah-true Jews are forbidden to serve in the Israeli army, and there are many good reasons for that,” said Yirmiyahu Cohen, a spokesman for True Torah Jews. “First of all, our great rabbis ruled that it is forbidden to assist the State of Israel in any way, including fighting in its wars. Secondly, the Israeli army is known to be an environment of immorality and negligence of Jewish law, in utter contrast to the high standards of modesty and observance with which the ultra-Orthodox meticulously raise their children. Third, boys studying in religious schools would be forced to abandon their studies in their prime years.

“The secular founders of the state knew that for the ultra-Orthodox, army service was unthinkable, and an agreement was reached 65 years ago under which all young men studying in religious schools would be exempt. Although this was far from ideal, since it effectively made it impossible for an Orthodox man to leave school and support his family, our brethren have managed to survive until now. But now, the Israelis wish to renege on their agreement and give all the Orthodox the choice of the army or prison. This is nothing less than anti-religious persecution, and we will stand by our brethren in the Holy Land until their full rights are restored,” Cohen concluded.

In support of our brethren in the Holy Land, True Torah Jews previously released the following:

American Jews Express Solidarity with Co-religionists Resisting Israeli Draft Laws

Orthodox Jews in New York are rallying in support of their counterparts in Jerusalem, who are currently facing the prospect of conscription into the Israeli army.

“The Orthodox community in the Holy Land views the Israeli government’s plan to draft them as a direct attack on their freedom of religion,” said Yirmiyahu Cohen, a spokesman for True Torah Jews. “According to the Torah, G-d commanded the Jewish people in this era not to fight any wars against other nations. The current Israeli government plans to force the Orthodox to violate their conscience and principles. They should be exempt just like the Israeli Arabs, whom the Israelis do not expect to fight against their Arab brethren.

“Some argue that the Orthodox must share the burden because they too are being protected by the Israeli army. But the truth is that they were living there a hundred years before the Zionist movement even began. The Orthodox community lived peacefully alongside the Arabs in the 1800s. It was Zionism that gave rise to the current conflict, so they should not expect the Orthodox to help them deal with the problem they created.

“Furthermore, a large percentage of the Orthodox live in Jerusalem, which the international community, including the United States, has never recognized as part of the State of Israel. In 1947 the United Nations designated all of Jerusalem and its environs as an international zone. Thus the Israelis do not have the right to force Jews living in that zone to serve in their army.”

Historically, Orthodox young men have avoided serving in the Israeli army, often using their ongoing study in a religious academy, known as a yeshiva, as an excuse for exemption. But last year, after the Israeli supreme court struck down the law granting yeshiva students exemption, the Orthodox community was left without a legal means of avoiding service. The current government is preparing a plan to draft some or all of the Orthodox in the near future. Most in the Orthodox community would rather go to jail or emigrate from the country than be drafted. Ironically, the so-called "Jewish state" is becoming the most difficult place in the world for Jews to follow their traditional laws and beliefs.

“The Orthodox in the Holy Land have the Torah, international law and justice on their side,” Cohen concluded. “They will fight, and we will fight for them, until they prevail and are free to continue living according to their beliefs.”

UPDATE: The following radio commercial is currently airing on WABC to announce the demonstration:

Over one hundred thousand Jews from a broad alliance of Orthodox communities, yeshivas and hasidic groups will converge this Sunday in downtown Manhattan, 26 Federal Plaza, to protest against the Israeli draft and anti-religious legislation in the State of Israel. The demonstration will be this Sunday, June 9, at 4:00 PM.

Watch video coverage of the event.