Some 20,000 members of ultra-Orthodox Jewish community The Satmar Hasidic group held an anti-Zionist rally at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York Sunday.
NEW YORK – Close to 20,000 Orthodox demonstrators gathered at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Sunday to protest against the Israeli law that mandates Orthodox conscription into the IDF, describing it as “Israel’s persecution of religious Jews.”
Rabbi David Niederman, a liaison for the Central Rabbinical Congress, one of the groups involved in the event, told The Jerusalem Post he views Orthodox military conscription as a violation of religious freedom.
“Since 1948, when the government was founded, they understood that there is such a thing as [yeshiva] students who are studying, and they are exempt of military services,” he said. “But for the past few years, [Israeli politicians] have been trying to tighten the screw and are basically forcefully recruiting and forcefully bringing them in for military service, to which they object.
“Unprecedented things happened: There are people who protest those conditions, people who are upset that [Israel] violates their right to their religious adherence.