Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Israel's ultra-Orthodox Jews rally against proposal to draft them

JERUSALEM — Hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews blocked the main entrance to Jerusalem on Sunday in a mammoth prayer vigil to protest plans to draft thousands of their young men for military service.

Chanting prayers and verses from the Psalms, a sea of swaying men in black hats and suits thundered "God is the Lord!" as banners proclaimed "The Torah is our life."

The gathering was called after a parliamentary committee approved a bill that would set gradual quotas for conscripting up to 5,200 ultra-Orthodox young men annually for military or other national service, in accordance with Israel's compulsory conscription law.

All Israelis are required to serve in the army when they reach 18, but under a decadeslong arrangement reached in the early years of statehood, ultra-Orthodox religious students were exempt from service. The exemption became a major source of resentment, however, as the number of exemptions ballooned to tens of thousands, with many of the religious students living on government subsidies.

Israel's ultra-Orthodox Jews rally against proposal to draft them 03/02/14 [Last modified: Sunday, March 2, 2014 8:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning announce events for 25th anniversary season

    Blogs

    The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    The Lightning's 25th anniversary logo.
  2. Lightning reveals 25th anniversary logo

    Blogs

    The Lightning unveiled the logo for its 25th anniversary season as well as a number of the events that will be part of the celebration during an exclusive Season Ticket Member draft party Friday at Amalie Arena.

    The Lightning's 25th anniversary logo.
  3. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  4. Lego T-rex and scores of other brick sculptures free to see in Tampa

    News

    TAMPA — Envision the effort that went into building a basic Lego model with your kids. Now imagine arranging the same toys to look like the Mona Lisa or an 80,020-piece Tyrannosaurus rex.

    Eliana Goldberg, 5, of Wesley Chapel looks at a Lego sculpture called "Everlasting" at The Art of the Brick exhibit, which opened Friday in Tampa and runs through Sept. 4. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  5. Rick Scott signs medical marijuana, 37 other bills into law

    Blogs

    Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott