OU, Others Condemn Violence Against Ultra-Orthodox IDF Soldiers

19 Apr 2018

Following a rise in attacks on IDF soldiers and police officers, Orthodox Jewish groups in the US, including the Orthodox Union, the Rabbinical Council of America and the National Council of Young Israel, have condemned attacks by ultra-Orthodox extremists against religious Jews who join the Israel Defense Forces.

Some Haredi sects consider it sacrilegious for their co-religionists to serve in the police or military. For decades, the ultra-Orthodox enjoyed exemption from army service. Recent efforts to accommodate ultra-Orthodox recruits have met with success; while some 300 ultra-Orthodox enlisted each year a decade ago, that number rose to 3,000 last year. Nevertheless, many ultra-Orthodox soldiers face harassment and assault when they return to their Haredi neighborhoods.

OU president Moishe Bane wrote that “violence by one Jew against another, whether physical or otherwise, is an assault on the Torah values that have been passed down through our [tradition], from generation to generation. Any such attack by Jews against soldiers of the IDF, to whom every Jew owes immeasurable respect and gratitude, is an attack against each and every member of the Jewish community, and provokes shame and regret in us all.”
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