Judicial Reform Protesters Reach Bnei Brak, Open Mock IDF Recruitment Office

Protesters in Bnei Brak over judicial reforms, 3.16.23

JERUSALEM (VINnews) — During another day of raucous protests and ‘escalating resistance’ against judicial reforms in Israel, demonstrators converged on Bnei Brak Thursday morning, heading to a number of locations.

A number of protesters set up a mock IDF recruitment office, as one of the main aspects of the judicial reforms, the override clause, is supported by the Chareidi community in order to establish a basic law preventing conscription of yeshiva students. Currently the Supreme Court has struck down all exemption laws, claiming that they fall afoul of basic laws on equality.


Other protesters attempted to reach the home of MK Moshe Gafni, head of the Knesset finance committee and the Degel Hatorah faction of UTJ, as well as to the municipality, which they tried to block with barbed wire. Police removed them from these sites.

“We have come to transfer the burden of conscription to the haredi population, because if there is a dictatorship here, we will have to come here to conscript soldiers,” protesters, including former police minister Omer Bar-Lev, announced. “We repeat that without democracy there is no people’s army.”

On Tuesday, police did allow protesters to stage a demonstration near MK Gafni’s home. Some arrived equipped with LGBTQ “rainbow” flags; another brandished a mock Ten Commandments with the text altered to reflect their agenda. Hundreds of counter-protesters arrived and were kept apart from the left-wingers by police. However, the event descended into chaos after police alleged that one haredi counter-protester had used pepper spray against a police officer, leading to police forcibly dispersing the charedim present.


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