On Sunday, Jun 18, a group of anti-Zionist Jews demonstrated outside the Beit Shemesh home of Major Yaakov Rachai, head of the “Bnei Yeshivot” section of the Israeli armed forces, responsible for the recruitment of religious Jews and yeshiva students.
The anti-Zionist Jewish community has always been staunchly opposed to joining the Israeli army, following the fundamental principle of Jewish belief that Jews are in exile and are forbidden to have their own state or army, or to wage wars against any nation. This is in addition to their objection to the ongoing immoral behavior in the Israeli army.
Residents of Beit Shemesh, neighbors of Major Rachai, are by now accustomed to demonstrations in protest against the recruitment of religious Jews and yeshiva students. They were very surprised, however, to see a new face at Sunday’s demonstration: Attorney Barak Cohen.
Attorney Cohen – who is known for his active protests against public figures such as bankers, tycoons, and law enforcement officials with whose decisions he disagrees – came to demonstrate his support for the freedom of speech, in light of recent ongoing police brutality and harassment of peaceful protestors.
The surprised residents, mostly from the so-called “religious” Zionist groups, expressed their anger at the fact that the distinguished and respectable attorney is on the side of anti-Zionist parties opposed to recruiting religious Jews to the IDF.
The saga ended when the Beit Shemesh police arrived and dispersed the protesters.