NEW YORK, Sept. 19, 2017
Thousands of members of New York's Orthodox Jewish community, organized by the Rabbinical Alliance of the USA, plan to protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who arrived to address the UN General Assembly this week. The demonstration will be held in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in Manhattan, 47th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues, TODAY Tuesday September 19 at 4:30 PM. The entrance to the park will be from 2nd Avenue only and their will by a designated tent for the members of the press.
Protesters intend to focus on the fact that since the passing of a 2014 law, the Israeli government has been forcing Orthodox Jewish young men to serve in its army. Recently, they have been enforcing the laws more strictly, and cracking down violently on anyone who speaks out. Those who refuse to comply, due to their religious convictions, as well as those who protest against the law, are treated brutally.
"The religious 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," said Rabbi Hershel Klar, a spokesman for the rally. "This is in addition to their objection to the ongoing immoral behavior of the Israeli army. Large communities of hundreds of thousands of Jews are now struggling to avoid service in the IDF. Their only wish is to live at peace with their neighbors, serve G-d and continue with their daily lives.
"Anti-Zionist Jews, as conscientious objectors, deserve the right to be exempt from service in the Israeli army, as set down in UN Commission on Human Rights resolution 1998/77.
"By forcing our communities to serve in the IDF, the Israeli government is trampling on our religious rights. By oppressing non-violent protestors, they are trampling on our freedom of speech.
"We see the current effort by the Israeli government to force religious Jews to violate their principles as an anti-religious decree on a par with the most infamous anti-religious persecutions in history, such the Inquisition and Communism.
"Netanyahu and his state don't represent Jews or Judaism. This draft issue once again proves that their goal is to uproot religious Judaism.
"Today when Netanyahu speaks at the United Nations General Assembly, supposedly on behalf of all Jews, we declare that he does not speak in the name of world Jewry, including masses of Orthodox Jews residing in the Holy Land," he concluded.