Last of 63 Draft Resistors, Released from Prison

After spending 90 days in military prison, Yona Yosef Ehrentrau was released on Thursday, Feb 8, 2018.

He preferred to sit in the military prison rather than cooperate with the forced draft law.

Ehrentrau was placed in solitary confinement for his entire 90-day sentence because of his refusal to wear a military uniform, which military prisoners are required to wear. His twin brother, Yisroel Ehrentrau, was released about a month ago, after 80 days of imprisonment.

At the exit from Prison No. 6, he was greeted by dozens of his friends with dancing and singing.

At one point, the celebrators danced with 14 boys on their shoulders, heroes among the 63 prisoners who have recently served time for draft refusal. These 14 were distinguished by their complete refusal to cooperate with the regulations and don military uniforms while in prison. Like Ehrentrau, all 14 were held in solitary confinement cells. The dance symbolized the admiration in which these 14 boys are held by all in the community.

Yona Yosef Ehrentrau is the last to be released of the recent wave of heroes who not only refuse to serve in the military, but also refuse to register at the draft office. He is the 63rd prisoner taken during the wave of protests that began on October 17, 2017 four months ago.

"Another chapter in the mighty war of ultra-Orthodox Jewry against the decree of enlistment has ended," said the activists who greeted him.

However, it should be noted that dozens of ultra-Orthodox are still in the military prison. These are boys who were arrested after they registered in the recruitment bureaus as demanded by the authorities, in order to obtain their exemptions, but were denied exemptions due to the complex new regulations that were added to the draft law in 2015.

Ehrentrau’s friends at the yeshiva purchased for him an expensive Scroll of Esther, worth 10,000 shekels.