JERUSALEM (AP) — Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews protested Monday in Jerusalem against attempts to draft members of the cloistered community into the Israeli military.
The government is trying to find a formula to obligate ultra-Orthodox Jews to serve in the military before a court-determined Aug. 1 deadline. The current law largely exempts the community from military service. That infuriates many Israelis, since almost all others are required to serve. Israel's Supreme Court ruled the law must be revised.
In the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim, children wearing handcuffs and signs reading "save me" marched the streets Monday. The ultra-Orthodox fear assimilation in the secular military and claim they are serving the state by serving God in prayer and study.
A high-profile panel aimed at finding a compromise was recently disbanded.