Orthodox Jews Joining IDF Face Increasing Pressure, Threats

Mass demonstrations against IDF service have the country on edge, new campaign defends Orthodox soldiers

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Tension has been growing over some Orthodox Jews joining the Israeli army, as evidenced by the violent mass demonstrations at the entrance to Jerusalem. This week, the public protests moved down to the Tel Aviv area.

It should be stressed that a great many Orthodox are against these outbursts. And, of course, the demonstrations are being held precisely because more and more religious Jews are joining the army.

But those who do put on the uniform of the IDF face many challenges and threats that average Israelis soldiers don't. Many are publicly scorned and even physically abused in their own neighborhoods when on weekend leave. For the sake of these soldiers, the army makes an exception to the rule about wearing one's uniform home from base.

Recently, average Israelis grew fed up and established the Forum Against Incitement to put pressure on the more hostile elements in the Orthodox community.

A new campaign by the forum is urging Israelis to boycott any goods bearing the kosher certification of the rabbinical authorities, noting that the revenues from such certifications are being used to incite anti-Israel and anti-IDF sentiment.

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