Spring Valley, NY – Hundreds of elementary and middle-school students and teachers from the United Talmudical Academy (UTA) staged a peaceful demonstration in Spring Valley on Wednesday protesting a bill before the Israeli government aimed at ending draft exemptions for Haredis.
LOHUD.com (http://lohud.us/12ouVZl) reports that the protest, predominantly made up of boys between the ages of 6 and 13, began with a 4:15 p.m. rally at the school and then proceeded along Singer Avenue and Madison Avenue before returning to UTA.
Along the route boys carried signs written in both English and Hebrew, many of which alluded to the current Israeli legislation as being an attack on religious freedoms.
The bill, which was approved by Israel’s Cabinet on Sunday, calls for a gradual phasing-out of military exemptions for yeshiva students.
UTA teacher Joseph Lieberman pointed out the apparent hypocrisy of the Israeli bill, saying, “In the places we live — America in particular — they respect our religious laws. They understand that we are praying for the good of the land … and they are not forcing us to go into the army, but in the so-called Jewish state of Israel … they now say that we are not allowed to learn in the yeshiva … we have to go to the army.”
Video below credit The Journal News