NEW YORK, July 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement being issued by Rabbinical Alliance of USA and Canada:
New York's Orthodox Jewish community will be holding a demonstration on Monday, July 11, in front of the Israeli Consulate at 800 Second Avenue in Manhattan, to protest against the State of Israel's forced drafting of religious young men into their army. The rally will begin at 3:15. At 4:00 the protestors will march to the offices of Friends of the IDF at 60 E. 42nd Street, near Grand Central Station. The rally will continue until 5:30.
About a dozen Orthodox Jewish men are currently serving time in Israeli prisons for their principled refusal to enlist. The most recent case was Yosef Levy, a 20-year-old, who sparked special attention last Sunday after Israeli police attacked a solidarity demonstration on his behalf with characteristic brutality, arresting seven, including a leading rabbi.
"There are only two other countries in the world that draft their citizens in peacetime," said Rabbi Aron Jacobowitz, one of the organizers of the demonstration. "And even they grant exemptions in reasonable circumstances – certainly for religious convictions. Here the Israeli police break into this boy's home in the middle of the night, drag him out and throw him in jail for a year and a half, just because he doesn't want to be influenced by the irreligious and immoral environment of the Israeli army. And this, at a time when the same Israeli army recently turned away 50,000 qualified recruits. Clearly, they don't need the Orthodox – their only goal is to force them to abandon their beliefs.
"More fundamentally, religious Jews refuse to enlist because they are opposed to the State of Israel. According to the Torah, Jews are forbidden to create a state of their own, or to fight wars. We will never serve in the military of a state that we don't recognize.
"Young men like Yosef Levy are heroes – standing up for what is right and ignoring their own personal suffering. All of us need to come out in the streets and show our support for him.
"And to the Israeli government we say: Stop the brutality! Stop the cruelty! Orthodox Jews in the Holy Land have the right to refuse to take part in your actions."
For a video of Israeli police brutality last Sunday, July 3 click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3SH1LOjXm0
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SOURCE Rabbinical Alliance of USA and Canada