NEW YORK, Sept. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thousands of members of New York's Orthodox Jewish community, organized by the Central Rabbinical Congress of the USA and Canada, plan to protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in conjunction with his address to the UN General Assembly. The demonstration will be held in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in Manhattan, 47th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues, Thursday September 22 at 5:30 PM.
Under a 2014 law, the Israeli government has been forcing Orthodox Jewish young men to serve in its army. Those who refuse, due to their religious convictions, as well as those who protest against the law, are incarcerated for weeks and sometimes months Currently Rabbi Shmuel Zalman Weissfish, a father of seven, is held in prison for protesting against the draft. Authorities say they will hold him until his trial ends. No one can tell how long that will be – possibly more than a year.
"Netanyahu and his state don't represent Jews or Judaism," said Rabbi David Weiss "This draft issue once again proves that their intention is to uproot religious Judaism."
There are very few countries in the world that draft their citizens even in peacetime. And even those that do grant exemptions in reasonable circumstances – certainly for religious convictions.
"Only the Israeli government breaks into people's homes in the middle of the night, drags them out and throws them in jail for a year and a half, just because they don't want to be influenced by the irreligious and immoral environment of the Israeli army. Furthermore, the very act of serving in the Israeli army is forbidden by Torah. According to Jewish law, Jews are not allowed to wage wars against other nations or to create a Jewish sovereign state of any kind before the messiah comes".
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SOURCE Central Rabbinical Congress