Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem have burnt an effigy of a soldier of the Israel Defence Forces, Arabs48.com has reported. The act was condemned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Sunday's cabinet meeting.
"I expect, request and demand from all public leaders to denounce this despicable act," said Netanyahu. "I also request that the police find those responsible." He described the incident as an attempt by an "extremist faction" to harm ultra-Orthodox soldiers.
Members of Neturei Karta are said to have been behind the incident. Although described by Netanyahu as both "extremist" and "marginal", the group itself insists that it is following the Torah in its condemnation of the Zionist state of Israel. Members in the West frequently attend pro-Palestine rallies wearing badges proclaiming that they are "Jews, not Zionists". They are also open in their condemnation of those who equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.
Although ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel are not obliged to fulfil military service, more of them are now joining the IDF. The burning of the effigy of a soldier in IDF uniform along with an Israeli flag is believed to have been a protest against such moves by those in the ultra-Orthodox community.