Hard-line Haredim stand outside IDF recruitment center to dissuade others from joining

Members of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta faction are standing outside a Jerusalem recruitment center and try to talk other Haredi Jews from joining the IDF; 'The secularists choose to engage in wars, so they should handle the consequences'

Liran Tamari|
Members of Neturei Karta, a religious sect of Haredi Jews that opposes the very idea of Zionism and the state of Israel, maintain a daily presence outside the Jerusalem recruitment office of the Israel Defense Forces. Their mission is to deter young Haredi men who visit the office from joining the IDF.
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Neturei Karta members
Neturei Karta members
Neturei Karta members
(Photo: Reuters)
At a time when the topic of Haredi recruitment to the IDF is a major public talking point, their activities are increasingly noticeable. "We are here every day, two volunteer members, ensuring that any Haredi young man who wants to enter the office to resolve his recruitment status doesn't get entangled," explains Aharon, a Neturei Karta member who was on duty near the recruitment office.
Aharon concisely outlined the stance of his faction. "We believe that it's not only forbidden for Haredim to enlist but also for secular individuals. The military is the worst possible option. Joining the army lowers one's moral standards and leads to corruption. We've seen boys who've entered the army and ended up in a worse state than secular people."
He expressed no concern over security issues or fear of incidents like those of October 7. "There's no need for combat. We coexisted with the Arabs in the land of Israel, without the need for a state and government, and we lived peacefully. There was no necessity for wars to inhabit this place," Aharon asserts.
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ארדואן ונטורי קרתא
ארדואן ונטורי קרתא
Neturei Karta members with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
(Photo: Turkish President's office)
"Secularists have established a state here with the intent to exercise control over Israel, leading to the expulsion of Arabs and the creation of an army to wage wars. We believe we can coexist with Arabs or any other governance; we are not opposed to living under Gentile rule. The secularists choose to engage in wars, so they should handle the consequences of their wars. We should not be subjected to danger simply because they have chosen to go to war voluntarily," he says.
He talks about what he says happens inside the recruitment office to entice the young Haredim.
"The military aims to ensnare them. They want as many Haredim as possible to join, asserting that they have specifically designed programs for them. Their objective is to convince as many Haredi young men as possible to enlist. Haredim who visit the office usually aim to postpone their recruitment, and we guide them on how to navigate without getting entangled. We do not communicate with those we know who wish to enlist. Our struggle is against the Zionists and the entirety of this nation. If the recruitment law is enacted, our fight will be against the country," he threatened.
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