Israeli: Ultra-Orthodox Jews shut down main arteries into central Jerusalem in protest at draft law

About 120 Ultra-Orthodox Jews were arrested as thousands blocked off main arteries into central Jerusalem, Thursday, in protest to last month's decision by the High Court of Justice's to strike down a law that has allowed for the exemption of Ultra-Orthodox Jews from military conscription. Similar protests took place in other Ultra-Orthodox localities and neighbourhoods across Israel such as... Еще Bnei Brak and Tzfat (Safed). Ultra-Orthodox Jews, alongside Arab citizens, have been traditionally exempt from compulsory military service required of all Israeli citizens from age 18, on the basis of religious service. Maintaining that Torah study is integral to their way of life, Ultra-Orthodox Jews have historically shunned secular society and its institutions. The policy has been in place since 1949, and despite a number of Supreme Court challenges since 1998, the blanket exemption has been maintained by the significant position Ultra-Orthodox parties have held in successive Israeli governments.

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