Wednesday, January 15, 2020

BasCohen Resists Hegmonist Draft


Intolerable: A Religious Bas-Cohen Imprisoned For Her Refusal to Enlist in the Army

18 Teves, 5780  °°  Jan. 15, '20

By Binyomin Feinberg,


To check for updates, on first view of this article, as well as throughout the week,  please visit Updates for month of Teves '80:


Although Chanukah has passed,  Maitav (the Israeli Army Draft Office) refuses to allow concerned Jews to forget the timeless mesiras nefesh [selflessness] of Yehudis, and her heroic brothers, even 21 centuries afterwards. In yet another trans-generational reverberation of the righteousness of Yehudis, on Monday Jan. 13, another religious Bas-Cohen, Lital bas Miriam, of Tel Aviv, 26, was arrested at Ben Gurion Airport, for not enlisting in the Army. 

She sent in her religiosity-certification about nine years ago. She was then summoned for a Rayon Dat (Religious Interview/ Interrogation).  However, apparently, she never got a clear indication of her legal draft status one way or the other. Before she set out to the airport to travel abroad on Monday, she reportedly asked the Border Police if she would be allowed to travel without any legal complications over her draft status. They informed her that it was ok. However, on arrival she was arrested, and is now in incarcerated in military prison for her refusal to enlist in the military. Enlistment in the Army is prohibited for all girls (regardless of level of religiosity) - according to leading Rabbis across the spectrum. 

Her hearing has been postponed, and they're planning on keeping her in prison at least till then.  This callous extension of incarceration traces a recently-established pattern of military prison treatment of religious Refusenik girls and women over the past couple of months. They tend to keep girls (e.g. Orpaz Ora bas Aliza) in jail on the pretext that - for some reason - they are "unable" to arrange a hearing. This apparent charade can continue indefinitely.  Thereby, they punish and pressure the young women to submit to enlist. B"H, they are often unsuccessful, due to the fortitude of these special individuals and their advocates.

In legal systems that venerate G-d-granted individual liberties, non-violent infractions such as late submission of documentation (not to mention simple failure to answer arcane questions about religious observance) would not be grounds for arrest, much less incarceration, and much less extended jail time due to delays in the initial hearing. But the protocols of Maitav apparently  diverge from constitutional norms, standards which we in America unfortunately tend to take for granted. 

It now appears that she's sitting in Military Prison simply because she didn't answer one question correctly in her Rayon Dat nine years ago, pertaining to Kriyas HaTorah (the weekly reading of portions of the Torah). According to Jewish Law, women are generally exempt from Kriyas HaTorah (except for the reading of the Remembrance of the Obliterating of Amalek... and, according to some, Parshas Parah). To question her religiosity over such an issue is ludicrous. To arrest her over that should be criminal, but apparently raises no eyebrows.

Thank G-d, she's in contact with competent guidance, the Shomrei Torah organization, which is quite proficient at the providing quality information necessary to properly alert the public to the plight of incarcerated girls.

What makes this all even more outrageous is that her brother is suffering a severe health condition, and this unwarranted persecution  doesn't help that. In fact, the presence of a severe illness in the immediate family is a statistically significant factor present in a number of cases with which we are familiar. It appears that having an immediate family member severely ill tends to flag girls for arrest, incarceration and persecutory treatment by Maitav.

### Public Advisory: ###

A)  Anyone who has questions about his or her legal draft-status should NOT rely on verbal statements of government staff - including law enforcement officers.

B)  Anyone who's draft status is questionable should not assume it's resolved until obtaining confirmation.

C)  Those unsure of their draft status who have serious illness in the immediate family should exercise additional caution, because they can least afford complications, and because they  may be more susceptible to being flagged for arrest by Maitav, if the opportunity presents itself. That also means: drive extra carefully to avoid being pulled over, even if you think you're not doing anything dangerous.

D)  Again, do NOT enter the Draft Offices for any reason, even if you imagine that you'll "just be in and out" with your petur (exemption certification) -- even if you see other girls who do manage to enter and exit quickly with their exemptions. For all those girls who manage to avoid complications, many others don't - some of whom tragically succumb to the immense pressure to enlist in the Army.

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