Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Religious Persecution of Ethiopian Girl


18 Teves, 5780 °° Jan.15, '20

Religious Ethiopian Girl Being Persecuted for Fidelity to the Torah

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:


Ziva bas Mazal of Ashkelon is a religious 19 y/o Ethiopian girl who was recently was jailed for about three weeks - ending over three months ago, on Erev Yom Kippur - all for her refusal to enlist in the Army. Despite being incontrovertibly religious, the Army insisted that she first serve three months, and only then would they determine if she's exempt on basis
of her religiosity. In honorable compliance with Torah Law, Ziva refused. Just last week, she received notice from Maitav (the IDF Draft Office) that the government rejected her appeal of the Army's intial rejection of her petition for a religious exemption. And again, the Army Draft Office failed to provide even a veneer of legal justification for seeking to draft a religious girl. Since shortly after her release from military prison on 9 Tishrei 5780, she's been valiantly braving the threat of arrest and long term incarceration over her refusal to enlist in the Army, and continues to do so. 

Additionally, on 11 Tishrei, when Ziva went to the Draft Offices to  inform them of her ongoing refusal to enlist, she was reportedly directed to sign a document on the pretext that it was merely certification of her showing up at the draft offices ("hit'yatzvut", which she did do). Afterwards it was revealed that in fact she has been duped into signing onto a document of enlistment ("hit'gay'sut") into the military, something to which she's been in unwavering opposition to, from the very outset of her process.


Public Advisory: 

1.  Do not sign anything without knowing from reliable, independent sources what you're doing. And with regard to the Army Draft Office, the general advice is not to sign anything.

2.  Moreover, it's both prohibited and dangerous for girls to even enter the Draft Offices altogether.


What makes this persecutory treatment even worse is that Ziva's elderly parents, and especially her father, are not in good health, and this ongoing torment exacerbates their condition. This writer is personally familiar with about a half dozen similar cases, in which religious girls with close family members who are seriously ill, have been targeted for draft- related harassment and worse.

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