Monday, October 17, 2022

True Strength


Demonstrating Authentic Strength: a Hoshana Rabbah update on IDF Refusnik Maital bas Tamar

By Binyomin Feinberg, former contributor to The Jewish Press

21 Tishrei, 5783/ 16 Oct. ,'22 (Zos HaBracha) v.1a

We recently reported on a 20-year-old Israeli girl being twice imprisoned by the Israeli Army for her refusal to serve in the IDF ( Thank G-d, she was able to obtain her temporary release until after Yom Kippur, which was then extended until Oct. 18.  On the morning after Yom Kippur, Oct. 6, she travelled to the "Bakum" for an appearance before an Army officer, and was released home. B"H, she is now free, at least until Isru Chag Sukkos, Oct 18th (Simchas Torah outside of Israel), when she's currently scheduled to have another appearance at the "Bakum" Military Court in Tel HaShomer, at 10AM. She was told that they've not received a decision as to whether to just free her, or to incarcerate her yet again, for a third time. She'll ostensibly know that after Sukkos.

The Oct. 6th meeting/ hearing was scheduled to start at 9AM, but she wound up waiting over four hours. According to the refusenik girl, the presiding officer asked her why she refuses to enlist. She mentioned the low spiritual level of the Army environment. He reportedly told her that there are laws, and she's obligated to enlist. She replied that G-d, (le'Havdil) also has His Laws (which obviously supercede human laws).

The officer told her he was able to put her back in prison for another 20 days (as punishment for being absent from the Army), but allowed her to go home, ordering her to return Oct. 18. It's plausible that the Army is being more accommodating at this point in order to avoid demonstrations on her behalf, after those of two weeks ago held at the main military prison (#10). Demonstrating for such girls often has multiple benefits, both for the girl in question, and for an untold number of others.

Maital reported that, in the course of both of her detainments, she was subjected to denial of basic human needs, including water and food, and was prevented from relieving herself, all while handcuffed by military police. 

She reported that in the process of her arrest two weeks ago she was put in foot-cuffs (in addition to the standard handcuff treatment). The reason? Her refusal to don the Army uniform. After the regular Police handed her over to Military Police on the Sunday morning of her arrest, the military police ordered her to replace her modest clothing with  military garb. On grounds of personal modesty she refused. As if out of vengeance, they put her in handcuffs, chained her to a female escort - and also put her in footcuffs. She asked them what she did to warrant being mistreated as a violent terrorist.

Reports of such human rights shortcomings by Israeli military police are not uncommon, in the slightest. They are done in a very demeaning manner, and quite apparently intending to break the fighting spirit of these innocent young women. Accordingly, there appears to be a systemic toleration of such human rights violations, if not an active encouragement thereof. Those who are pained to hear this would be advised to actually try to speak to multiple girls who experienced it personally. There are enough of them around. As imperative as it is to shun exaggeration, we also need to shun silence and apathy in the face of systemic outrages.

Public pressure, and even simply making people aware, is needed. People should be encouraged to call the Israeli government, e.g. the Consulate in NYC: 212.499.5000.

The message ought include the following:

1) Free Maital bas Tamar immediately.

2) Why is the Israeli Army drafting ANY girls? Forcing any girl into the Army is a violation of Torah Law, and, le'havdil, basic human decency. If they insist on flaunting such basic Torah values, then let them stop calling themselves a "Jewish State."

3) We demand that the Israeli Army immediately stop all discriminatory misconduct against traditional and religious girls who come from "periphery" backgrounds, or are encumbered by other circumstances that make them easy targets for persecution by the Army Draft Office.

4) The dehumanizing human rights violations have to stop immediately.

Please have Maital bas Tamar in mind in davening, and spread the word, at least through Tuesday.

Extending to our esteemed readers a piska tavah,


The following is a link to a  Guidebook ("pocketbook") provided by the pro-Israel organization "Chotam." It's an English guide for religious girls to avoid enlistment in the IDF: 

This very publication is a stinging indictment of the Israeli Army Draft Office, and the antireligious Establishment behind its escalating crusade to rob religious (/ traditional) girls of their legal entitlement to a religious exemption from military service. The very need to publish such a guide speaks volumes of the danger posed to the next generation of Jewish mothers by "fellow Jews." The professional, psychological warfare techniques that these 16- and 17-year-old girls need to be trained to defend against, all alone - without even legal counsel or a family member - are almost as outrageous as they are anti-Torah. These techniques indicate how intent the Israeli military is on drafting increasing numbers of religious girls, and to what depths they're willing to stoop to do so. Thus, unrelenting vigilance is required in identifying developing trends in the encroachment of the female draft on religious communities. Moreover, we need to undo the entire female draft ASAP, for ALL girls, not only those the Draft Office deigns to sanction as religious enough to be exempt from the "Mizron Tzahali" treatment. No other path will solve the problem.

"... And if someone, like Pinchos, is one among a multitude, and every man is against him when he dares to speak out for truth and to fight for the Law -- the more lonely his stand, the greater the number of his adversaries, the more powerful is his word, the mightier his deed."

--  Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch OB"M (1808-1888), (in "Judaism Eternal," vol. 2, p. 293)

No comments :

Post a Comment

please use either your real name or a pseudonym.