Israel Rabbinate Urged to Prevent Religious Street Demonstrations

An appeal to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel to prevent mass demonstrations against the National Service Bill, which provides that girls exempted from military service because of religious convictions should be conscripted for service in social welfare institutions, was made today by the Mizrachi and Poale Hamizrachi, two Orthodox Zionist groups.

The appeal was made in order to head off a mass demonstration planned by the Agudath Israel and Poale Agudah, two other Orthodox groups which strongly oppose the bill. The demonstration is planned for Wednesday when the National Service Bill will be introduced in Parliament by the government.

Preparations for the demonstration were begun today by the Agudah groups. The two organizations intend to mobilize 100 rabbis who would march in front of the demonstration carrying 100 Torah Scrolls. The Mizrachi opposes such a demonstration, fearing that the Scrolls will be desecrated during disturbances which are considered inevitable, especially if the police use fire hoses to disperse the demonstrators.

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