Haredi media personalities call for settlement boycott

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli haredi Orthodox media personalities are calling for a boycott of West Bank settlement products in response to the Jewish Home party’s position on drafting yeshiva students.

The leader of Jewish Home, Naftali Bennett, is a staunch advocate of West Bank settlements and is also fighting to end the draft exemption for haredi Israelis. Though Israel’s Supreme Court outlawed the exemption last year, in practice haredi Israelis still are not being drafted into the army.

Radio commentators on the haredi Kol Baramah radio station said it was time for the haredi community to liberate itself from the settler movement, with which it has a "fake" relationship. 

“We need to think twice about supporting those who hate us. It’s about time we stop being suckers,” commentator Avi Bloom said, according to the Times of Israel. “When Bennett cries about mothers not being able to sleep at night, you can come and ask him by what right does he not allow Tel Aviv mothers, and now ultra-Orthodox mothers as well, to sleep at night because of the need to protect some random outpost."

Kol Baramah commentator Yaakov Rivlin echoed the sentiment. “It’s time to end all these relations with the real estate dealers in the West Bank territories,” he said.

A senior columnist for the Hamodia newspaper, Yisrael Hershkowitz, wrote, "The settlements will pay the price for the costly arrogance” of Bennett.

Hershkowitz said companies located in Jewish settlements in the West Bank or companies owned by settlers could go out of business if boycotted by haredim.

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