The anti-Zionist Satmar Hasidic group led the protest, joining ultra-Orthodox Israelis who oppose the draft

Nearly 20,000 Orthodox Jews packed into a New York city stadium on Sunday to protest against an Israeli law mandating that religious Jews be conscripted into the Israel Defense Forces.

The anti-Zionist Satmar Hasidic group led the protest at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, joining many in the Israeli Orthodox community who oppose the draft law.

Rabbi David Niederman, who serves as a liaison for one of the groups organizing the event, said that they viewed mandatory conscription to a largely secular Israeli army as infringing on religious freedom.

“Since 1948, when the government was founded, they understood that there is such a thing as [yeshiva] students who are studying and they are exempt of military services,” Niederman said to the Jerusalem Post. “But for the past few years [Israeli politicians] have been trying to tighten the screw, and basically forcefully recruiting and forcefully bringing them in for military service, to which they object.”

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