JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel Police wrote numbers on the hands of more than two dozen haredi Orthodox protesters who were arrested during riots, spurring a comparison to Nazis.
The demonstrators, among 120 arrested Thursday during rallies against the arrest of haredi draft dodgers that blocked roads in Jerusalem and other cities, refused to identify themselves. The numbers were used to identify the protesters in court during their arraignments and their incarceration, Channel 10 first reported Sunday.
Hapeles, the newspaper of the haredi Jerusalem faction, which is behind the demonstrations, made the comparison to Nazis, who tattooed concentration camp prisoners with numbers during the Holocaust.
“The State of Israel acts as an anti-Semitic tyrannical regime,” the newspaper wrote.
The haredi protesters had accused the police of using excessive violence in quelling the riots.
On Monday, dozens of haredi Orthodox protesters blocked Jerusalem’s light rail as part of a new round of protests against the draft of haredi yeshiva students.
Haredi Orthodox leader Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, the second-most influential rabbi in Lithuanian Judaism, in an unusual move criticized the leader of the haredi Jerusalem faction, Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, and called his students “a flock without a shepherd.”