Nice article but the comments? Wow, such hatred here! I was actually there covering the gathering among many other journalists. I am from an overseas TV station, and I and my company are all not Jewish. I have been in Israel for over a year. You claim to be Jews but display such hatred for your religious brethren. Shame on you!! As was explained to me there by most haredi participants, the main reason that they made this prayer gathering was because the Israeli government is legislating JAIL time for those haredi men who do not enlist in the army, (starting in 2017). They are studying the Bible and Talmud and we non-jews across the world respect that. We know that it is a worthy job, but YOU do not understand. Why? The army does not want or need the haredis. They will not enlist anyways so the bill does not help in any way. Even the pro-army National-Religious Rabbis state that the army is not good for haredi jews. The law is aimed specifically and only at haredi jews, the only thing it will "accomplish" is penalize them with jail and sanctions. It is not universal draft. The law until the recent past did not discriminate against religious or non-religious. Anyone who wanted to study was exempt/delayed from being drafted. In the USA too, any divinity student was exempt from drafts. I think that is the way it should be, if you are not haredi and you think it is great to serve, you want to serve, good for you! If you are haredi and think it is more important to study, good for you! Mutual respect guys, c'mon! You are all Jewish, members of the holy nation of the book! Sorry, the reason you are alive is not because you have the best tech or cunning, it is because you are God's holy chosen nation! Do not try to wean off the priests! It was a beautiful and peaceful rally They said psalms and a prayer for rain and world peace. It was very moving! But to some of you secular Jews, they are evil! You are crazy! They are dedicating their lives to your religion, that is what is special about your nation! Not start-ups and belly dancing or horas and falafel! If they would only go to the army, that is the holy grail!?! So they should be more westernized, make money for themselves, that is more acceptable for you. Sad...
Guardian Council reverses ban on 1,500 candidates in Iran's parliamentary elections (AP)