Rally by ultra-Orthodox Jews in Napanoch supports protests in Israel
Rabbis and Jewish students rally in Napanoch on Monday in support of a group in Jerusalem that wants to keep a parking lot closed on the Jewish Sabbath.
By Michael Randall • Times Herald-Record
NAPANOCH — Clashes between ultra-Orthodox Jewish protesters and police in Jerusalem are prompting sympathy protests in this country, including one Monday afternoon on Sportsman's Road.
The original protests in Jerusalem began over the opening of a city parking lot on the Jewish Sabbath in June, under the order of Mayor Nir Barkat.
According to press reports, tensions have risen in the city since Barkat replaced an ultra-Orthodox mayor in last November's elections. The reports said the lot was opened because illegal parking nearby was blocking emergency vehicles.
The protestors' interpretation of Jewish law prohibits driving on the Sabbath.
Monday's Napanoch protest drew many from New York City and other locations outside the mid-Hudson. They say protesters in Jerusalem are being beaten by police for standing up for their religion.
That does not happen in America, said Rabbi Bernat Krause, one of the protesters.
"We are fortunate to be living in this country, where we have freedom of religion," Krause said during the rally, which was followed by a brief march to a synagogue up the road. "It is the opposite in Israel."
The local protesters stressed their solidarity with those who have been protesting in Israel.
"We will march in every city in the world," vowed Rabbi David Rose.
Yeshiva World notes the protest took place at a Satmar children's camp.