I'm really at a loss of what to make of the Chareidi draft situation in EY. I know I don't fully (if at all) appreciate Israeli politics, and I certainly haven't lived anywhere other than ..., so I can't say that I've seen what tensions and feelings are really like in the different communities. That being the case, hearing what Americans have been saying in favor of the Chareidi side, and certainly what the Chareidim are saying, at least from what I see in the newspapers (and I started reading Kikar HaShabbat since you shared a link to the article about the imprisoned bachur), and I am having trouble simply understanding how they make sense. How do they believe all the hateful, dramatic, and inciteful things they say? In light of a recent piece on the Cross Currents blog criticizing the Chareidi mentality, asking "Are they really all reshaim?", I have to ask from the other direction "Are they really all over-dramatic hatemongers who don't realize the avoidable negative repercussions of their actions?"
I don't know which Chareidi gedolim are saying what. The article that mentions Rav Shmuel Auerbach visiting the imprisoned bachur doesn't have any quote from him saying the government is imposing a shmad, so I don't know if he was actually in favor of what the other talmidim were doing.
Anyway, I'm not sure who the Chareidi spokesmen are exactly, and if they are men to be respected. I also don't really know what the individuals of the Chareidi community think. I only know what I see being portrayed in the media, and what I hear individuals in America saying. By individuals in America I mean Rabbanim. Also, I was by a certain Rebbe in ... for Shabbos before the summer, and his young son gave a dvar Torah on the parsha he heard in yeshiva, and it ended up being tied into the shmad being imposed on bnei torah in EY to wipe out talmud Torah.
So, in you have any thoughts to share with me on this, it would be appreciated. Thanks Rebbe.