Video does not show thousands of Orthodox Jews leaving Israel due to conscription

By: Christian Haag
March 12 2024

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
Video does not show thousands of Orthodox Jews leaving Israel due to conscription

Example of claim. Source: Instagram/Screenshot/Edited by Logically Facts


The Verdict False

Video shows various travelers at Ben Gurion airport, not thousands of Orthodox Jews fleeing conscription.

Claim ID 9cee2f8b


Claims have been made on social media that a video of an airport shows "thousands of Orthodox Jews" leaving Israel "after Benjamin Netanyahu said he wants to conscript them into the military." The claim went viral on X (formerly Twitter) on March 3 and 4 and has since been reshared on Facebook and Instagram by several other accounts.

Example of the viral claim. (Source: Screenshot/Edited by Logically Facts)

However, the claim is false. While it does show Ben Gurion airport, it does not show thousands of Orthodox Jews leaving Israel to avoid conscription. 

In fact

The videos were originally uploaded to a WhatsApp channel by Dudi Rubenstein, who runs a travel blog for Ultra-Orthodox Jews. The video was uploaded on March 3 to show the busy Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, and does not show "thousands of Orthodox Jews" but various people at the airport. Furthermore, there have been no credible media reports of an exodus of Ultra-Orthodox Jews away from Israel. In fact, a growing number of Ultra-Orthodox Jews have begun to enlist in the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) following the events of October 7. 

Using the watermark in the top left corner of the viral videos, which reads "Dudi Rubinstein," we found his website and social media profiles. We also found a fact check posted on X by the Israeli fact-checking organization Fake Reporter, writing that the original video was posted on a WhatsApp channel run by Dudi Rubinstein, depicting Ben Gurion airport. 

Original video from Whatsapp. (Source: WhatsApp/Screenshot/Edited by Logically Facts)

We found the WhatsApp channel and the original video, published on March 3rd. The text translates to: "Part of the 35,000 happy passengers of today. Thanks to our dear follower B.K. Enjoy your flight!" We also contacted Fake Reporter for additional context, who told us that "From examining Rubinstein's WhatsApp channel, it appears that he often publishes the daily number of passengers at Ben Gurion Airport (thus "the happy 35K passengers"). They are regular passengers, and one can easily see that many in the video are not ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Logically Facts contacted Dudi Rubinstein, but he declined to comment. 

Orthodox Jews and conscription

Ultra-Orthodox Jews have been exempted from military service since 1948 on religious grounds. While the exemption was removed in 1998 by Israel’s supreme court, the practice has continued. On February 29, Reuters reported that Netanyahu aims to allow the conscription of Ultra-Orthodox Jews, as the current stay on mandatory conscription issued in 2018 expires this March. Some, however, have been quietly enlisting of their own accord since October 7, with approximately 2,000 Haredi applying. 

The verdict

The video does not show thousands of Orthodox Jews fleeing conscription in Israel, but an Israeli travel blogger showing the busy Ben Gurion Airport. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false. 

Read this fact-check in:


Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before