Masorti Movement: Cabinet decision smacks of hypocrisy

“No validity to political decision that is set out to be implemented in 5years. This is throwing dust in the public’s eyes,” Movement CEO Hess says.

January 10, 2011 08:02
2 minute read.
NETZAH YEHUDA Battalion commander Lt.-Col. Dror Spiegel (left) talks to one of his company commander

Haredi Soldiers 58. (photo credit: YAAKOV KATZ)

The Masorti (Conservative) Movement in Israel slammed a cabinet decision intended to raise the number of haredi men serving in the IDF or national service that will ultimately allow thousands of yeshiva students who are already older than the ages covered in the program to receive an immediate exemption.

The exemption “discriminates between blood and blood,” CEO Yizhar Hess said in an announcement Sunday, noting that as with the case of the recent kollel student decision, “there is no validity to a political decision in Israel that is set out to be implemented in five years. This is throwing dust in the public’s eyes,” Hess said.

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“Until when will the haredi parties proceed on the unholy axis of blood and money?” he asked.

The movement said that the government’s decision “bears no real tidings on the integration of haredim into the military service or labor market. The government should have refrained from reducing the age of military exemption, and included in the program an element of reserve duty for haredim who were exempt from their regular service, to be served during their yeshiva study period,” movement leader Rabbi Gilad Kariv stressed in a statement.

“So long as the government continues to support yeshiva students with hundreds of millions of shekels, prevents the placement of core curriculum studies in haredi schools and exempts them from military service, the public will remain detached from the Israeli society. Despite the overwhelming majority in the cabinet in favor of this decision, the broad public is disgusted by this lack of equality and the hypocrisy in the arrangement” enabling haredim to profess their study as their profession, Kariv said.

The Forum of the Duty to Serve (Chovat Sherut), which amalgamates over 40 social organizations, religious and student groups, slammed Sunday’s decision. “Talk about a reform in induction won’t be able to hide the fact that the government turned discriminating between blood into its policy,” a statement read.

“This is a decision that circumvents the High Court of Justice, the Knesset and the public.”

The forum also noted that its three-day march planned next Tuesday will comprise “the public’s answer to the disgraceful decision.”

Representatives of the forum’s groups will be walking from the Tel Hashomer military induction center to the Knesset bearing stretchers, in protest over the unequal distribution of the military service burden in Israeli society.

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