The IDF does not want haredim (ultra-Orthodox) in its ranks, Interior Minister
and Shas head Eli Yishai said on Wednesday.
Therefore, he does not
believe that the new national unity coalition will draw up legislation to draft
significantly more haredim into the army. Shas is part of that
Under the coalition agreement signed on Tuesday, the “Tal Law”
will be replaced with a Kadima-drafted, government-sponsored Basic Law, with
changes suggested by the Likud, requiring all citizens to perform military or
The two parties agreed to pass a law to ensure “equal
and fair distribution of the burden of IDF service between the parts of Israel’s
population” by July 31, the day the Tal Law will expire by order of the High
Court of Justice.
Speaking to Army Radio, Yishai repeated a claim he has
made several times recently, that there are thousands of haredim waiting to be
drafted into the IDF, along with thousands of haredi reservists waiting to be
called up. “The IDF does not want haredim,” he said.
The minister also
said that motivation in the haredi community to join the army is increasing. “We
see more and more haredi youth who want to join the army, in contrast to the
secular community, where the phenomenon of draft-dodging is on the rise,” he
“Whoever does not learn Torah should join the army,” he
Yishai addressed the makeup of the new government
“Of course in elections [Kadima chairman Shaul] Mofaz would
have lost a significant number of mandates,” he said. “It’s not a secret that
had Kadima gone to elections it would have suffered a complete
Nonetheless, the Shas leader said that Israelis did not want
early elections and instead wanted the main political parties to
Yishai said that although the new 94- MK coalition has reinforced
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s political position, he does not feel that
Shas, with 11 of those lawmakers, has lost its influence.
not give Kadima everything it wants, because he knows that in the coming
elections Kadima will be gone and he will need Shas and UTJ [United Torah
Judaism] again,” Yishai said.
Stay on top of the news - get the Jerusalem Post headlines direct to your inbox!