MKs called for the enlistment of haredim into the IDF during the opening of the Knesset's winter session on Monday.
Given the expiry in August of the Tal Law, which exempted the ultra-orthodox from serving in the military, Kadima head Shaul Mofaz called on the IDF immediately to begin preparing to enlist haredim rather than wait until after the January 22 election.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak in a Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting revealed the IDF was indeed making preparations to enlist haredim, but said exemptions should be given to top Torah scholars so they can continue studying. He also said haredim should have the option of choosing between military and national service.
In the latter case, however, Science and Technology Minister Daniel Herschkowitz warned that the expiration of the Tal Law undid years of work of providing haredim with options to perform civilian service. He claimed that many haredim are prepared to volunteer if given the opportunity.