Barak: IDF has begun process of recruiting haredim

Defense minister says IDF to start selection process for haredi youth, current yeshiva students won't be drafted at this stage.

By
October 15, 2012 14:29
2 minute read.
A haredi soldier prays during a drill.

A haredi soldier prays during a drill. (photo credit: IDF Spokesman))

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Monday that the standard processes to draft recruits have been initiated among haredi youth aged 16-19 over the past few weeks.

Speaking at a hearing of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Barak said that although the procedures targeted at haredi teens are ongoing and increasing, he is refraining from drafting current yeshiva students until after the elections. This includes those who have until now been receiving military service deferrals, despite the current lack of any legal framework for them to avoid national service following the expiration of the Tal Law in August.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee hearing was called to update the Knesset on the efforts being made by the defense minister to institute a temporary solution to the problem.

The expiration of the Tal Law means that the 1986 Defense Service Law, requiring the state to draft all 18-yearold Jewish males, is now operative.

There are currently 55,000 yeshiva students of military age who were legally receiving military-service deferrals until August 1, but who have still not been drafted.

“Because we’re now in election season, and in order to facilitate dialogue, I have refrained from setting in stone [directives] regarding those in the interim age bracket [of 20-28 who were receiving a military service deferral through the Tal Law],” Barak said.

He added that the best permanent solution for those currently aged 20-28 is to allow them to either volunteer for national service or receive a complete exemption in order to enter the labor force.



But draft reform advocates and religious- freedom lobbying group Hiddush described the plan outlined by Barak as an effort to deceive the High Court of Justice, which struck down the Tal Law in February.

“This plan is an exercise in mass deception, designed only to mislead the High Court and the public into thinking that progress is being made,” said Hiddush deputy director Shahar Ilan.

Although the initial draft letters are now being sent out to haredi teens, it is almost certain that those whose enlistment date is imminent will be not drafted within the next 12 months.

Today’s announcement was merely a delaying tactic to allow for the elections to take place and new legislation to be passed afterwards exempting the haredi yeshiva students once again, Ilan claimed.

“If the army wanted to it could draft as many as 2,000 haredi recruits in the next few months. All that is happening now is ‘fantasy progress,’” he added, designed to avoid any legal consequences.

Barak said that as part of his temporary plan to prepare for the enlistment of haredi yeshiva students, existing army tracks dedicated to ultra-Orthodox recruits would be expanded such as the Netzach Yehuda combat battalion, and the Shahar program which places haredim into hi-tech units.

MK Yohanan Plesner (Kadima), who led efforts to draft haredi yeshiva students into national service, said during the hearing that as long as no new legislation is passed, the army is obligated to draft tens of thousands of yeshiva students whose service has been deferred until now.

He also said that the coming elections would be a referendum on the issue of army enlistment and equality in the burden of military service.

Related Content

idf hebron
August 22, 2014
Palestinians throw Molotov cocktail at IDF checkpoint in Hebron

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH, TOVAH LAZAROFF