Haredi combat soldiers 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
An article in the Shas weekly newspaper Yom Leyom took aim at several non-haredi
MKs for supporting new legislation to draft haredim into national service who
themselves either did not serve or served in non-combat roles.
article, written by journalist Avi Rozen, pointed out that four out of the 15
Yisrael Beytenu MKs did not serve and questioned the service of several
“This party and its members preach morality when they themselves
didn’t perform significant service or contribute significantly to the state,”
The four MKs, all women, are Sofa Landver, Anastasia
Michaeli, Faina Kirshenbaum and Lea Shemtov.
In addition the Yom Leyom
article questioned why Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov ended his army service
at the rank of private and party leader Avigdor Liberman finished as a corporal,
when a soldier serving the statutory three years usually ends up with a rank of
Rozen did acknowledge however that other members of
Yisrael Beytenu served in the IDF for extended periods, achieving senior ranks
in the various branches of the army.
A spokesman for Yisrael Beytenu
called the accusations “a distraction” from the issues at hand.
to rank individuals’ service on some arbitrary measure of importance is immoral
and a complete distraction from the issue,” party director of communications
Ashley Perry said.
“The central issue is that every Israeli should
equally contribute to the national burden. We don’t say what the service should
be just that everyone should serve, and we call on all Israelis to demand from
all Zionist parties to finally pass a law which says one simple
“All Israelis regardless of background should serve their country
at the age of 18.
Anything else is merely excuses, gimmicks and
Perry added that Yisrael Beytenu is the only party to have
presented a bill addressing this matter and criticized the fact that only 20 out
of 120 MKs voted in favor when it was brought to a vote in the
“Yisrael Beytenu brought this issue to the national agenda and
we wrote our bill before the Tal Law was even struck down by the High Court of
“The basic principle should be that whoever contributes the most
benefits the most.
Those who want to carry on in an unequal manner can do
so, but they cannot expect an equal share of the benefits the state provides to
those who contribute.”
In his article, Rozen also attacked Meretz MK
Nitzan Horowitz for his service in Army Radio, and called Meretz in general “the
party of jobnikim
[soldiers doing desk jobs].”
He added that eight out of
10 Shas MKs served in the army pointing to their “significant” service in combat
and intelligence roles.