United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni .
(photo credit: DEGEL HATORAH)
United Torah Judaism will support the revocation of state recognition and funding for yeshivot whose rabbis call for violence or criminal actions, in new regulations for determining which yeshivot are eligible to receive state funding and military-service deferrals from the Defense Ministry.
The regulations also stipulate that the defense minister will be entitled to revoke recognition and funding for yeshivot in which 20% or more of the students fail to report to IDF conscription offices to obtain their service deferrals.
These clauses in the new regulations are aimed at combating the campaign of incitement and violent protests against conscription to the IDF and against the arrest of yeshiva students who fail to report to the IDF conscription offices to receive their exemption.
The campaign has been led by the Jerusalem Faction, a group that has broken away politically from the mainstream haredi political alignment and has virulently and oftentimes violently opposed any haredi conscription to the IDF whatsoever.
Yeshivot associated with the Jerusalem Faction and its head, Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, have instructed students not to report to IDF conscription offices to obtain their deferrals, while instructions are often issued by the Jerusalem Faction to yeshiva students to block traffic and participate in unauthorized demonstrations.
The new regulations were debated in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Wednesday.
Opposition to those clauses came, however, from Bayit Yehudi MKs Moti Yogev and Shuli Moalem-Refaeli, who object to what they describe as the broad scope the proposed regulations give the defense minister.
The Bayit Yehudi MKs are concerned that an “agenda-driven” defense minister or IDF chief of staff could close yeshivot whose rabbis tell soldiers to disobey a command or not meet a military requirement if it contravenes Jewish law.
Committee chairman MK Avi Dichter (Likud) agreed with the Bayit Yehudi MKs and asked that the wording of the regulations be made clearer regarding the authority of the defense minister to revoke state recognition for yeshivot.
Dichter said that voting on the regulations would be postponed until a revised version is drafted.