Haredi Soldiers 58.
(photo credit: YAAKOV KATZ)
The Masorti (Conservative) Movement in Israel slammed a cabinet decision
intended to raise the number of haredi men serving in the IDF or national
service that will ultimately allow thousands of yeshiva students who are already
older than the ages covered in the program to receive an immediate
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The exemption “discriminates between blood and blood,” CEO
Yizhar Hess said in an announcement Sunday, noting that as with the case of the
recent kollel student decision, “there is no validity to a political decision in
Israel that is set out to be implemented in five years. This is throwing dust in
the public’s eyes,” Hess said.
“Until when will the haredi parties
proceed on the unholy axis of blood and money?” he asked.
said that the government’s decision “bears no real tidings on the integration of
haredim into the military service or labor market. The government should have
refrained from reducing the age of military exemption, and included in the
program an element of reserve duty for haredim who were exempt from their
regular service, to be served during their yeshiva study period,” movement
leader Rabbi Gilad Kariv stressed in a statement.
“So long as the
government continues to support yeshiva students with hundreds of millions of
shekels, prevents the placement of core curriculum studies in haredi schools and
exempts them from military service, the public will remain detached from the
Israeli society. Despite the overwhelming majority in the cabinet in favor of
this decision, the broad public is disgusted by this lack of equality and the
hypocrisy in the arrangement” enabling haredim to profess their study as their
profession, Kariv said.
The Forum of the Duty to Serve (Chovat Sherut),
which amalgamates over 40 social organizations, religious and student groups,
slammed Sunday’s decision. “Talk about a reform in induction won’t be able to
hide the fact that the government turned discriminating between blood into its
policy,” a statement read.
“This is a decision that circumvents the High
Court of Justice, the Knesset and the public.”
The forum also noted that
its three-day march planned next Tuesday will comprise “the public’s answer to
the disgraceful decision.”
Representatives of the forum’s groups will be
walking from the Tel Hashomer military induction center to the Knesset bearing
stretchers, in protest over the unequal distribution of the military service
burden in Israeli society.