Camp Sucker demands IDF start drafting haredim

Movement pitches tents outside Defense Minister Ehud Barak's house, demand implementing plan to draft ultra-Orthodox men.

By
August 30, 2012 19:41
2 minute read.
Camp Sucker movement pitches tents

Camp Sucker 370. (photo credit: Courtesy: The Campaign for the Struggle for Equali)

 
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The Camp Sucker movement demanding haredi enlistment in the army has pitched its tents once again, this time in front of the house of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, to demand that he present and implement a temporary plan to draft ultra-Orthodox men into the IDF.

The “Tal Law,” which until now provided the legal framework for full-time yeshiva students to indefinitely defer military service, expired on August 1 and the Knesset failed to pass new legislation before the summer recess.

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The Defense and Security Law of 1986, which became incumbent on yeshiva students following the Tal Law’s expiration, requires all Jewish males to report for service upon reaching the age of 18.

Unless the Defense Ministry demonstrates that it is working on drafting haredi men, it could be considered to be breaking the law.

To forestall such a situation, Barak announced on August 1 that he had instructed the IDF to draw up within 30 days a “practical proposal” for the implementation of the 1986 law for haredi men which should, in theory, be used by the Defense Ministry and the army until the Knesset approves new legislation to replace the Tal Law.

Officials in the Defense Ministry told The Jerusalem Post that IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Benny Gantz was scheduled to present the temporary plan to Barak on Thursday afternoon.

Idan Miller, one of the campaign leaders, said that if Barak had not yet formed a plan, the IDF draft reform movement had one ready and waiting, which they based on proposals made by the army to the Plesner Committee that attempted to formulate new legislation to replace the Tal Law during the last Knesset session.

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Miller said that the plan proposed that a total of 3,000 haredi men of military age be drafted within the next 12 months into five new battalions to be set up specifically for ultra-Orthodox men.

The new units would comprise three new infantry battalions similar to the Nahal Haredi battalion already in existence, an armored battalion and an Iron Dome rocket-defense battalion.

Miller said that the Shahar program in which haredi men are placed in hi-tech positions in the air force and intelligence units could be tripled in size to accommodate more recruits.

He added that, according to the army, the cost of one haredi battalion would be offset within a year by savings made by not utilizing reserve units that would otherwise be required.

“Despite the fact that the prime minister ran away from his responsibilities and sold out, as usual, the Israeli public to the haredi leadership for the sake of his political survival, we are still confident that the IDF will not miss this historic opportunity and immediately initiate a process of establishing special frameworks that will enable the integration of haredim into its ranks,” Miller said.

He added that if the Defense Ministry does not begin the process of drafting haredim, the draft reform campaign would start submitting a series of petitions to the High Court of Justice “in order to enforce the [1986] law which went into force on August 1 requiring service for all.”

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