Gafni calls on ultra-Orthodox not to enlist in IDF

"If the IDF wants to enlist haredim it must adjust itself to accommodate their beliefs," United Torah Judaism MK says.

January 5, 2012 10:18
2 minute read.
MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ)

MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ) 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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

United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni on Thursday called on young haredim (ultra-Orthodox) not to enlist in the IDF if protocols are put in place requiring haredi soldiers to attend IDF ceremonies in which women sing.

Gafni said in an interview with Israel Radio that "if the IDF wants to enlist haredim it must adjust itself to accommodate their beliefs."

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

'IAF rabbi should be fired from position'
'IDF religious won't hear women sing? Use earplugs'

Relations between the army and religious soldiers have been strained following the ruling by Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz on Monday obligating every soldier to attend all official army ceremonies, even if they include women singing, which observant soldiers object to on the basis of religious law.

Soldiers may, however, request exemptions from informal army events featuring women singing or dancing.

On Tuesday, Israel Air Force Chief Rabbi Lt.-Col. Moshe Ravad resigned from the “Shahar” program – aimed at integrating haredi men into the army while allowing them to maintain their ultra-Orthodox lifestyle – due to claims of possible changes to the terms of service that enable soldiers to maintain a strict level of observance.

In a letter, Ravad claimed that the IDF Manpower Directorate was reviewing the terms of service for the program.

“In the last draft of the new terms of service, I saw that the articles designed to preserve the piety of the soldiers had been removed, as well as the paragraph designed to provide exemptions for activities which would negatively affect their piety,” Ravad wrote.

Ravad acknowledged that the new terms of service had not been finalized, but stated he could not continue working for the program’s administration as rabbi and adviser “in the current circumstances.”

In response, IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz recommended on Wednesday that Ravad be dismissed.

Peretz said Ravad had overstepped his authority with conduct unsuitable for an officer, and called upon IAF Commander Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan to fire and replace him.

Jeremy Sharon and Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night