MK Moshe Gafni [United Torah Judaism] said Tuesday that if asked, he would advise a haredi [ultra-Orthodox] man against enlisting in the IDF.
Gafni, who also chairs the Knesset Finance Committee discussed the issue in an interview with Radio Kol Hai. His comments refer to the recent decision by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz not to give religious soldiers permission to excuse themselves from official IDF ceremonies. According to Jewish law, men are prohibited from listening to women sing. Gafni said: “Today, because of the decision of the General Staff, and the IDF Chief Rabbi's hesitation, a haredi Jew who comes to me and says ‘I’m going to [the] Shahar [army program for haredi men],’ in the past I would have said ‘great, good luck to you.’ Today I say don’t enlist, because their intention is to change you into a different person.”
Saying that he didn’t know what else the army would obligate ultra-Orthodox soldiers to do, he said that it was “forbidden to enlist.” The IDF has failed in its integration of haredim, Gafni added.