United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party leader Yisrael Eichler on Wednesday lashed out at Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid's plan for drafting haredim for IDF and national service, according to Israel Radio. Eichler sarcastically said he believes Lapid's claims that he is not anti-haredi just as the "duck hunter does not hate ducks."
The UTJ party leader told Israel Radio that, "Many have taken on the ultra-Orthodox: Avraham Burg, Rafael Eitan, Meretz and Shinui. At the end they all passed away, and Orthodox Judaism and the Torah of Israel and remained standing." He added that the debate over haredim in the army should focus on concerns about equality, said he supports turning the IDF into a professional army where soldiers earn competitive wages and serve for longer. Eichler claimed that his approach would release half of the soldiers currently obligated to serve so that they could join the labor market.
According to Lapid's plan, announced on Tuesday, anyone who does not do IDF or civilian service will not receive any government stipends. Over the next five years, a government service office should be founded, where it will be determined where every 18 year old Israeli will serve. The IDF will decide who should enlist, and all others will do national service, Lapid proposed.