Haredi enlistment legislation panel appointed

Members announced for committee to draft legislation on haredi enlistment; plan targets to increase military, civilian service.

Haredi IDF soldiers Tal Law 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout .)
Haredi IDF soldiers Tal Law 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout .)
Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid) will chair the ministerial committee that will draft legislation to increase haredi enlistment in the army.
The committee, whose members were announced on Wednesday night, will also include Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon of Likud Beytenu, Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel of Bayit Yehudi, and Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz of Hatnua.
Haredi parties Shas and United Torah Judaism are not expected to cooperate with the committee.
According to the coalition agreement between Likud Beytenu and Yesh Atid, the ministerial committee must present its legislation on the matter within 45 days of the government’s establishment.
The agreement specified several principles that must be included in the new law, among them a yearly quota of 1,800 full-time yeshiva students who will receive a complete exemption from national service and will receive state funding.
The plan, to be implemented by 2017, allows for anyone to defer their national service until the age of 21 due to ongoing religious studies. Afterward, they will have to serve either in the military or civilian service, with the Defense Ministry and IDF given first choice on who will be drafted into the army.
Those who do not have an exemption but refuse to serve will be subject to personal economic sanctions. Yeshivot with high percentages of students who refuse to serve will also have financial penalties levied against them.
Between now and 2017, anyone over the age of 22 will have the option of deciding whether or not to serve. Anyone choosing not to serve will receive an exemption, clearance to join the workforce, and professional training in sectors of the economy requiring additional manpower.
For haredi men between the ages of 18 and 21, the state will set increasing targets for enlistment in both IDF and civilian service, starting at 3,300 in 2013 and rising to 5,600 by 2016.
Approximately 7,000 male haredim turn 18 each year.