Health and Interior Minister Moshe Arbel criticized the IDF for its management of soldiers on Tuesday amid turmoil over the Draft Law.
“Before people attack those who learn Torah, we first need to deal with the concealed idleness in the IDF,” he said in an interview with the ultra-Orthodox Kol Barama radio station. “Azrieli Mall is the IDF’s biggest base.”
The mall in question is situated directly opposite the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv and sees a particularly high number of soldiers passing through daily.
"Azrieli Mall is the IDF's biggest base."Health and Interior Minister Moshe Arbel
Arbel has, however, made it clear that the draft exemption doesn’t apply to all ultra-Orthodox people.
“As someone who served in the army and in the reserves until I entered the Knesset, and whose brothers all served in the army, one of them as an officer, I want to say clearly that being ultra-Orthodox is not a reason to be exempt from military service,” he said, adding that only haredi people who are in yeshiva should be exempt.
Haredi parties prioritizing Draft Law
A renewal of the law that gives haredi yeshiva students an exemption from IDF service is currently the biggest priority for the ultra-Orthodox parties who wanted it to be passed before the Knesset broke up for the summer. They are now insisting the law be passed as soon as the winter session begins with provisions to prevent the High Court of Justice from striking it down.
Arbel’s Shas and United Torah Judaism have clashed with the rest of the opposition over the contents of the new bill, with the Likud insisting on a special service track for haredi people similar to the Sherut Leumi (national service) option used mostly by religious girls in Israel. The ultra-Orthodox parties continue to insist on only their version.