25% of young men don't serve in the IDF

25% of boys, 40% girls d

Some 25 percent of military-age boys and 40% of military-age girls do not go into the army, the cabinet was told Sunday in a session devoted to curbing draft evasion. Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) recommended denying drivers' licenses to those who do not serve because of a mental health deferment. "Those who get out of the army because of a mental health deferment can't be drivers," he said. His proposal, however, was rejected later by the Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs. Regarding the females, 30% do not enlist for religious reasons, and another 10% because they are either married, abroad or have a medical deferment, including mental health deferments. Women who do national service instead of IDF service are not included in this 40%, but no statistics about them were given. For males, 13% receive yeshiva deferments, five percent receive medical deferments or are abroad and another seven percent are turned down by the army for various reasons. The cabinet decided to establish a committee headed by Cabinet Secretary Tzvika Hauser to come up with ways to reduce the number of women falsely claiming a religious lifestyle to get out of the army. Despite these numbers, Defense Minister Ehud Barak (Labor) pointed out that the motivation of soldiers to enter combat units in November was very high. He also said the army has been making a real effort to place each soldier in the unit he was interested in. Barak used the cabinet session to reiterate the need to keep politics out of the army, and said that those in uniform must follow government decisions. Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar (Likud) said army-aged females making false statements regarding religious observance to avoid military duty has become an "industry." Sa'ar said he was not condemning religious women, but those falsely claiming to be religious. National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau (Israel Beitenu) said the army was no longer a "people's army," but rather "half the people's army." He said those who complete their army service should receive preferential treatment in landing jobs and housing, especially veterans of combat units. At this, Deputy Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman (United Torah Judaism), said that if five percent of the population was "crazy," it was necessary to look around the cabinet table as well. Litzman added that the haredim should not be criticized for not doing army service, but rather praised for having many children. "[Palestinian leader] Sari Nusseibeh would be mayor of Jerusalem if we were not in Jerusalem," he said, referring to the demographic situation in the capital. "You have to admit that. You go into the army, and we have children." Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) took issue with Litzman, saying, "We have children, too," and pointed to his three kids, Labor's Binyamin Ben-Eliezer's five children, and Likud's Bennie Begin's six as examples.