Draft-dodging on the rise among girls

Many female high school students falsely declare they're religious; rise in male evaders also noted.

female soldiers aj 248 88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
female soldiers aj 248 88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The IDF has noted a continued increase in the number of female high school graduates who are dodging the draft, OC Manpower Maj.-Gen. Avi Zamir revealed on Sunday. According to Zamir, in 2008, 44 percent of girls slated for enlistment evaded the draft, mostly by claiming they were religious. Zamir said 8% were believed to have been lying. In 1991, 32.8% didn't enlist. Zamir also noted an increase among male draft-dodgers - 25.8% in 2008 compared to 18.2% in 1991. The IDF fears the decline in female draft numbers will continue and that by 2012 46% of women will not be serving in the IDF. Among men, the estimate is that by 2012, 26.7% will dodge the draft. In an effort to limit the number of female draft evaders, the IDF has hired private investigators who have in recent months uncovered 60 who had lied about being religious. In light of the stats, Zamir said the IDF was formulating a multi-level plan that would be implement this year in schools across the country to raise awareness and encourage enlistment. The Manpower Division also intends to enlist more haredi yeshiva drop-outs; the IDF plans to create two companies for the upcoming draft into the Nahal Haredi Battalion. Barely one company was drafted in 2000. Zamir said that due to the increasing challenges and threats that Israel faces, the IDF would not be able to reduce the length of military service as it had initially planned to do earlier this decade. "This has to do with the security situation, and the new reservist law which cut the amount of days reservists can serve," Zamir said.