Dec 9, 2012

Headline of the Day

Government Will Approve Today: Exemption for Haredim from the IDF Draft 

  -- Globes

All the media are running this type of a headline, but it is more sensationalist and less than accurate. The exemption being given is going to be for those avreichim who will volunteer for a form of sheirut leumi. 1300 avreichim will be "drafted" for the national service - those from 26 and above (with even no children), and those from 22 years old with one child, will qualify for this program. There will be some financial benefits for those who join, such as monthly stipends and arnona discounts. This arrangement will be in effect until August 31, 2013.

A lot of politicians are making a lot of noise about this decision. They are screaming about how the government is exempting the haredim from the army, and it goes against the ideal of equal service for all. They seem to be ignoring the fact that the exemption is only for those volunteering for national/civil service. All along that had been pegged as a fair and reasonable option for equal service - either full IDF service or national/civil service. Now that a plan is being put into place, suddenly those politicians are looking to earn some political profit off opposing it. These 1300 haredim are not being exempted from the IDF and let go for no reason - they are going to be performing some sort of national service.

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  1. Personally, I object. IF they can be drafted, then they can/should serve the Jewish people with the same hardships and risks as anyone else. IF they can be drafted, they aren't claiming any bogus exemptions - so why should they receive special consideration and easier service terms than anyone else? Compare this, if you will, to the attitude expressed several times in today's interview with rabi v'mori Rav Shear Yashuv Cohen in the interview in the Jerusalem Post.

  2. welcome back Reb Mordechai. I can accept anybody's legitimat rejection of such a position, but just a month ago many of these same politicians were promoting solutions that equated national service as an acceptable solution on par (in a legal sense at least) with actual IDF service. Now that Netanyahu found a [temporary] solution, they are opposing it.

    1. Well, as far as political flip-flops goes, you're right. This should not be just another issue used to bludgeon one's political adversaries.


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