May 26, 2013

The tactics of softening the decrees at the last minute


I wonder if there is a tactic in play here.

The Perry Committee has been meeting to formulate a plan for "equality of service", that would deal with all the issues of increasing the number of haredim drafted into the army, and making those exempt due to learning Torah the exception rather than the rule. It was looking like the decisions to be presented to the Knesset would be fairly harsh, and the Haredi parties and askanim were gearing up for a battle.

Sure enough, at least based on what I read in the Mishpacha newspaper over Shabbos, at the last minute the Perry committee has decided to sfoten up their decisions a bit. The "decrees" won't be as harsh as originally planned. There was a list of changes, such as the institutions being sanctioned for not meeting the right numbers of draftees produced rather than personal sanctions, the target numbers were lowered a bit, etc.

I think I am seeing a pattern here.

The past few weeks had all the talks of general budget cuts and especially budget cuts applied to the haredi community, to the haredi educational systems. The picture painted was that the budget cuts would be very harsh on the haredi community. If it was being painted as harsh by the Finance Minister and his people, from the side of the haredim it was being painted as much worse. Yet, at the last minute things were changed, some budget cuts were canceled, some delayed, some altered. And it passed with little serious opposition. it seems that the Haredim, while smarting from the cuts, figured they had at least lessened the damage and it could now be lived with.

And now the same is being done with the issue of the draft. Talk was of very harsh changes, "decrees" as they are being called in the haredi media, and at the last minute things are being changed, decrees are softened, the decisions are made more palatable.

It might be in my mind alone, but I suspect that this is a tactic being used. By talking everything up and making it look really bad, when they come in and soften things at the last minute, both sides get satisfaction out of the conclusion and it passes easier.

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