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Sep 30, 2013

Gafni: cancel the quota of 1800 haredi exemptions

The Knesset Committee for Sharing the Burden met today to discuss details of the new draft law for drafting haredim and leaving in place an annual quota of 1800 especially talented students who would be granted exemptions.

According to reports, in an interesting move, after MK Gafni had threatened to pull the haredi parties representatives out of the committee and to no longer participate in what is a farcical process, MK Gafni declared that the committee should actually abandon the quota - meaning, everyone should be drafted with no exception and no exemptions.

Gafni said, dont do us any favors, we do not need your quotas. The Torah World will continue without you just fine.

Gafni also said that putting such a quota in place and requiring rosh yeshivas to decide which students are considered the elite would not pass legal muster and is not actually possible. So, Gafni claims it is a law that is not legal.

I like Gafni because he has interesting arguments. This qualifies as a head-scratcher - cancel the quota, we don't need your help. Gafni always has unusual arguments.

I do not know why such a quota would be not legal. Society has quotas in place all the time. Affirmative action quotas (which the haredim have even requested at times, among other minority groups), quotas for school acceptance, etc... maybe it is specifically having the rosh yeshiva be the one responsible for selecting who qualifies that is the problem. But that is surely a better solution than having an army clerk or a misrad hachinuch clerk make that determination!

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  1. If Chareidim can have quotas on how many sfardi girls to accept into their schools and are even willing to go to jail for that right, why can't the govt. have its own quotas?

  2. The issue is much larger than quotas for students which would then trickle down to much lower enrollment to yeshivot, laying off the rabbis at the yeshivot, closing yeshivot, and forcing a lot of talmidei chachamim into unemployment and deeper poverty. The Haredi sector was already moving in gradually moving to a more 'modern' approach, but Bennet-Lapid-Netanyahu basically stopped that trend.


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