News Brief 12/18/2012, Tevet 5, 5773
Merav Michaeli Not in Favor of Haredi Enlistment in IDF
Labor party nominee Merav Michaeli stated that she opposes forcing Orthodox men to serve in the IDF. "I'm not in favor of the mandatory enlistment of Haredim in the army. Israeli politics is giving power to the rabbis when we continue to insist on discussing the issue of enlistment. There is a historical injustice, and there's no doubt about that, but what's done is done. Studying in yeshiva is not fun, it's a hard life. There are very few who can sit from morning to night and memorize the Talmud. It's an extremely complicated thing. In regards to the level of hatred and separation between religious and secular Jews, it is much more important that the Haredim work and become integrated into society. I have no doubt that if today we dismissed Haredim from military service, we would take away the power of rabbis right from under them. Many haredim want to integrate and to be released from military service and to stop the threat of forced enlistment. "
Michaeli added that forcing Haredim to enlist will worsen the exclusion of women in the army, saying, "It took so many years to get to a situation, which is still not ideal, in regards to the status of women in the military. We will pay a price so high that I do not see any reason to pay it today."