Daily Israel Report

‘Draft Law’ Panel: Sanctions against Hareidi Draft Refusers

The “draft law” panel headed by a Kadima MK wants heavy fines on hareidi youth who refuse to enlist. Sanctions on Arabs were less clear.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 7/4/2012, 11:27 AM

MK Plesner at press conference Wednesday
MK Plesner at press conference Wednesday
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The “draft law” committee headed by Kadima Yochanan Yochanan Plesner wants to heavily fine hareidi religious youth who refuse to enlist in the IDF but issued only general guidelines for the Arab sector.

Plesner announced his recommendations at a press conference following a blow-up between Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who dissolved the committee last week following internal dissension.

National Union Knesset Member Dr. Michael Ben-Ari was ejected from the press conference after interrupting Plesner several times with complaints that the report focused only on hareidi religious Jews and not the Arab sector.

The report also did not mention secular Jews, where there has been a growing trend, particularly in metropolitan Tel Aviv, to evade the draft or use loopholes for exemptions.

Plesner's committee was formed to come up with a replacement for the Tal Law, which expires in three weeks and which dealt with draft exemptions for hareidi religious youth who want to continue learning Torah.

Kadima has made a universal draft a condition of its remaining in the new national unity coalition. The Shas Sephardi hareidi religious party has threatened to bolt the coalition if exemptions are not extended for young man wanting to remain in yeshiva.