Fighting “fire with fire,” Shas-affiliated newspaper Yom Leyom on Thursday released a report that documents the extent of IDF service of members of various parties in the Knesset – and evaluates their records in the context of their demands that the IDF forcibly draft full-time yeshiva students. As it turns out, some of the parties with the loudest voices in the Knesset condemning the Tal Law, that provided yeshiva students with exemptions from IDF service during the course of their studies, have a great deal of explaining to do.
For example: Yisrael Beiteinu sponsored two separate laws that would have required all yeshiva students to be drafted, but four of its MKs – Sofa Landver, Fania Kirschenbaum, Anastasia Michaeli, and Lea Shemtov did not serve in the IDF at all, and neither did they do National Service. In addition, the report said, it appeared that Tourism Minsiter Stas Meseznikov did not complete his IDF service. There are also large questions hanging over whether or not he does IDF reserve duty. The report also raised questions over the IDF service of party chairman Avigdor Lieberman. It should be noted, however, that there are numerous former IDF officers in Yisrael Beiteinu, like Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich.
In Meretz, a dovish party that is “hawkish” on full IDF service for all, the MKs seem to have served, but most served in low-level home front positions, derisively called “jobnik” positions. MK Nitzan Horowitz, for example, “served” at Army Radio. MK Ilan Gilalon, who was designated handicapped in the IDF, taught classes to incoming combat soldiers.
In the Likud, on the other hand – whose policy, as enunciated by party leader Binyamin Netanyahu is to develop an alternative plan to ensure that yeshiva students can serve in the army without coercion – all MKs served in the IDF, except for MK Zion Finan, who was unable to serve because he has polio.
The report also examined the IDF service of Shas MKs, and determined that two did not serve in the army at all. The other eight served in IDF combat roles.