Daily Israel Report

IDF Evaluates Draft-Dodger with Facebook, Debate Ensues

Incoming recruit declares herself 'religious' - and, thus, exempt - just before draft date; IDF uses Facebook to accuse her of fakery.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 1/31/2014, 10:06 AM

Female IDF soldiers
Female IDF soldiers
Flash 90

Behold, the power of Facebook: the IDF used the social media networking site to catch what it considers a potential draft-dodger this week, according to Yisrael HaYom, after she declared herself "religious" (and thus subject to an exemption) the day before her draft date. 

During her pre-draft interview, the candidate told IDF recruitment officials that she had started "connecting to Judaism" within the past 6 months and had been keeping Shabbat. She also specifically added that her Facebook account only featured modest pictures of herself. 

Internal documents within the recruitment office later accused the girl of faking, stating that her Facebook and Whatsapp pictures were indeed not modest at all, according to the daily. 

Now, the decision not to accept her exemption is going to the courtroom.

"It is inconceivable that Israel's decision to determine whether or not someone has religious exemption from IDF service should be based on a brief interview by staff which has no Torah knowledge," the girl's attorney, Idan Pesach, stated. 

The IDF upheld its position in an official response.

"The IDF denounces and condemns any attempt at evasion through false religious statements," the statement reads. "A bill is currently pending which is designed to prevent recurrence of such incidents. Recruitment offices are trying to eliminate false declarations as much as possible and reduce the incidence of false statements by performing interviews and follow-up." 

Army-age women falsifying proof of religiosity is something of a common phenomenon; religious women are exempt from IDF service of any kind, though most volunteer to complete National Service work instead.  

Israel's Chief Rabbinate has stated, since the inception of the state, that all Jewish young women should not be drafted into the IDF, but the state only granted religious exemptions for women. There is no official definition of what "religious" has to mean in this case..