Legal Expert: Draft Law 'Shameful, Scandalous' - and Ineffective
Attorney Yoram Sheftel told Arutz Sheva Friday that the Equal Burden of Service law - which mandates a hareidi draft - is "shameful, scandalous, and will cause even more men to avoid the IDF draft."
Sheftel cited the failure as stemming from the condition under the new law which would allow any hareidi male to push off his enlistment until age 24. "By that point, 95% of the draftees in question will already be married with at least 2 children," Sheftel noted. Men with children at that age are usually exempt from service. "What you're saying on a practical level is that hareidi men have no meaningful place in the IDF."
"This is a disgrace and severe discrimination," he added.
Sheftel also rejects the idea of imposing sanctions on the hareidi population for not performing military service. "Why would a hareidi yeshiva student suddenly choose at age 24 to do IDF or National Service?" he wondered. "Why can't the secular population choose? This is shameful and fools the public."
"There will be no sanctions because under no circumstances will a hareidi man serve in the Army," he continued. "It's good that the High Court is exercising its authority, and it would be good if it could leave the current format that all men should enlist at the age of 18 without any distinction. The Minister of Defense has no authority to reject anyone's military service," he continued.
Sheftel called to immediately mobilize all haredim rather than enact a new law, which he claimed "would only exacerbate the current situation and the make it even worse, because now Haredim pretend they are not draft dodgers, but they will now be super draft dodgers."
The hareidi draft issue has caused a tumult among the wider religious community, with some hareidi MKs threatening to quit the Knesset over the issue. Other community leaders have insisted that the draft could be a success, and that the potential dangers to religious life are overhyped.
Sheftel's comments come after another protest against the draft Thursday in Jerusalem, as well as draft-motivated arson in Ashdod. Both were in response to a decision by Yair Lapid to cut funding to all non-Zionist yeshivas immediately and without warning.
Lapid's decision to cut funding came following a Supreme Court ruling Tuesday, stating that the government should stop funding yeshivas with 18-20 year-old students who received draft calls and did not enlist. The ruling came despite Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon's orders to defer such steps until new laws on the issue are passed in the coming weeks.