MK Stern: We Hope Hareidim Will Live Up to Their Obligations
In an interview with Arutz Sheva Sunday, MK Elazar Stern (Hatnua) said that the discussions by the Knesset committee dealing with drafting hareidi youth on “sanctions” were unnecessary; there were already plenty of sanctions on the books for those who refuse to serve, and existing laws could and should be enforced against all 18 year olds who fail to show up for army service, he pointed out
Stern was discussing comments by Finance Minister and Yesh Atid party head Yair Lapid over the weekend, who said that if criminal sanctions, including jail time, were not built into the bill on hareidi IDF enrollment, his party would quit the government. The bill is expected to emerge from committee in the coming days.
“I think Lapid was mostly responding to protests by hareidi groups last week,” in which thousands protested in Jerusalem and in Bnei Brak over the sudden freezing of funding for all yeshivas, ordered retroactively by the Finance Minister last Wednesday, said Stern. “This talk about 'sanctions' is out of place and does not contribute to progress on the matter.
“I really don't know what 'sanctions' mean in this context,” Stern added. “If the hareidi community does not live up to the goals the law will enact for them, then any special exceptions they get for service,” whether it is an exemption for exceptional yeshiva students or the ability to substitute National Service for IDF service, "will be out the window."
“We are all living in the same society,” he added. “Beyond the demonstrations, we are in a dialog with the heads of the hareidi community. I hope this will bring about positive results for all.”