Committee: IDF Service for Men Down to 32 Months
The Shaked Committee, headed by MK Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home), began voting Monday on a new law concerning IDF enlistment. The new law has already been sharply criticized by Col. (res.) MK Moti Yogev of Shaked's own party.
Specifically, Yogev attacked a clause of the law that would shorten army service for men from three years to 32 months; soldiers in combat positions will serve the extra four months as members of the IDF's permanent professional corps (Tzva Keva).
"This is a clause that will be regretted," warned Yogev. "It's an unprofessional and irresponsible decision that will lead to a serious shortage, and will harm the IDF combat array as well as the technical array."
Yogev added that the decision "was not properly examined, not in its financial aspects or its social aspects, and was raised as a flag of 'equality between the genders,' in a manner that harms the operational status of the IDF in its ability to succeed in its mission to defend the people and state of Israel."
It is worth noting that women currently have two years of army service, in contrast to the three years served by men.
Shaked postponed the vote on the extension of IDF service for women, to give the army's Human Resources Division time to prepare relevant alternatives should the vote decide not to increase women's service.
The new law was brought into greater public attention last week following a High Court ruling suspending funding to yeshivas whose students had their enlistment deferred. That postponement was ordered by Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon to give the Shaked Committee time to finish its work.
While the ruling was thought to be meaningless, given that February yeshiva funds had already been allocated, Finance Minister Yair Lapid leaped on a loophole to retroactively cancel funding to all yeshivas last Wednesday, sparking massive hareidi protests.
Yogev's criticism focused on Lapid's Yesh Atid party, which has been leading the push for hareidi enlistment, and prefers "equality" over the IDF's ability to defend Israel and obtain victory, according to Yogev. "Maybe the IDF can now recruit foreign workers to bridge the gap?" quipped Yogev.
Jewish Home Chairman Naftalli Bennett exulted over the upcoming Shaked Committee vote on Sunday on his Facebook page, remarking "we must not let the small details hide the big picture: We are making history."
"Without this process, the State of Israel would have faced a huge socioeconomic crisis within a few years," Bennett added. “There will be bumps in the road, but in a few weeks we will change the reality in Israel."