Daily Israel Report

Pro-Enlistment Group Says Current Measures Don't Go Far Enough

Lapid criticized for 'misleading' Israelis into believing that the 'equal service' issue had been resolved; 50,000 hareidim 'still exempt'.
By David Lev
First Publish: 2/20/2014, 3:20 PM

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Flash 90

The Shivyon organization, an umbrella group that advocates full enrollment of all hareidi yeshiva students in the IDF, on Thursday slammed Finance Minister and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid for misleading Israelis into believing that the “equal service” issue had been resolved. Lapid, said the group, had been portraying Wednesday's decision by the Shaked Committee to impose criminal sanctions on hareidi draft dodgers as “historic,” but the only history being made was a “world record in cynicism,” the group said.

The Committee, headed by Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked, is hammering out the last details of the bill that would authoritatively decide for once and for all, MKs hope, what the obligations of 18-year-old Israelis to the state are. The Committee on Wednesday voted to impose criminal sanctions, up to and including jail time, on draft dodgers from the hareidi community.

On Thursday, Lapid said that “the historical injustice (of hareidi yeshiva students not serving in the IDF) has been corrected. It should have been clear that we would not capitulate on the matter of criminal sanctions. Zionism has returned. All 18-year-olds will soon be at IDF induction centers.”

History had indeed been made, said Shivyon – but not in the way Lapid portrayed it. “It's a historical day in that the level of cynicism being displayed by politicians has hit new heights,” the group said, “In essence, the law will exempt 50,000 hareidi yeshiva students from ever having to serve their country in any capacity.” This is due to the fact, the group said, that the full requirement to draft yeshiva students does not come into effect for three full years.

As history in Israel shows, plans and laws involving hareidi service in the IDF has a tendency to change very quickly, and three years are a long time. “The law will only see 10% of 26-year-old hareidi community members drafted, and that will take place only in three years – if it ever actually happens, that is,” the group said.

Lapid thinks we are idiots,” Shivyon said. “How can he say that all 18-year-olds will be drafted when the Shaked Committee on Wednesday decided just the opposite? Unfortunately we have lost this round of the battle for equal IDF service, but we at Shivyon will not stop fighting the war,” the group added.