Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) issued sharp criticism on Tuesday to the fifty students who sent a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announcing that they are against IDF conscription.
Lapid called the group "spoiled" in an interview on IDF Radio.
"We are conducting an all-out war on the subject of Equal Burden of Service [the hareidi draft law - ed.] to encourage all sectors of Israeli society to enlist, and then a bunch of spoiled, secular slackers informs us that they do not care for Israeli government policy and, therefore, they have a great solution - that other people will be killed for them," Lapid fired. "They'll stay home and be good and someone else will be guarding the checkpoints."
"Let's go along with it - let's claim that Israel is inhumane in the way the IDF conducts itself in Judea and Samaria," Lapid continued. "Should we not place 'humane' people like them at the checkpoints, so that they themselves can make sure the IDF treats the old woman standing at the border line 'humanely'?"
"Anyone who claims to have an ideology but would rather have someone else bear the burden of it isn't an idealist; he's spoiled," Lapid added.
Ha'aretz originally reported on the letter, in which the youths claim they were not serving because of their “opposition to the military occupation of the Palestinian territories.”
The letter said that the youths were acting “in solidarity with hareidi and Arab youths – Druze and Christians, many of whom who are in jail right now. We call on all of Israeli youth to rethink their commitment to IDF service. As far as we are concerned, defending our society does not mean occupation discrimination, racism, or violence. We believe in the power of the citizenry to change the situation and make it more just, free and fair.”
At least one of the signatories already had a medical exemption from IDF service - but claimed that he really was abstaining for "political reasons" and cited a need to abstain from "a cycle of bloodshed."