Hareidi enlistment
Hareidi enlistmentIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Rabbi Moshe Shapir, editor of the Shas party’s journal, fiercely criticized Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz in an article on Wednesday. The article was published after the Draft Law committee headed by Kadima MK Yohanan Plesner announced its recommendations.

Plesner said he wants to heavily fine hareidi religious youth who refuse to enlist in the IDF, but issued only general guidelines for the Arab sector.

“Shaul and his friends are sabotaging the delicate stitches that hold the Jewish people together, cutting off the branch on which we sit, and actually trying to destroy our national essence, which is built on the eternal Torah,” wrote Rabbi Shapir.

“Ahmadinejad and his friends are happy with the little Jew boy who is doing their work for them,” he added, referring to Mofaz. “Even Khomeini could not have done it better.”

Rabbi Shapir claimed that Mofaz “is sticking with all his might to the hackneyed thesis of hatred for Torah scholars” for the purposed of his political rehabilitation.

“I wonder where he learned to step over bodies to reach his goal,” he wrote. “If our ancestors had not fought for this [Torah learning, ed.], Mofaz would not even exist to babble his distorted thoughts and produce such a blind hatred for such egotistical motives.”

Rabbi Shapir said that imposing sanctions on hareidim who refuse to enlist will not get them to join the army.

“For several years we have been suffering from indirect economic sanctions and we have moved on. We will not throw away in a minute what we have kept with the utmost devotion for thousands of years. What Antiochus and his friends could not do, Mofaz and Plesner will not be able to succeed in doing either. There will not be compromises on this, because this is the essence and character of the Jewish people.”

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he concurred with the committee's most contentious recommendation: sanctions for hareidim and Arabs who refuse to serve in the IDF.

“One who shirks” in his obligation to do military service, Netanyahu said, “will not receive the same benefits as one who serves.”

Mofaz strongly rejected Netanyahu’s welcoming of the recommendations, accusing Netanyahu of “evading the challenge of correcting the injustice of giving an exemption to the hareidi population.”

Mofaz has issued a clear ultimatum to Netanyahu to adopt new draft law proposals if he wants to keep Kadima in the coalition.

Mofaz’s ultimatum puts the Prime Minister on the spot to choose between Kadima and hareidi religious parties, which are fiercely opposed to the proposed change and have been a pillar of the coalition.