Report: IDF falsified statistics on haredi draft

For years, IDF's statistics on haredi enlistment have been exaggerated to prevent public criticism, report says.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Netzah Yehuda soldier
Netzah Yehuda soldier
Yaakov Naumi/Flash 90

For years the IDF intentionally claimed more haredi draftees than there actually were, Kan Reshet Bet reported.

According to the report, the IDF lied to all government offices, including the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, the IDF Chief of Staff, and the Defense Minister, in order to appear to meet the draft goals.

In 2017, the IDF reported that 3,070 haredim enlisted, but the true number was less than half of that, at just 1,300. Included in the list of haredi soldiers were non-haredi soldiers, and even some non-religious soldiers.

In 2013, after the Tal Law exempting haredim from army service was overturned, pressure on the army to keep up with enlistment goals grew, leading the IDF's department for haredi enlistment to falsify the numbers in order to stem criticism. In 2011, for example, there were just 600 haredim who enlisted, but the IDF claimed double that number - 1,200, and continued expanding the list each year to show a false rise in haredi enlistment.

At the end of 2018, an army department for haredim was created, headed by Lieutenant Colonel Telem Hazan, who was the Paratroopers' Deputy Commander. When he was asked to report the number of haredim who enlisted that year, he conducted a thorough investigation of all the IDF's units and found that there were 1,650 haredi draftees. However, he was asked to enlarge the numbers or "round up" in order to keep the reports in line with 2017's falsified reports, which claimed 3,070 haredi draftees.

The IDF responded: "Recently the IDF discovered that an error was made when counting the number of haredi soldiers in recent years. When the mistake became known, lessons were learned regarding the criteria for counting and regarding strictness with the body in charge of counting the haredi soldiers within the IDF. We will also note that the numbers for the draft year 2018 (which ended in June 2019) have not yet been finalized.