Hareidi woman (illustration)
Hareidi woman (illustration) Israel news photo: Flash 90

A married hareidi woman who was arrested and placed in a military jail for evading enlistment was released on Thursday.

The woman’s release was made possible after the heads of the IDF’s Manpower Directorate granted her a pardon.

The imbroglio began when the woman, who wanted to travel to Crown Heights, showed up at the Military Police offices and asked why she was told by airport authorities that she could not leave Israel. She was told that an order restricting her from leaving Israel had been issued against her, and that she has been "wanted for a long time."

She explained that she is a married hareidi woman, but this impressed no one and she was promptly arrested and taken to military jail. She was subsequently sentenced to 24 days in prison.

MKs Michael Ben Ari (National Union) and Uri Makleb (United Torah Judaism) sent an urgent letter to the Defense Minister Wednesday asking him to intervene in the affair.

"D., who grew up in a hareidi family, was a candidate for enlistment who did not report that she is religious, despite having been educated in hareidi institutions and leading that lifestyle," they wrote.

"D. did not obey the law when she failed to settle the matter of her enlistment / non-enlistment, at the time when she was required to report for service. But now, after she married, she asked to settle her case vis-à-vis the Military Police, and when she came with her husband to settle the matter, she was immediately taken to jail."

"To the best of our understanding, and along with our criticism of D., this is an unacceptable act. It is hard to understand why it was so urgent to arrest her when she herself showed up to settle her case. Could she not have been summoned for trial?"

"The arrest of a married hareidi woman is seen in the public as a serious breach of her modesty. We turn to you and ask for your immediate intervention for D.'s release. And there is no doubt that from here on in she will show up as required for her trial. There, she will be able to present her arguments and if there is a need for punishment, a way must be found to do it without violating the rules of modesty."

Israeli young women receive draft notices in Israel before their eighteenth birthday. They may opt to declare that they wish to be exempted from service for religious reasons, an exemption which is granted without argument, but they must do so by declaring that in the manner required by law. The Chief Rabbinate is against women's IDF service for halakhic reasons which do not allow an unmarried woman to be in a subordinate position to a man other than her father. Married women are exempt from the IDF if they so choose.