Moshe Arbel
Moshe ArbelYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Interior Minister Moshe Arbel, of the Sephardic-haredi Shas party, has stated that the haredi public must change its perspective and realize that the refusal to enlist in the IDF is no longer relevant.

Speaking on the Fourth Quarter Movement podcast, Arbel said, "The reality after October 7 is a reality that the haredi public needs to understand and internalize that there is no longer a moral option of continuing this way."

"Each year, there are 1,500 who are eligible to enlist - they must be part of those who bear the burden.

"In addition, there are a significant number of institutions which are designated for struggling youth. All of those institutions - there is no justification in the world that those who by definition do not learn Torah as their occupation should not be part of the army."

In February, Arbel sent a letter to Yossi Levy, CEO of Netzach Yehuda.

In his letter, later published by Yediot Ahronot, Arbel encouraged the integration of haredim into meaningful, long-term military service. He particularly expressed his pleasure at the significant increase in interest among haredi youth to enlist for combat service in the upcoming draft.

Arbel also told Levy how happy he is about the more than 800 new haredi soldiers who have joined the IDF since October 7th. And in an interview, Arbel argued that it is totally indefensible for haredim to claim exemption from military service simply because they are haredim. Like all other Israeli citizens, they should serve, he told the interviewer, except for those who are genuinely engaged in full-time Torah study.