Anger as de­fence chief post­pones Charedi draft

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY ANSHEL PF­EF­FER

THE IM­PLE­MEN­TA­TION of Is­rael’s na­tional ser­vice law, which was cre­ated to reg­u­late the en­list­ment of Charedi men into the IDF, is to be pushed back.

The move re­flects the terms of the coali­tion deal that was signed ear­lier this year by the strictly Ortho­dox par­ties and Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu, who agreed to soften the law in or­der to se­cure Charedi sup­port in gov­ern­ment.

An amend­ment, which has been au­tho­rised by De­fence Min­is­ter Moshe Ya’alon, al­lows yeshiva stu­dents to con­tinue de­fer­ring na­tional ser­vice un­til 2020, three years be­yond the orig­i­nal dead­line.

In ad­di­tion, when they have to re­port for mil­i­tary duty or civil na­tional ser­vice in July 2020, there will be a sec­ond in­terim pe­riod of an­other three years be­fore those re­fus­ing to en­list will be li­able for crim­i­nal charges.

Since the Supreme Court has ruled that ex­empt­ing Charedim from the IDF is un­con­sti­tu­tional, the amend­ment is just a post­pone­ment of the fun­da­men­tal prob­lem.

The gov­ern­ment and the mil­i­tary’s hope is that over the next few years, the num­ber of Charedi men will­ing to join up and im­prove t hei r f ut ur e em­ploy­ment p r o s p e c t s

Ya’alon will fill the quota orig­i­nally en­vis­aged in the law and pre­vent a break­down in the ef­forts to in­te­grate the strictly Ortho­dox com­mu­nity into wider so­ci­ety and the work­force. Most crit­i­cism of the pro­posed change i n the na­tional ser­vice law i s b e i n g drawn from Ye s h At i d, the party led by for­mer fi­nance mini s t e r Ya i r Lapid. Now in op­po­si­tion, Yesh Atid was the main spon­sor of the orig­i­nal law in the last Knes­set. Party chair­man Ofer Shelach at­tacked the amend­ment, say­ing: “If it passes, N e t a n y a h u a n d Ya’alon will not have the moral author­ity to en­list peo­ple to the na­tion’s army and send them to de­fend the home­land.”

Ne­tanyahu andYa’alon willno longer­havethe moralau­thor­ity to en­list the na­tion’s army’


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