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Wednesday, June 05, 2013 

Peri committee on drafting Haredis may not be the proper way to go

City councilwoman Rachel Azaria feels the Peri committee on how to draft Haredis into the army is the wrong way to do it:
What we have learned from our experience in Jerusalem is that the best method is to support the moderate haredim, the ones who want to integrate into the Israeli and Jerusalem public, and fight the extremists with everything they have.

The problem is that the Peri committee is doing exactly the opposite. According to the committee's proposal, the first order of business is to exempt all haredim from service, and in four years' time, anyone who has not enlisted, will be put in jail. This outline actually strengthens the extremists, who are just waiting for an opportunity to prove to everyone that the only thing the state wants is to harass the haredim.

The equation is clear: a haredi man who goes to jail is basically "dying in the name of God." There is nothing in the Peri bill that bolsters the moderate haredim who truly want to become a part of Israeli society. The absurd part of all this is that nothing is going to happen for another four years, if at all. Until then, the haredim will enjoy a full exemption from service.

It is not entirely clear why this is, but one thing is very clear: no haredim will be drafted in the coming four years, but the extremist haredim will gain no matter what. If the government is replaced, and the law is overturned, we have strengthened the extremists, pushed away the moderates and, obviously, failed to draft any haredim -- not today and not in four years. What we need to do is exactly the opposite! Start drafting as many haredim as possible today, in the existing programs, and open up new channels for haredi service. Meanwhile financial sanctions should be imposed immediately against anyone under the age of 25. But apparently, to understand this one needs to really know the haredim, or be a Jerusalemite.
She's got a point. If anything, the Haredis should not be allowed to misuse public taxes at the rest of the public's expense. Drafting should begin immediately, or the Haredis should at least enter the workforce, which is just as good a choice.

Update: while we're on the subject, there was a demonstration in Bnei Brak a few days earlier against drafting that even saw trash bins being set on fire. Despicable.

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  • I'm Avi Green
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