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Thursday, February 27, 2014 

Haredi rabbinical councils jeopardize army drafts

The Haredi leaderships have been coming full circle in their opposition to army recruitment, and it's very grave:
Monday night’s unprecedented meeting of the three rabbinic councils of the mainstream haredi movements Degel Hatorah, Agudat Yisrael, and Shas was grand theater on a grand scale.

Thirty-four of the most senior and influential rabbis in the haredi world gathered to deliberate, debate, pray, and weigh their reaction to the government bill to draft haredi men into the army. [...]

The rabbis called on all yeshiva students to refuse conscription, announced a mass demonstration would be staged to protest against the legislation, and even threatened to instruct haredi boys not to present themselves to IDF enlistment offices for initial processing, which could generate serious social unrest.

The statement issued by the council was fierce and dramatic and could lead to significant reversals in the successes reached so far in drafting haredim into either military or national service.

Regardless of what any new law stipulates, without even a modicum of cooperation from the community and its rabbinic leadership nothing can be achieved whatsoever.
While Yair Lapid's demands for criminal sanctions may have been sloppy, that's no defense for the Haredi leadership's anti-military stance. Certainly not if they encourage civil disobedience and rioting.

But, speaking Lapid, I can't believe how horrifically stupid he's being to lobby for arrests made against Haredis who don't enlist instead of economic sanctions, and I'm sure the public would rather Haredi movements with anti-military leanings not be given their tax money.

This article, however, has something incredibly dumb in it:
Last night’s declaration issued by the rabbinical councils is a direct result of these twin pressures. Auerbach has set the agenda of the haredi community by tacking hard to the right, but the government has no less helped bulwark and strengthen this position.
Oh, isn't that hilarious! If they're against serving their country, Auerbach and company are veering more to the left, just like a lot of anti-Israel movements. The reporter is only dampening the impact of his article by failing to keep his apparent anti-conservative stance from getting the better of him.

That told, Lapid's call for these kind of punishments is going about this the wrong way, and the law proposals should be altered to imposing economic sanctions instead, which could hopefully get the Haredis to at least join the workforce.

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