Refaeli. 'No internal beauty'
Stern launches war on Tal Law
Photo: Hagai Aharon
Less than 24 hours after taking off his uniform, Major-General (Res.) Elazar Stern launched a war on the Tal Law exempting yeshiva students from military service.
Speaking at an event held by 25 social organizations to sign a treaty against the law, Stern compared the draft dodging phenomenon to the Iranian threat and conversion problems.
"Those who address the draft dodging phenomenon in the IDF only as a numerical issue don't understand what we're doing here," he said. "If there is no social involvement here, we could say this is one of our biggest existential threats.
"Those who talk about the IDF as a professional army are speaking out of weakness. The draft is much more than the amount of soldiers, and in addition, the State cannot afford it."
According to Stern, "What we have here is a moral problem as well as a democratic one – a society causing its own internal decay, and we won't be able to endure it eventually.
The retired general said he has stopped buying products advertised by supermodel Bar Refaeli, "ever since they decided to put a draft dodger on their products – external beauty overpowering internal beauty.
"I called the companies and the managers of those companies, and they told me 'that's what the youths like'. I told them our job is to stress what the youths should like, not what they like now."
Stern also addressed the recent reports about IDF soldiers' misconduct against Palestinians, saying that "those who don't treat Palestinians with respect won't treat their friends, wife and children with respect. They have a disorder of not honoring people, and exploitation and parasitism are also disorders – and it eventually reaches your friends and family."
Among those who signed the treaty were retired Justice Michael Cheshin, actor Shlomo Vishinsky whose son was killed in an IDF operation, National Student Union Chairman Boaz Toporovsky, Colonel (Res.) Haim Erez, and Yoel Marshak of the Kibbutz Movement.
According to Zohar Abargil of the Israeli Forum for the Promotion of Equal Share in the Burden, 34% of the Jewish population does not serve in the army. "In another six years this figure will grow to 47%, and in 2025 it will surpass 50%. The Tal Law exempts an entire sector from all types of service and distinguishes between different kinds of blood."
The battle against the law has heated up ahead of a High Court discussing expected early next week, which was defined by the meeting attendees as "fatal".
According to Abargil, the treaty will be submitted to the president, Knesset speaker and prime minister. A protest march will be held in Jerusalem on Thursday, and a protest tent will be set up near the Knesset on Friday.