eady to enlist? (Illustration)
Photo: Motti Kimchi

Tal Law extension: Secular, haredi teens present their stance

Coalition is preparing for uphill battle to ratify Tal Law extension and high school seniors say they will carry out struggle to make sure ratification fails. Meanwhile, haredi IDF recruit explains why law is being maligned

The Tal Law, which gives yeshiva students an exemption from IDF military service, is once again front page news following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's announcement on the cabinet's intent to extend the law's validity by an additional five years.


Yet it would seem that there's an up hill battle ahead for the coalition in its attempts to see the extension ratified. Many high school seniors and senior political figures have already expressed their condemnation of the intended extension.


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In contrast, a haredi teen who is set to enlist in two weeks is calling on the naysayers to objectively examine the process that will see him and his friends integrate into the IDF.


אילוסטרציה. "לקדם מאבק ציבורי ואידיאולוגי" (צילום: מוטי קמחי) 

'We are a less cynical generation' (Photo: Motti Kimchi)


Some 4,000 high school seniors have already signed the 'senior's letter' - a petition calling on the country's leaders not to go ahead with the law's ratification.


The student behind the initiative, Yotam Berger, said that "we will discuss various possibilities for the struggle. From demonstrations and parliamentary work and through to inundating Knesset members' offices with faxes and emails and finally, a school protest strike."


Berger stressed that the protestors were "here for the long run and I'm sure we'll succeed where the adults have failed. We are a less cynical generation and less depressed." He added: "We are furious over the prime minister's statements and so are set to move ahead with operative steps against the discriminating and infuriating law.


"Our goal is to promote a public and ideological struggle against the deep and immoral discrimination that is the Tal Law. We have made a commitment, when we get to the ballot boxes we will know if the elected represent us or Shas and United Torah Judaism."


'Tal Law instrumental in changing views'

Omer Rothschild, who postponed his military service for a year in order to carry out a year of national service, also signed the senior's letter. He believes that "The Tal Law is an unequal law. The fact that thousands of teens don't enlist every year is a weight on our shoulders.


"We are motivated, but if we look at the data, our service, as significant as it may be, will not be enough at this rate. Our stance is against the law, not against the haredi sector. We do believe that their different must be taken into consideration but in a way that means they too will serve in the IDF."


A. a haredi enlisting in the IDF in two weeks within the framework of the Tal Law after several years of studying in a yeshiva, has claimed that "not only is the criticism inherently wrong, it also causes every effort to create real equality fail from the start.


ארכיון. הרמטכ"ל בבקו"ם. החוק יוארך? (צילום: עופר עמרם )

Archives: Chief of staff vsits recruitment center (Photo: Ofer Amram)


"Statistics point to a drastic rise in the number of haredim enlisting in the IDF in the last three years, and what you can't see in the numbers is the significant change in public opinion on this matter and the legitimization the military service has gained in our society, the likes of which have not existed since the establishment of the state."


He believes that the Tal Law was instrumental in the changing views towards service in the military and said that the Tal Law "created a different kind of dialogue among many haredi yeshiva students.


"I can certainly understand those who sanctify the value of equality, it's important to us too, but they must internalize the concept that it (equality) will not be achieved with out first taking into consideration the situation that was created here when the State was established, which cannot be changed with rash and aggressive behavior."


Ynet reporters contributed to the report




פרסום ראשון: 01.17.12, 08:39
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