Bennett at Ramla conference
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Bennett presents haredi share in burden plan

Economy Minister's plan sees 1,800 yeshiva students exempt from military, national service with rest receiving three year exemption. Forum for equality: 'This is a joke, perpetuates discrimination'

Two weeks after the new government was sworn in, Chairman of the Habayit Hayehudi party Naftali Bennett on Tuesday presented his plan for sharing the burden.


According to Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, "100% of 18-year old haredim will be able to go to yeshivas for three years with the same financial support received by yeshiva students today. In the fourth year, 1,800 yeshiva students will continue to receive support while the rest will be able to choose between IDF and national service."


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The 1,800 will be chosen every year out of the 7,000 haredim designated for military service every year.

בנט בכנס רמלה, היום (צילום: כנס רמלה)

Bennett at Ramla Conference


According to Bennett "The haredim will be responsible for choosing occupations where they can earn money. Don't become a lawyer or an accountant, choose occupations that need people."


Bennett's bottom line is that only 1,800 will continue to study Torah and receive financial support from the State. "The rest – will first go to the military or national service – and then choose what they want to do with their lives. If they want to study, they can study."


He noted that the coalition agreements with Yair Lapid and the Yesh Atid party were a "breakthrough." According to Bennett, "For the first time the State of Israel explicitly recognizes the importance of Torah studies as a value. This is a breakthrough that was never in the book of laws."


The Habayit Hayehudi chairman also called on employers to employ haredim and Arab women: "We still haven’t uncovered the potential that is hidden in these sectors, I'm going to take charge of this matter.


"Israel must be a State with full equality to all its citizens; on the other hand, it is a State with one nation – the Jewish nation."


Yet Bennett's plan seems to be in complete contrast to the plan presented by Yesh Atid during the election campaign. According to Lapid's plan, the haredim were supposed to get automatic exemption for five years, then any citizen aged 18 or older would be obligated to enlist in national service or the IDF, where the IDF gets precedence in the selection process.


'Perpetuating discrimination'

The size of the IDF would be determined by perennial planning adapted to the country's security needs. Combat soldiers and combat support soldiers would serve for three years with all others serving for two. Soldiers serving for three years will receive minimum wage from their second year of service and will receive a full college scholarship when discharged.


Those refusing to serve would be subject to legal repercussions and would lose all benefits (except for national insurance benefits).


The Forum for equal share of the burden responded Tuesday to Naftali Bennett's presentation of his plan for sharing the burden and said: "We do not accept this. A three year postponement fixes the inequality and perpetuates the discrimination.


"This is a joke," they added, "a three year postponement means they have not internalized the High Court of Justice's ruling in which the Tal Law was abolished."


The forum added: "We demand a gradual enlistment from the age of 18 beginning imediately."



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פרסום ראשון: 04.02.13, 17:33
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