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Photo: Ido Erez
Haredi protest against "Draft Law"
Photo: Ido Erez
Haredi enlistment into IDF up 39 percent
At least 1,972 ultra-Orthodox enlist, with over 800 serving in combat roles, but numbers still fall short of enlistment quotas stipulated as part of new draft law.

The passing year has seen an impressive 39 percent rise in ultra-Orthodox enlistment into the IDF, the committee charged with supervising the implementation of a universal draft law passed last year reported in a meeting with senior government ministers.

 

However, the numbers still fall short of what the government initial estimated, indicating draft dodging is still prevalent among haredim, despite the passage a enlistment law last July.

 

 

During the 2013-2014 conscription year, the committee said, some 1,972 haredi youths enlisted into the IDF, in contrast to 1,416 and 1,327 in the past two years, respectively.

 

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Of the almost 2,000 new soldiers, an impressive 863 opted for combat roles. Some 801 haredim decided to serve through a civil service track. However, despite the relative rise, both numbers are lower than what the government had previously expected.

Haredi men at IDF recruitment center issuing enlistment exempt (Photo: Yaron Brenner)
Haredi men at IDF recruitment center issuing enlistment exempt (Photo: Yaron Brenner)
 

 

When the law passed it stipulated that in 2014, the IDF and civil service will recruit a sum of 3,800 haredim, then 4,500 will be recruited in 2015, and 5,200 in the following years.

 

Science and Technology Minister Peri said that despite the rise, the haredi community failed to fulfill the enlistment quotas stipulated by the law, and thus warned the government could sanction haredi seminaries.

 

Science Minister Yaakov Perry and Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yogev Atias)
Science Minister Yaakov Perry and Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yogev Atias)

 

"The government of Israel does not need to change its goals in retrospect, but do everything in its powers reach the goals it sets.

 

"In light of the fact that enlistment goals were not met, negative economic benefits (sanctions) would be implemented against the relevant yeshivot (or seminaries)," Peri said.

 

According to the law, yeshivas will be the ones to choose which students are to be considered "exceptional scholars" and thus will be
exempt from service, and if they do not meet the quotas – arrest warrants for draft dodgers will be issued and economic sanctions will be enacted.

 

According to bill initial estimates, the annual recruitment cycle for haredim (aged 18) stands at 7,500 to 8,500. The number is then subtracted with those who cannot serve in the army, for reasons such as medical state or general incompatibility, which are estimated at 10% of the draft cycle.

 

According to the data, some 11,000 haredim arrived a specialized enlistment center intended to either enlist or exempt them from military service according to the new law. It makes sure to refer those exempt from service to an employment advisor from the Economy Ministry.

 

 

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