Ultra-Orthodox draft poster

IDF to open ultra-Orthodox paratrooper platoon

First it was the Netzah Yehuda and Tomer platoons in the Kfir and Givati brigades; Now, the IDF is planning to open a special ultra-Orthodox paratrooper unit as a part of continuing efforts to integrate the ultra-Orthodox into Israeli society.

The ministry of defense has announced that it is opening up a first of its kind ultra-Orthodox paratrooper platoon and that it has begun a campaign to draft ultra-Orthodox into it.



The first round of draftees will enter the unit in November. As with every other paratrooper platoon, the ultra-Orthodox draftees will have to undergo a strenuous selection process lasting several days.


The selection process for the platoon will occur in September, and another session will occur closer to the date of the draft.


IDF draft poster for the ultra-Orthodox paratroopers platoon
IDF draft poster for the ultra-Orthodox paratroopers platoon

Fliers for the platoon have been distributed throughout ultra-Orthodox communities in Israel over the past few days alongside ads for the units on ultra-Orthodox social media pages.


There has been incitement against ultra-Orthodox soldiers from the community in recent years, and the ministry of defense is trying to stamp this out.


Drafting the ultra-Orthodox - especially to combat roles - is no easy task. Posters printed by the ministry of defense are seeking to instill  both pride in Israel and the IDF alongside pride in Torah study within the sector. The ministry seeks to convince the ultra-Orthodox that serving in the IDF won't affect their pious lifestyles.


A special ultra-Orthodox paratroopers platton is opening
A special ultra-Orthodox paratroopers platton is opening


The ads themselves portray a young ultra-Orthodox man wearing the paratroopers' signature red boots and in an IDF uniform in the middle of a jump with a title that reads "ultra-Orthodox in the paratroopers" next to a phone number for more information.


However, despite the fact that the ads are modest and simple, ultra-Orthodox newspapers have so far refused to run the ads. The ministry has therefore turned to social media, where they are receiving a wide following.


The ultra-Orthodox soldiers will serve in a base completely devoid of female soldiers, will be provided with glatt kosher food, and will have daily torah studies. After seven months of combat training, the approximately 100 soldiers will be integrated into one of the pre-existing paratroopers' platoons, and will begin their regular service in the various areas of operation.


Ultra-Orthodox soliders train in the Netzah Yehuda platoon of the Kfir battalion
Ultra-Orthodox soliders train in the Netzah Yehuda platoon of the Kfir battalion


The head of the battalion will be a paratrooper commander, and the other officers will all be religious, and include soldier who served in the ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yehuda battalion of Givati.




The platoon will operate similar to the Tomer platoon of the Givati battalion, whereby after serving for two years in a combat role, they will study for the third and final year of the service for either their matriculation exams, a vocational trade, or a mix of finishing their matriculation exams and beginning studying for a bachelors degree in order to integrate into the workplace.


Lieberman gives his blessing

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman held a meeting at the defense ministry with the directorate responsible for the initiative. The minister gave his blessing to develop the initiative as much as possible.

The next step in the framework to draft and integrate as many ultra-Orthodox into the military as possible will see a similar ultra-Orthodox tank unit be set up.


The IDF is expected to draft 3,200 ultra-Orthodox soldiers in 2017.


Ultra-Orthodox soldiers in the Netzah Yehuda platoon
Ultra-Orthodox soldiers in the Netzah Yehuda platoon


The IDF attempted to create additional ultra-Orthodox units three years ago, but cancelled the plans out of fear that it would inadvertently create a "shtetl" with the military.


Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan has been leading the initiative to draft more ultra-Orthodox into the IDF and fight against incitement in the ultra-Orthodox sector.


Regarding the establishment of the new platoon, he said "there's no doubt that this is a positive step in terms of IDF service for the ultra-Orthodox. Them joining the paratroopers battalion – one of the most prestigious in the IDF – is an important milestone in their full integration. G-d willing, I will be able to continue working to successfully draft ultra-Orthodox into the IDF."



פרסום ראשון: 08.03.16, 10:31
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