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Monday, December 24, 2012

UTJ blasts Kadima campaign ad

The Haredi United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party has asked the central elections committee to disqualify an ad by the Kadima party, which claims that married yeshiva students receive NIS 3400 per month while soldiers receive NIS 352 per month.
UTJ chairman MK Yisrael Eichler, who filed the complaint, wrote that the figure given for state funds provided to full-time yeshiva students of NIS 3,400 was “patently false,” and that the purpose of the advertisement was to “arouse hostility and confrontation with haredi Jews.”
“This will cause hatred and even violence,” Eichler claimed.
There are currently approximately 45,000 full time yeshiva students who receive NIS 828 a month from the government.
Of those, approximately 10,000 also receive NIS 1,040 a month in income support.
Last week, the Dan and Egged bus companies both refused to post the campaign banners on their buses. Egged said that it would not allow its buses to be used as a platform for negative advertisements that would make passengers uncomfortable.
Kadima said in response to Dan and Egged’s decision that the companies were coming out against IDF soldiers who bear the burden of military service for the country, and whose bus travel represents “a nice income for their owners.”
Kadima has taken Dan to court over the issue, but Egged eventually agreed to use the party’s advertisements.
This is wrong on a lot of levels. First, Kadima, in any event, is a party that according to the polls is unlikely to be in the next Knesset.

Second, the term avreich and its plural avreichim do not refer to all full-time yeshiva students, but only to married yeshiva students. I believe that married soldiers - even conscripts - are paid more than NIS 352 per month.

Third, the NIS 3400 figure, as Rabbi Eichler correctly points out, is a lie, and yes it's designed to incite hatred against Haredim.

But fourth, I would turn the whole thing around. I would argue that I would be happy to pay NIS 3400 per month to combat soldiers (not jobnikim) if the IDF becomes a volunteer army. The expense of paying the combat soldiers would be offset by the millions of shekels saved by not drafting people who really don't belong in anyone's army.

I've made the argument before for a volunteer army. So has Moshe Feiglin. And so has Haaretz. A volunteer army would likely do more to reduce hostility to Haredim than anything else. So why aren't the Haredi parties discussing it? Why isn't anyone else? (And yes, I have some ideas as to the answers to those questions, but not I'm posting them tonight).

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3 Comments:

At 11:36 PM, Blogger Mordechai Y. Scher said...

I couldn't disagree with you more strongly about a volunteer army in Israel. A requirement to serve highlights the moral imperative to for a citizen to serve Israeli society. From a halachic perspective, I would argue that this is a milhemet mitzvah (an obligatory war scenario) and all are obliged to serve in the appropriate capacity (as my teachers all argued, as well as Rav Zevin and others). From a social perspective, it is the last institution that offers at least the opportunity of bringing disparate groups together under the flag or the Zionist Enterprise and communal service. Also, can you tell me what other 'Western' country at war for its life didn't institute a draft? A volunteer army would imply that Israel doesn't face life and death threats - and that simply isn't correct.

 
At 12:10 AM, Blogger HaDaR said...

Israel CANNOT allow herself to have a volunteer army: NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE WOULD BE ABLE TO FIGHT AND ORGANIZED TO DO IT IN CASE OF AN ATTACK.

BESIDES, according to most opinions, a volunteer army is AGAINST TORAH LAW.

HOWEVER, it is completely against Torah Law not to take part in the active defense of the People of Israel since, be it that we are in war because of kibbush haAretz, or because we are in a war of defense, IT IS A MILKHEMETH MITSWÀ, not a mikhemeth reshuth.

So, the people who claim they defend the Land and the People ONLY by learning (or praying, or whatever) have the 'azuth metsach of considering themselves ABOVE Moshe Rabbenu, Yehoshu'a Bin Nun, Calev Ben Yefuneh or David HaMelekh, WHO ALL FOUGHT WITH WEAPONS TOO, and they commit an INCREDIBLE - direct AND indirect - CHILLUL HASHEM by refusing to serve.

 
At 12:12 AM, Blogger HaDaR said...

BTW: once I said that, Kadima is an antisemitic party that came out with an antisemitic ad.

 

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