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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Report: Jewish Home and Yesh Atid ignore plan to resolve Haredi draft, seek instead to liquidate Haredi observance

One of the free Haredi newspapers that gets put in our mailbox (this one is called Merkaz HaInyanim - the Center of Affairs) is reporting that Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, who was #13 on the Jewish Home Knesset list, has made a proposal regarding the drafting of yeshiva students that became the first one that was not rejected outright by the Haredi rabbis. But unfortunately, according to the article, it is being ignored by the Jewish Home and Yesh Atid parties.

According to the report, the plan includes the following:
1. Everything will be done through dialogue and mutual respect.

2. Yeshiva students will not be forced to stop studying.

3. The government will set goals for the Haredi sector to advance the number of people drafted and who perform national service.
The annotations to the proposed legislation include the following:
b. Jewish Home views itself as a bridge that must prevent a fissure in the nation. The issue of 'equal burden' can only be resolved through broad consensus of all sides without force. Every Haredi youngster shall have the duty of carrying the country's burden between the ages of 18-28 as set forth in g below.

c. It is no secret that the IDF is not currently prepared to absorb all of the Haredi youth above the age of 18, and therefore the manner in which the burden must be borne must be more broadly defined.

d. The Haredi community makes a significant contribution to society through all sorts of volunteer organizations. They may be consistently found in [list of known medical and emergency assistance organizations] in addition to the thousands of Haredim who have been drafted into various frameworks in the IDF over the last several years. As an aside, it should be noted that these organizations have saved the economy billions of shekels that far exceed any support budget given to yeshivoth and kollelim.

e. Therefore, it is recommended that the government of Israel set a goal of drafting 10,000 Haredim (2,000 each year) from now through 2017 through one of the paths set out in clause g below. Of course, any Haredi military service will require appropriate frameworks for the Haredi community.

f. The Jewish Home party regards part of the equalization burden as requiring affirmative action to allow Haredim to be hired for government service [the government is by far the largest employer in the country. CiJ] in order to create thousands of jobs for the Haredi sector.

g. Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau (chief rabbi of Tel Aviv [and former chief rabbi of the country - and someone who is widely trusted in the Haredi community. CiJ]), the head of Yad Vashem and an academic who will be chosen, will head a 12-member task force from all parts of society, and representatives of the Defense, Finance, Industry and Trade and Internal Security ministries, and the local councils, will oversee the fulfillment of these goals over the next five years, and will offer the following possibilities:

From ages 18 to 20, the youth will serve 24 months.

Those of the 10,000 who are absorbed between the ages of 20-24 will serve for 12 months (if single) or six months (if married).

Those between the ages of 24 and 28 will serve for six months.

If the service is army service, it will include incentives worth tens of thousands of shekels upon its conclusion. But it will also be possible to perform national service (in organizations like the ones listed above) or civil service such as helping youth or the elderly, or in a combined program of trade or technical studies togeher with army service or in academic studies like the current Shachar program [in the Air Force. CiJ].

The entire program is based on being willing to serve.

Anyone who does not serve by the age of 28 will have to repay the last six months of support that was given to him before being reintroduced into the reserve or exempt pool.

The central Haredi organizations that have done so until now will manage lists of who is in what program and in what yeshiva or kollel.

Support will be reduced. Yeshiva men from the ages of 18-35 (i.e. unmarried) will receive NIS 500 (about $160 right now) per month, while Kollel (married men) will receive NIS 900 per month. For married men who have not served, support from the age of 35 will be reduced to NIS 500 per month, but from the age of 41, unmarried men will receive NIS 500 per month, while those few married men who stay in Kollel will receive NIS 2,000 per month [which is far less than one receives in even the most menial jobs. CiJ]

Remember, this was proposed by someone from Jewish Home and not from among the Haredim.

So why isn't this program being discussed in Jewish Home and Yesh Atid? According to Mercaz HaInyanim, it's because the agenda isn't to draft Haredim - according to David Shimon, who is Netanyahu's chief negotiator, the Haredim could agree to be drafted at the age of 14 and the two parties would still not allow them into the coalition. Rather, the agenda is to liquidate the Haredi system altogether and to try to turn the Haredim into seculars (or national religious who now have a hechser from Yair Lapid).

There are two components to Jewish Home, one of which is called Tkuma. On Sunday, four rabbis from Tkuma - including Rabbi Dov Leor who refused to endorse Jewish Home in the elections - sent a letter supporting Jewish Home's pact with Yesh Atid. According to Merkaz HaInyanim, the reason for this was that Tkuma's MK's were threatening to break off from Bayit Yehudi and form a coalition with Netanyahu and the Haredim, but the deal between Jewish Home and Yesh Atid ensures the status of the national religious yeshivoth and schools, which, like the Haredi yeshivoth and schools, do not meet the new criteria. This is why, for example, Yesh Atid is raising issues like instituting the 'core curriculum' in the Haredi schools, and the national religious MK's - who also represent parents of children who study in schools that do not include the entire 'core curriculum' - are not objecting.

By the way, Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, the author of the proposal, is #13 on Jewish Home's list, and Jewish Home has only 12 MK's. But because of the vote buying scandal that has rocked Jewish Home, Horowitz is likely to become an MK.

If the comments on this post get out of hand, I will shut them off. I will also reject comments that I deem personal attacks on people (I rejected one like that yesterday).

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At 11:45 AM, Blogger Eliana said...

"...the agenda is to liquidate the Haredi system altogether and to try to turn the Haredim into seculars (or national religious who now have a hechser from Yair Lapid)."

The agenda is to do the same thing to Orthodox in general, including national religious, eventually. Turn us into seculars.

The leader of the Yesh Atid party has made no secret that he wants to bring Israel into the Reform movement on a large scale.

Israel is seen as too Jewish with Orthodox Jews here, apparently.

We can't let this agenda proceed.

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Shy Guy said...

In all honesty, I can't tell what is fact from fiction within the coalition negotiations and with the scoops being posted by every rag on every side of the equation.

It's all causing a lot of Sin'at Chinam.

Most everything I'm reading and hearing is coming from secondary sources and most of it is being denied.

And I have heard the stupidest things being said on radio and TV by political, community and media representatives from both sides.

I suggest you try to report what is known for sure because these stories change from the morning to the afternoon and they cause a lot of excessive, if not altogether unnecessary antagonism.

At 2:48 PM, Blogger Inmemoryof Yossi said...

Carl, there IS a problem about the "equal burden" issue.
Why is the learning of Torah only on the charadim? Rather than demanding a draft, charadim should be protesting that secular Jews are not contributing to Torah learning!!!!! Start demanding that they have to put in two years after their army service, or before, in a charadi yeshiva! Specify that they must complete 3 sederim a day, and if not, it will "add" months to their service.

At 4:52 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Shy Guy is correct.

And the leaks and rumors have been disseminated by Israel's leftist media, which has an interest in pushing forward the most extreme interpretation on what's happening in coalition negotiations to further its own agenda.

Some of these things are just too far fetched to be believable. Let's wait and see if a government is actually formed before people start jumping to conclusions.

At 6:22 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Norman F,

The source for this story is most definitely not Leftist media. The only place in which this story has been reported that I have seen (other than Israel Matzav) is a Haredi weekly that is distributed free in Haredi neighborhoods. I have not seen it on any of the mainstream media sites.


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