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Monday, May 14, 2012

Ruh Roh... Shas, UTJ both shunning Tal Law 'talks'

The two major Haredi parties - Shas and United Torah Judaism - have both decided to shun 'talks' regarding a replacement for the Tal Law (which allowed yeshiva students to defer IDF service), a move that could leave the secular majority wringing its hands in frustration.
Shas Chairman Eli Yishai issued a statement Monday saying that, following consultations with Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, the party will not be sending a representative to the committee established to present proposals for replacing the Tal Law.

“Those who study Torah are not subject to negotiations on quotas and on their basic rights to study the Torah,” Yishai said. “Their contribution to the Jewish people and to the State of Israel is well known and clear to any believing Jew."

Yishai also said that Shas would produce its own recommendations on the issue of the share of the military burden and IDF draft reform and present it to the public.

Members of Knesset from the haredi (ultra-Orthodox party) United Torah Judaism (UTJ) also said they will not participate in or send representatives to the committee.

According to sources within the UTJ, leading rabbis in the haredi community have instructed UTJ MKs not to take part in the hearings due to ideological opposition to a law which will encourage drafting haredim into the army.

MK (UTJ) and chairman of the finance committee Moshe Gafni said in an interview with the haredi newspaper Yated Ne'eman, that Rabbi Aharon Leib Schteinman - the de facto leader of the ultra-Orthodox community while Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyshaiv is still hospitalized - instructed party members to quit the coalition if any attempt is made to hinder the studies of yeshiva students.
Say what you will about this, but without Haredi cooperation, this is not going to happen. The government is not going to use every jail cell in the country to house yeshiva students, and if they cut off all the 'subsidies' (which aren't what they're cracked up to be - you make a lot more working for a living), the poverty level will rise to levels that could jeopardize Israel's OECD membership.

I believe that it was President Jackson who once said "the Supreme Court decided - now let them enforce it." Israel's government probably should have told Justice Beinish the same thing. Surely Israel has better things to do with its time and government dollars than hunt yeshiva students.

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At 5:23 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Hmmm. Seems like issues with the draft are what got the mobs out to the streets in the '60s and '70s in the U.S., which ultimately resulted in 2.5 mil dead in Cambodia and Viet Nam. In the case of the U.S., the Left perpetrated lies and more lies about their fellow citizens. Jane Fonda, as a Leftist example, has never come up with anything other than, "It wasn't our fault," in addressing (after decades of denialist silence) the killing fields the Left enabled. So these draft/service issues shouldn't be trifled with on any side.

At 7:32 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

It is not sustainable for Israeli Yeshiva students to be living on the government dole and not contributing via National Service or Army service. There is no reason why a yeshiva student cannot at least be part of National Service, and I personally do not understand why they cannot delay yeshiva for a year or two in order to serve. This is what happens to the secular students who have to delay college in order to serve in the IDF. It is shameful to hold this double standard for yeshiva students that do not apply to seculars.

I also fail to understand why Yeshiva students cannot at minimum complete National Service. Carl, you have failed to explain how or why this is impossible or even how or why it would be contrary to the religious beliefs of certain sects of Haredim.

I would add that none of this would be a problem if Haredim were not having such large families. But over time, given the Haredi education is (in general) abysmal in its teaching of secular studies, and given demographics, Israel will cease to be a first world nation unless the Haredim are encouraged to work and are frankly given the educational and societal tools to succeed.

That is what is at stake here. I think every Zionist should oppose the Tal Law for the betterment of the state. It is one of the most important long-term issues that Israel faces.

Maybe you believe that the Haredim are contributing to the State simply by praying, but no one can pray that hard. Yes - Haredim have Chesed activities. But none of that adds up to the loss in Israeli society of a large segment that does not work. This cannot be sustained long term and Israel's first world status is at stake.

At 9:01 PM, Blogger adilkahir said...

This isn't really that hard to deal with. Anyone over the age of 25 who hasn't done some kind of national service has their subsidies cut to some extent. Anyone under that age is treated as a new immigrant from the point of view of the IDF. Anyone under that age will also never get any subsidies if they don't do some kind of national service. Give this arrangement a couple of years to fester and then start selectively enforcing the draft on the haredim. The major problem for Israeli society is that the current system is seen as unfair by the majority and that the current Haredi participation in the labor force is economically unsustainable. Seeing more Haredi enlist, seeing many others join the labor force and seeing those that don't enlist occasionally arrested but certainly off the public dole should deal with most of the issue.

No major increase in poverty, no massive coercion, along with a removal of any incentives to continue with the current arrangement into the future. Secular society will be more or less satisfied. No real cooperation required either.

At 5:09 AM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

Thank you, Adil. I totally agree and I believe this is the most Zionistic approach to the situation.

At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep. Bituach Leumi cuts are a good start.

At 6:14 AM, Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

That was President Andy Jackson's remark when the US Supreme Court, with the great Chief Justice John Marshall sitting on the bench, ruled against the US Govt when the Cherokee Nation sued the US Government over the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

The Cherokee won their case at every level. Finally the Supreme Court also ruled in their favor. Jackson said, "John Marshal has made his ruling. Now let him enforce it."


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