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Monday, March 24, 2014

IDF decides to forget about separate Haredi recruitment center... for now

Facing threats of mass desertion, the IDF has dropped - for now - a plan that would have separated Haredi recruits from their yeshiva mates and forced them to endure 5-6 hours of 'recruiting videos' (deemed brainwashing by the Haredi community) when they report to the IDF to seek deferments of service.
The haredi daily newspaper Yated Ne’eman published a report on Friday saying that haredi youth and yeshiva students who receive induction notices, or who go to obtain their deferrals or exemptions, would be required to attend the new haredi induction centers, where they would receive information about the IDF and the benefits of enlistment.
The haredi leadership was extremely concerned that some of the yeshiva students would be tempted to enlist after being exposed to the information provided at the new centers.
The article in Yated Ne’eman said that if yeshiva students were required to attend the induction centers the haredi rabbinic leadership would instruct students to refrain from reporting for the preliminary enlistment process, as they have done until now.
Such a step would create serious upheaval and social unrest since anyone who does not present themselves to the IDF enlistment offices when called is considered to be a deserter, and is liable to arrest by the military police.
In the year-and-a-half since the “Tal Law,” arranging haredi military service deferrals, expired in July 2012, the rabbinic leadership has instructed yeshiva students to report to the enlistment offices for preliminary processing – though none of them were drafted during this period.
Yeshiva students associated with a hardline minority haredi faction have however refused to report, some of whom have subsequently been arrested.
Were the mainstream leadership to instruct the majority of yeshiva students not to report, the army would be faced with the task of arresting several thousand haredi youths and yeshiva students.
Bayit Yehudi faction chairwoman Ayelet Shaked told haredi website B’Hadrei Haredim on Sunday morning that she had held discussions with Brig.-Gen. Gadi Agmon, of the IDF Manpower Directorate, and the senior haredi leadership, and that an agreement had been reached not to operate the haredi induction centers at this time.
She said that there would be no change in the enlistment processing procedures.
In February, the three rabbinical councils of the mainstream haredi political movements banned yeshiva students from enlisting and said that if legally obligatory service were mandated in the new legislation, which it was, they would reconvene shortly thereafter to consider banning yeshiva students from reporting to enlistment offices.
Because the haredi induction centers will not be operated, haredi sources told The Jerusalem Post that the councils will not convene on the issue until after Passover, when conscription orders for haredi youth under 18 years of age are scheduled to be sent out.
It is believed that the majority opinion among the senior haredi leadership is that to ban yeshiva students from reporting to the IDF enlistment offices at this stage is unnecessary, since under the terms of the new law no one will be legally obligated to enlist until 2017.
In light of this situation, much of the rabbinical and political leadership is of the opinion that it is not worthwhile taking the drastic step of banning haredi youth from reporting for preliminary processing.

From what I am hearing in the streets, sometime between now and 2017, either the law will be changed (most likely), a compromise will be reached (least likely) or there's going to be an awful lot of prison construction in this country.

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