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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Waiting for the other shoe to drop: Haredi civilian service enlistement dropped 70% in months leading to February

In the months leading up to the passage of the 'equal burden' law, Haredi enlistment in civilian service alternatives to the army dropped 70% compared with previous levels.
Speaking to Kol Barama haredi radio station on Wednesday, director of the Civil Service Administration Sar-Shalom Gerbi said that numbers of haredi men enlisting to the program had dropped from an average of between 70 to100 a month to around 30 a month in the period leading up to February 2014.
Extremist elements in the haredi community have conducted an aggressive campaign against haredi men who perform any form of national service, military or civilian, and have labelled such people “hardakim,” meaning a weak minded haredi person.
The general haredi community has also expressed anger at the terms of the new conscription law, which has been framed as an attack on the community, and led to protestations against service by even more moderate elements who did not oppose it in the past.
“People are embarrassed to come and enlist for the Civilian Service [program] in light of friction that has been created because of the conscription law,” Gerbi said, describing the decrease in enlistment as “dramatic.”
The Civilian Service program is a key component of the new law for haredi conscription that was approved by the Knesset earlier this month.
The 'hardakim' campaign - which started as a campaign in the Haredi neighborhoods against cellular phones with internet connections and has been going on for quite a while - has clearly been appropriated as a campaign against both army and civilian service. Gerbi adds:
Gerbi said however that he believed that the numbers of conscripts would begin to rise again once the immediate tensions and discord surrounding the passage of the law dissipates.
That may be the case with respect to civilian service, but with respect to serving in the army, which requires wearing a uniform on the way to and from the base, that is far less likely to happen and will take much longer.

We have not yet been told that there's been a drastic decline in Haredi enlistment in the IDF as a result of the new law, but that is clearly the case.

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At 5:02 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...


Please explain what you hope to have happen for Haredim. I would really like to understand where you are coming from because it boggles my mind.

Israel exists with the simple reality of sustainability. It cannot and will not exist as a first world country in the future if Haredim continue their present lifestyle choice, which includes large numbers of men not working and not even learning a real education in school that would enable them to work. Prayers alone cannot sustain a country. Surely you will agree to that and admit to that.

Given this...what exactly do you propose. You are against Haredim serving in the army. So what exactly do you propose should happen to allow Israel to remain a first world country in the future?

...Or would you actually prefer Israel to drop to third world status just to be able to allow Haredim to continue to not work and be a net drain on Israel's economy??


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