Skip to comments.Israel passes law to conscript ultra-Orthodox Jews into military
Posted on 03/12/2014 2:29:15 PM PDT by Theoria
Law passed in Knesset on Wednesday will require army to conscript increasing number of ultra-Orthodox Jews each year
Israeli lawmakers passed a contentious law on Wednesday meant to draft ultra-Orthodox Jews into the military the culmination of a drive for reforms that has resulted in mass protests by the religious community in Israel and beyond.
The issue of conscription of the ultra-Orthodox is at the heart of a cultural war in Israel. The matter featured prominently in elections last year that led to the establishment of the centre-right government, which has pushed for the legislation.
Wednesday's vote passed 67-1 in the 120-member Knesset. Opposition lawmakers all 52 of them were absent, boycotting the vote to protest what they said were strong-arm tactics by the ruling coalition.
"The change begins tomorrow morning and it is expected to transform the face of Israeli society unrecognisably," said Yaakov Peri, from the Yesh Atid party, which has led the drive for draft reforms.
Under the law, the army would be required to draft an increasing number of ultra-Orthodox Jews each year, with the goal of enlisting 5,200 ultra-Orthodox soldiers roughly 60% of those of draft age by mid-2017. Israel would grant financial incentives to religious seminaries that sent their students to the army.
If the ultra-Orthodox community does not meet that quota by then, the law calls for mandatory service for ultra-Orthodox Jews and criminal sanctions for draft-dodgers.
Since Israel's founding in 1948, the ultra-Orthodox who make up about 8% of Israel's 8 million citizens have largely been allowed to avoid military service in order to pursue religious studies. In contrast, most secular Jewish men perform three years of compulsory service.
(Excerpt) Read more at theguardian.com ...
There was a huge protest about this decision a few days ago, held in New York City. I had no idea there were so many thousands of Orthodox Jews just in that city, over 200K. I heard nothing about this event on the radio or TV. I was surprised and happy that they could have their peaceful protest without being harassed by anti-zionists.
Not a good idea.
I think it is good idea...I also think they should draft those in the U.S. as well, or deny them entrance into Israel, and burial rights in Israel.
How would Israel draft a US citizen?
Many Jews are very proud of their dual citizenship. Well sometimes you have to pay the price for those bragging rights. Either answer the call when it comes for perhaps the first time ever, or surrender your right to call yourself an Israeli. I think after a lot of anger at the change itself, many will serve to protect Israel. It may be the parents of the young people likely to be drafted who are complaining the loudest. I can understand their reluctance at becoming involved this dangerous assignment.
The Ultra-Orthodox would IMO be very problematical as soldiers. Many do not “like” or “appreciate” (and in many cases, firmly reject) the idea of a state of Israel because the state was not founded by whatever they believe to be the genuine Messiah. They are very internalizing people and busy themselves with solemn prayer and having scads of children. They would not fight on the Sabbath, they would not turn on a light switch on the Sabbath. I can’t see that being at all functional.
Only the idiot Satmars protested. Ridiculous.
Well, if they’re a dual citizen, of course.
OK, so make them chaplains for combat units.
As far as not fighting on the Sabbath, I'm pretty sure that there is no religious prohibition against that. Otherwise, in Biblical days, enemies of the Israelites would have just made a point of arranging battles for the Sabbath.
I don’t think you’re getting my point. Many Ultra Orthodox are in fact fervent anti-Zionists. They believe the state of Israel is illegitimate as it was not founded by the Messiah. They, as chaplains, would presumably exhort soldiers under them to either fight for their God or to fight for their country. If they are Ultra-Orthodox they would be in a position of exhorting to nullify what Orthodox believe is the truth of the religion. Though it would be absolutely possible for a Reform or Conservative Jew to act as a chaplain in a military unit.
It is precisely the same position as expecting Islamists to embrace democracy. It is in fact apostasy to them as there is no other leader but Mohammed to them. Thus, for them to split their loyalty between their one true God and this other thing that is a synthetic construct is absolutely incoherent. Maybe somebody smarter than I can see a way to make this work, but I sure can’t.
I posted on the other thread and I think I unintentionally offended some so I’m going to be careful here. There is a logical disconnect with the Israeli Hasidem’s anti-Zionist stance. Not so much that they are enjoying the protection of the Israeli government - many of them might choose to live in the Promised Land even if it were much more dangerous. The problem is with those who oppose the Israeli state but who have no problem living off the Israeli social welfare system. They’re obviously not all doing it, but too many of them are and it has caused a lot of resentment.
Should read there is a logical disconnect with many of the Israeli Hasidem
I certainly agree w/you that there is a logical disconnect with the conundrum you state, but that (illogic) is a common phenom in very religious situations, no?
No offense taken, none at all, as far as I’m concerned. It’s a condition that exists, as you say. I can readily see the ideological impetus to “correct the situation” but these efforts at changing lifetime conditioning usually do not work, and that was really my only point. There are a million examples: People do not stop smoking unless and until they see someone close to them struck with cancer or emphysema or they conflate their survival with their ability to be functioning parents to their children. Mexicans do not learn English unless and until they see there is economic benefit to them to do so. Islamists have no interest in democracy, speaking broadly.
The situation you describe, of many ultra-Orthodox living off the Israeli welfare system may well generate resentment among more secular Israelis, but there should be no doubt that the military would act in all cases to protect and defend those Orthodox. Yet there is, at least as far as I am concerned, some question as to whether Orthodox who are anti-Zionists would function well or at all in the IDF.